by Suzette Roberts
Copyright © 2022
The Antigua and Barbuda National Accreditation Board (ABNAB) was established in 2006 by an Act of Parliament (No 4 of 2006).
- planning to access Tertiary Education?
- interested in online studies?
- in need of academic advice?
What do we do?
Among other things, ABNAB is charged with the responsibility to:
- Register all tertiary institution in Antigua and Barbuda
- Accredit and re-accredit tertiary institutions operating in Antigua and Barbuda which offer programmes of study in Antigua and Barbuda
- Advise on the recognition of foreign-based institutions and the programmes they offer
- Determine the equivalency of programmes of study and qualifications
- Promote a quality assurance ethos within Antigua and Barbuda
- Protect the interests of students
- Provide the public with information on the quality and recognition of programmes of study and institutions in order to protect the public interest
- Assure the credibility and acceptability of your certificate, diploma, or degree
What you need to know about Diploma Mills and Accredited Colleges/Universities
The Continuum Explained
- Diploma Mills
- Unaccredited Institutions with Low Credibility
- Unaccredited Institutions with High Credibility
- Accredited Institutions
Beware of Diploma Mill
What is a Diploma Mill?
Diploma Mills are organizations that award academic degrees and diplomas with very little or no academic study and without recognition by official accrediting bodies.
To put it simple, Diploma Mills are basically scam colleges that literally give out fake diplomas to anyone who pays the requested “tuition”.
Warning signs of Diploma Mills
- Names that are similar to those of well-known colleges or universities;
- Not quality assured by a recognized accrediting body;
- Little or no study required for diploma or degree;
- Frequent changes of address or administrative offices housed in rented mailboxes;
- Contact is by e-mails only;
- Very limited or even no interaction with professors;
- Degrees that can be earned over a much shorter period of time.
What is ABNAB doing to protect the public from Diploma Mills?
ABNAB continuously scans the tertiary education landscape to detect the existence of potential diploma mills operating in or offering qualifications to Antigua and Barbuda Nationals. ABNAB also provides information to advise the public of such institutions operating in Antigua and Barbuda.
How can I protect myself from Diploma Mills?
- Check the school’s website for an accrediting agency and make sure the agency is officially sanctioned.
- Check with the licensing boards and professional associations that regulate your industry to see if the program delivers an acceptable level of training.
- Trust your instincts, if you have any persisting doubts, move on.
What is Accreditation?
Accreditation is a process in which a programme of study or an institution is assessed to determine if it meets quality standards and given official recognition.
What you need to know about Diploma Mills and Accredited Colleges/Universities?
- Some characteristics of unaccredited institutions with low credibility
- Semblance of credibility, as shown by:
- Limited work/thesis required
- Use of experience for credit
- Reduced time for degree – PhD in 1 year rather than 4-5 years
- Accreditation by bogus accrediting bodies
- Some characteristics of unaccredited institutions with high credibility
- High credibility as shown by:
- Association with an accredited tertiary institution
- High academic performance that is well publicized
- Their programmes have been tested by the international community
Tips for choosing the right overseas College/University
- Many to choose from
- Some have a big ad budget
- Is it the right one for you?
Consider the following ACRONYM
C – cost
O – opportunities
L – legitimacy
L – location
E – environment
G – generate a short list
E – experiences
We expand on each one:
C – Cost
- College/university is expensive
- Must be realistic
- Tuition, accommodation, books, and transportation
O – Opportunities
- What are the programmes? Are there academic, and professional tracks?
- What about internships and opportunities to stay in-country after graduation?
- Are scholarships available?
L – Legitimacy
- Is the school accredited/recognized?
- Is it affiliated with another well-known college?
- Will your degree be accepted on your return?
L – Location
- Some persons want to get as far away as possible, others want to stay close.
- Cold weather, or hot weather?
- Easy flight connections?
- The location has cost implications
- What about on-line colleges?
E – Environment
- Where are you most comfortable?
- Big city, or rural?
- Big campus, or small campus?
- Religious Affiliation?
- Sports Activities
G – Generate a short list from all the information gathered.
- Select 5–10 schools
- Go through the list again and pick out the ones that feel right to you.
E – Experiences
- Where possible, find experiences from friends and family who studied at the colleges
- Facebook, Internet, Academic Community (rating)
Strategies for Reducing the Cost of Tertiary Education
10 Strategies for Reducing the Cost of Tertiary Education
- Get a scholarship. Some sources of scholarships in Antigua and Barbuda (Board of Education, Prime Minister’s Scholarship and Student Loan Fund etc.)
- Do an on-line programme (at home) at an accredited, or recognized university.
- Do a 2 + 2 programme
- Work on Campus
- Do a fast-track programme with reduced summer breaks.
- Do a double track programme
- Do an internship
- Work in the country of study for a year or two after graduating.
- Get an affordable student loan from any of the commercial banks in Antigua and Barbuda.
- Purchase second-hand books – hard copy, or e-books.
Give us a Call
Accreditation Assures Quality Education. Get professional guidance and prevent disappointment and loss of funds.
The Five P’s concerning your Tertiary Education: Proper Planning Prevents Poor Production.