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Accreditation Service for International Colleges

 

The Accreditation Service for International Schools, Colleges and Universities (ASIC UK) is an independent international educational standards assessment agency based in the United Kingdom. ASIC has been appointed by the United Kingdom Government's Home Office UK Border Agency.
ASIC is one of the accreditation bodies that has been recognized since 2007 by the now superseded UK Border Agency. According to its own website, ASIC has accredited 148 colleges and universities in the UK, and around 80 worldwide, of which 15 are US-based institutions.
In 2009, The Times reported that Maurice Dimmock, ASIC's director and chief officer, had been sacked in 2003 from his job at Northumbria University as director of overseas operations. The article stated that the newspaper had "established that the Home Office received, and ignored, concerns about ASIC and Mr Dimmock before it granted the company a contract. Northumbria University wrote to the UK Home Office in May 2007 to question the role the company was about to be given in distinguishing between genuine and bogus colleges." Universities UK, the advocacy group for British Universities, complained to the UK Immigration Minister concerning ASIC being given an accreditation role in the UK immigration scheme. In a letter to the Home Affairs Committee, Advocacy UK wrote: "There is a lack of information and transparency about (ASIC's) management, governance and financial structures. Several of the colleges that it accredits have been associated with inappropriate activities." The government response to this was a statement that the 2007 decision was made on the basis of the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills's report that they were satisfied with the way ASIC was operating. ASIC responded to the allegations concerning its work of distinguishing between genuine colleges and those acting fraudulently had been hampered "by the Home Office’s refusal to tell ASIC how many student visas were issued for each college it inspects."
In July 2009, ASIC submitted a response memorandum providing answers to the letter written by Diana Warwick, Baroness Warwick of Undercliffe, Chief Executive of Universities UK in which she had expressed concerns about the government’s decision to approve the ASIC as one of the accreditation bodies within the new immigration system. In the response, ASIC provided information as to its accreditation and inspection processes and responded to charges regarding the organization's governance and finances.