The Accreditation, Certification and Quality Assurance Institute ACQUIN is a registered association with recognised non-profit status. Its members include more than 150 higher education institutions (HEIs) in Germany and abroad as well as professional and trade associations close to science.

ACQUIN’s goal is to carry out nationwide and cross-university accreditations of Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes in all disciplines in order to ensure a high quality of degree programmes, to create market transparency, to increase the attractiveness of HEIs for foreign students and to promote the comparability of academic degrees.

The internal structures of ACQUIN and the composition of its committees promote the implementation of objective procedures, lead to objective results and thus increase their acceptance.

Independent representatives of professional practice and students are members in the committees and are thus involved to an appropriate extent in the decision-making processes.


The introduction of accreditation procedures is based on resolutions of the German Rectors’ Conference of July 1998 and the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of December 1998 in connection with the expansion and differentiation of the system of study programmes and university degrees in Germany. The Accreditation Council was established in June 1999 for the coordination of the assessment procedures and the certification of accreditation agencies.

In May 2000, the Bavarian Rectors’ Conference decided to establish an independent agency for the accreditation of Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes. From the beginning, the initiative of the Bavarian universities was supported by universities and technical colleges from Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Austria, Saxony and Thuringia. The non-profit association Accreditation, Certification and Quality Assurance-Institut ACQUIN e.V. was founded on 26 January 2001 and was accredited by resolution of the Accreditation Council in a first accreditation procedure till 30 June 2006 without any conditions. ACQUIN has been reaccredited until 30 June 2021.


The aim of ACQUIN is to contribute to shaping the European Higher Education Area and to ensure the comparability of the quality of higher education qualifications.

The core task of ACQUIN’s work is to promote the quality of university education and to support the establishment of a quality culture at higher education institutions in Germany and abroad. The implementation of all quality assurance procedures in Germany and abroad is based on the international standards of good practice, especially on the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG).

As a self-governing institution of HEIs, ACQUIN is free from state influence and independent in the spirit of academic standards and traditions.


The quality policy of the accreditation agency is aimed at continuously further developing the high standards, the target group and service orientation of its procedures. In order to improve the quality of the processes, concrete and measurable quality objectives are defined and evaluated with regard to their achievement.

  • Evaluation of the procedure by the higher education institution
  • Evaluation of the procedure by the experts
  • Key figure supported quality monitoring

  • Complaints procedure for higher education institutions
  • Further development of the internal quality management system by the QM team

Comprehensive information about the agency’s internal quality management system can be found in ACQUIN’s Quality Management Manual.


ACQUIN is active in the following areas

Interdisciplinary accreditation of national Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programmes

Interdisciplinary accreditation of international Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD degree programmes

National system accreditation procedures

International Procedures of Institutional Accreditation

Certifications of continuous education programmes

Partner in ERASMUS+ projects