Bircham International University distance learning degree is valid for many purposes. BIU adult degree programs may be internationally legalized to facilitate recognition.
Professional recognition of distance learning
A person's professional reputation depends largely on his achievements and competence but most importantly on his education (university degree and/or diploma). For this reason, completing an adult degree program to enhance someone’s career, via distance education, is as valid as attending classes at a traditional university campus. In fact, a perfectly valid degree can be legitimately earned via a distance learning university like Bircham International University. Completing an adult degree program demonstrates an indisputable level of willpower, responsibility, motivation, and personal organization. These skills are highly appreciated at the workplace and explain why Human Resources executives esteem those employees earning distance degrees. Many Bircham International University graduates have gotten jobs and/or or promotions at leading companies worldwide. More than 70 % of BIU students, two years after completing their distance learning higher education degree program, have achieved a considerable increase in their self-esteem and social status. Most of them had moved on to better jobs, had been promoted, and/or had received salary raises.
Click to read some of Bircham University graduates' testimony.
Non-formal education & official recognition
Bircham International University is a provider of non-formal or non-traditional education. Non-formal distance learning higher education programs do not follow the norms set by a Ministry of Education. Therefore, BIU degrees are not officially recognized by these latter. Officially validated degrees are required for certain governmental positions and professional licensure. In this case, Bircham International University distance learning degrees cannot be used.
The distance learning university degrees and academic transcripts issued by BIU can be internationally legalized with The Hague Apostille (for Hague signatory countries) or Consulate Legalization (for Hague non-signatory countries). This type of legalization is sometimes required by governmental institutions as a guarantee of validity since it officially authenticates the signatures, the legality, and the legitimacy of the documents released by any distance education university such as BIU. The criteria for official degree validation vary among countries. For this reason, this legalization process does not necessarily guarantee the final acceptance of a BIU adult degree programs. Sometimes, other documents and/or legislation are required for the official recognition of BIU distance learning degree. Prior to enrolling in any BIU adult degree program, check the distance education university degree acceptance requirements and/or governmental regulations.
Official validation of non-formal education
The official validation of non-formal education has been scheduled by the European Union to take place after 2015. In 2012, the European formal higher education systems and universities were merged in the Bologna process. Currently, European countries are facing increasing pressure to recognize the full range of an individual’s knowledge, skills, and competences, which requires new approaches to validate such learning experiences. This is why the Commission has made a proposal for a Council Recommendation inviting EU governments to establish validation systems after 2015.
Bircham International University is a provider of non-formal higher education. It is recognized and regulated by the laws of Spain. Bircham International University transcripts follows the directives of the ECTS credits since 2006 and is member of several institutions that play some advisory role at the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) and the validation of non-formal learning.
In 2014, Bircham International University was listed as a distance education university in the EU Commission portal of innovative learning: Open Education Europa.
Accreditation of distance learning
Higher education is normally controlled and monitored by the national government, which promulgates higher education policy. As free markets, open frontiers, and individualism spread around the world, many nations are adapting a more liberal, competitive, and diverse distance learning higher education system. Accreditation is one of the leading factors behind this global trend. Accreditation is an institutional process that evaluates the instructional methods of various distance education universities and institutions while respecting their autonomy and specificity. It also ensures academic quality through peer review. Distance learning universities normally strive to obtain accreditation to prove their quality of their academic programs. The process of accreditation is non-governmental and voluntary. A university normally appeals for accreditation to a private, regional, and/or professional association and submit an application. The accrediting institution performs an overall assessment of the university and grants the accreditation, if deemed satisfactory. Note that each accrediting organization holds its own accreditation criteria. No worldwide accreditation standards are currently available.
Click to check Bircham University Accreditation, Recognition, and References.
Accreditation in the USA
In the United States of America (USA), there are no Federal Ministry of Education and/or a centralized authority to exert unanimous national control over post-secondary educational institutions. As a consequence, the USA educational institutions vary widely in the quality and specifics of their programs. Accreditation becomes an increasingly important issue (In the USA and elsewhere) especially when it comes to evaluate and officially recognize a distance learning degree and/or an adult educational program.
