[permaculture] Gaia University: Action Learning Degrees for EcoSocial Regeneration

Chris Watkins chriswaterguy at appropedia.org
Wed Oct 7 12:22:48 EDT 2009

On Wed, Oct 7, 2009 at 23:25, Juergen Botz <jurgen at botz.org> wrote:

> On 10/06/2009 02:00 PM, Chris Watkins wrote:
> > One thing that concerns me about Gaia University is that although the
> > Accreditation page talks a lot about accreditation, it basically takes a
> > long time avoiding a simple acknowledgment that it's not accredited
> > anywhere, with anyone.
> Can you explain how you arrived at this conclusion?  What it says on the
> accreditation page is that it's accredited with IMCA Socrates...

It doesn't exactly say that, actually.

Here is my interpretation. The Accreditation

"The IMCA SocratesTM system is the only system that can access accreditation
for higher degrees that meets both these criteria being a) truly
international and b) designed for project and work based action learning. It
is the clear choice for Gaia U.

Gaia University will continue to monitor developments in the international
accreditation context and, from time to time, review appropriate policy
decisions accordingly.
IMCA SocratesTM.

The Gaia University system is designed to be fully compliant with the IMCA
Socrates system, the world's foremost quality assurance system for business
and professional, work-place action learning"

Note that it says "designed to be compliant," not that accreditation has
been granted. This is exactly how obfuscating advertising lingo says "not
accredited". If they were accredited, surely they would have said so.

Further down it says:

"Gaia University program delivery and the learning designs for our programs
will thus be quality assured through the protocols specified by the IMCA
Socrates dynamic quality assurance (DQA) system. These require us to make
quarterly quality assurance returns, re-apply for our licence each year
after a quality review and to have all our key tutors and advisors meet
appropriate competence and qualification standards specified by IMCA

Again, these are statements of intent. Maybe they will live up to these
intentions, but this is about what they claim *will happen*. They don't
claim that any of these things have been done, or that they have ever met
IMCA's standards to date. If they had, I think they would say so.

However, it's all worded in such a way that the natural reading by a
trusting person is "we are accredited with IMCA Socrates," even though they
never make that exact claim. It takes a cynical pedant to notice this. :-)

It's possible that I'm wrong. If someone from Gaia can demonstrate that at
the time this was written they had already been accredited, then clearly I
have been too cynical and pedantic in this case.


> :j
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Chris Watkins

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