Is There a Focus on Information Literacy as a Transversal Skill Within the Institutional Accreditation Process?

  • Elitsa Lozanova-BelchevaEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 676)


The aim of the paper is to compare the standards and criteria of different organizations that accredit some of the top universities in the world according to the QS World University Rankings for 2015/2016. Regional accreditation organizations in USA support information literacy outcomes, but I found some differences between their practices and the criteria of other accrediting agencies. Information literacy is mentioned as important indicator of students’ competency in some of them, but not in others. The paper also investigates the Criteria system for institutional accreditation of higher schools in Bulgaria where standards are similar with regulations of the quality of university programs around the world but without a focus on information literacy. The conclusions refer to insufficient awareness of the importance of information literacy as a transversal skill in the digital society and its role for the social inclusion of young people.


Information literacy Transversal skills Institutional accreditation Higher education institutions Accreditation standards 


  1. 1.
    Bradley, C.: Information literacy in the programmatic university accreditation standards of select professions in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. J. Inf. Lit. 7(1), 44–68 (2013).
  2. 2.
    Saunders, L.: Perspectives on accreditation and information literacy as reflected in the literature of library and information science. J. Acad. Librarianship 34(4), 305–313 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Saunders, L.: Regional accreditation organizations’ treatment of information literacy: definitions, collaboration, and assessment. J. Acad. Librarianship 33(3), 317–326 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Gratch-Lindauer, B.: Comparing the regional accreditation standards: outcomes assessment and other trends. J. Acad. Librarianship 28(1), 14–25 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Oakleaf, M.: The Value of Academic Libraries: A Comprehensive Research Review and Report. Association of College and Research Libraries, Chicago (2010)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Thompson, G.B.: Information literacy accreditation mandates: what they mean for faculty and librarians. Lib. Trends 51, 218–241 (2002)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Becher, M.: Instruction coordinators and higher education accreditation: a study of awareness and assessment documentation use. J. Acad. Librarianship 39, 573–581 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    QS Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. QS World University Rankings® 2015/16.
  9. 9.
    4 International Colleges & Universities.
  10. 10.
    NEASC’s Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE). Standards for Accreditation (2011).
  11. 11.
    NEASC’s Commission on Institutions of Higher Education (CIHE). Standards for Accreditation (2016).
  12. 12.
    WSCUC Handbook of Accreditation (2013, Revised 2015).
  13. 13.
    Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The Criteria for Accreditation and Core Components.
  14. 14.
    Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Characteristics of Excellence in Higher Education: Requirements of Affiliation and Standards for Accreditation.
  15. 15.
    Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The Principles of Accreditation: Foundations for Quality Enhancement (2012).
  16. 16.
    National Evaluation and Accreditation Agency Criteria System for Institutional Accreditation of higher schools (2011).

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”SofiaBulgaria

Personalised recommendations