Bircham International University is accredited, recognized, and is a member of several international bodies. It meets the quality standards of numerous educational organizations in various countries. Nevertheless, none of these international bodies are recognized by the Council of Higher Education Accreditation in the USA (CHEA–USA), a non-governmental independent association grouping almost 3,000 degree-granting traditional universities. This council officially recognizes 60 institutional and programmatic accrediting organizations that provide voluntary and self-regulation processes to ensure academic quality. In the USA, accreditation by CHEA is important for two main reasons: First, it provides standards to academic quality in a country whose Constitution establishes freedom of education. Second, it distributes US Federal Grants only to its members and never to the distance learning higher education organizations. It is important to stress that accreditation is not equivalent to legality and/or recognition; it is merely a non-governmental and voluntary quality standardization process.
Academic acceptance of distance learning degrees
If a BIU graduate wishes to pursue a program at another university, he/she should verify first that the credits earned at Bircham International University are transferable. Many institutions are reluctant to accept credits from a non-formal distance education university and/ or from a non-CHEA accredited institution. In some cases, partial credit transfer is accepted. Note that accreditation (including the one granted by CHEA–USA) does not automatically provide an acceptance and/or a validation of a distance learning degree, nor does it guarantee its acceptance by hiring firms. For these reasons, it is the student responsibility to check with his/her potential university and/or employer the acceptability of a BIU distance learning degree, prior to enrollment.
Bircham International University adult degree programs and transcripts meet the current higher education guidelines set forth by the European Union (European Credit Transfer System [ECTS]) as well as the USA (Generally Accepted Accrediting Practices [GAAP]). Bircham International University distance learning degrees include the required Diploma Supplement and BIU transcripts reflect the ECTS equivalents to Bircham International University earned credits according to the European Higher Education guidelines.
Academic quality of an adult degree program
The educational system adopted by Bircham International University has been acknowledged by the European Union as a reference for adult education. It has been revised and approved by the OAPEE; the National Agency of the Ministry of Education in Spain who is responsible for reviewing all adult education proposals submitted to the former Grundtvig program of the European Union. This constituted an achievement and a clear indication of the quality and efficiency of the BIU’s educational system. Nonetheless, this approval does not affect the recognition status of BIU adult degree programs.
Bircham International University is constantly seeking further recognition of its dynamic and effective distance learning higher education system.
Consumer protection at a distance learning university
All degrees issued by Bircham International University do not require authorization from Ministries of Education. Bircham International University is registered in the Spanish Ministry of Consumer Affairs, under the section No 932.2 (Spain Non Formal Higher Education). This latter monitor and regulate all BIU activity, distance learning programs, and instructional quality. The applicable law is Decreto 84/2004 de 13 de Mayo (Enseñanza General).
In 2005, the Spanish National Institute of Consumer Affairs (Instituto Nacional de Consumo – INC); under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, awarded BIU with an official distinction of consumer protection for the quality of its adult degree programs. This recognition provides a solid international consumer protection and a unique guarantee to all Bircham University students in Spain, Europe, and the world.
Professional practice for distance learning graduates
Potential BIU students are advised to check, prior to enrollment, whether a Bircham International University distance learning degree is accepted at the professional practice they are seeking. Requirements and restrictions for a particular profession vary widely among provinces, states, and/or countries. Some jobs require degrees recognized solely by the Ministry of Education; while others accept an online diploma legalized by The Hague Apostille Certificate and/or endorsed by a professional association. Professional practice depends on a student experience and career and not only on his online university degree. In other words, a student may qualify for a particular practice while others may not, despite holding the same degree from the same distance education university. Joining the proper association(s) is the best way to become an updated professional. We encourage you to check the list of recommended associations. You will find a number of multinational and prestigious companies where Bircham International University students, graduates, and staff have gotten jobs and/or promotions.