European-American University is empowered to operate as a university and to grant degrees by multiple separately-issued and partially overlapping legal authorities which are detailed below. Not all authorities will apply to every degree that is issued by the University, and the choice of authorities will depend on factors including the field of the degree as well as student preference. For example, the University’s authority in the United States of America applies only to degrees in a specific range of disciplines issued in a religious context. All degrees issued by the University can be legalized with the Apostille (for countries which are members of the Hague Convention) or Consular Legalization (for non-Hague Convention countries).
European-American University is a private university and is not a state or government-controlled university. It accepts no state or government funding and is not part of state or government scholarship schemes. The University operates on an international basis, federating educational resources in different countries through the medium of the Internet and through distance education. It is conceived as a social enterprise established for the betterment of mankind through promoting affordable access to educational programmes that would otherwise be unavailable.
The University’s legal authorities are given below with the oldest being given first.
- Bunyoro-Kitara (Uganda)
- United States of America (Florida)
1. BUNYORO-KITARA (Uganda)
Royal Charter of Incorporation in the Kingdom of Bunyoro-Kitara, Uganda
European-American University is incorporated and empowered as a University in the Kingdom of Bunyoro-Kitara by a Royal Charter of Incorporation issued by H.M. the Omukama of Bunyoro-Kitara on 6 February 2012. Bunyoro-Kitara is one of the subnational kingdoms of the Republic of Uganda. H.M. The Omukama (King) of the Kingdom of Bunyoro-Kitara and the Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom itself were restored by the Amendment [No. 8] Act – Statute No. 8, Article 118 (1)- of 1993 enacted by the Parliament of Uganda. They are officially recognized and protected by the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda viz.: Chapter IV. –Article 37.-, Chapter XVI. -Article 246. (1) – (6)- of 1995 and by the Amendment [No. 2] Act -schedule V. -Article 178.8- of 2005 and by the Acts Supplement [No. 4] -Act 6. of 2011. Under Amendment (No. 2) Act 1995, His Majesty is the titular head of the regional government and assembly of Bunyoro-Kitara and opens, addresses and closes sessions of the assembly. His Majesty is assisted by his Principal Private Secretary, a Cabinet of twenty-one Ministers and a Orukurato (Parliament). His Majesty is the Royal Patron of European-American University. The Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom was incorporated by Trust Deed under the law of the Republic of Uganda on 11 June 2007.
Bunyoro-Kitara enjoys a semi-autonomous status within the Republic of Uganda in which certain legislative rights are reserved to its monarch, including the right to issue Letters Patent and Royal Charters. The legal prerogatives exercised by the Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom are wholly independent of the central authorities of the Republic of Uganda. European-American University is not a domestic Ugandan university nor is it regulated or licensed by the Ugandan Ministry of Education. Its authority is derived directly from Bunyoro-Kitara’s subnational autonomy in matters of governance.
Incorporation as an international private university in Panama
European-American University is further incorporated as European-American University, S.A., in the Republic of Panama under Law 32 of 1927 by Public Deed no. 18.209 executed by Notary Public Twelfth of the Circuit of Panama, on 8 July 2019, recorded in the Public Registry Office of Panama, Mercantile Section, Folio 155682084, on 9 July 2019. The Articles of Incorporation empower European-American University, S.A., as an international private university and are its source of authority to operate as a self-regulating institution. The incorporation of European-American University, S.A., can be verified at the Registro Público of Panama.
European-American University, S.A., is not a domestic Panamanian university and does not hold the governmental institutional or programmatic licensing that is applicable to domestic Panamanian universities. In Panama, private universities are subject to institutional and programmatic licensing by governmental authorities only in respect of their activities within Panamanian territory. This process consists primarily of the fiscalización certification of degree-granting institutions undertaken by CONEAUPA (under article 95 of the Panamanian Constitution and articles 1 and 13 of Law 11 of 1981). European-American University has never offered any programmes within Panama, but if it chooses to do so in the future, it will first need to apply for and receive fiscalización.
Panamanian law also allows for the incorporation of private international universities that intend to offer their programmes wholly outside Panamanian territory, and that are therefore effectively offshore entities. For these universities, no licensing or approval is available and the programmes offered are the responsibility of the institution concerned solely. At the present time, European-American University offers no programmes and conducts no activities within Panamanian territory.
3. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Religious authorization in the State of Florida, United States of America
In the State of Florida, USA, European-American University and Theological Seminary is authorized by Florida Statute 1005.06(1)(f) to confer degrees as confirmed by its listing on the website of the Commission for Independent Education. It is restricted to educational programmes that prepare students for religious vocations as ministers, professionals, or laypersons in the categories of ministry, counseling, theology, education, administration, music, fine arts, media communications, or social work, and the degree titles that may be awarded are further specified. Honorary degrees are awarded according to the authorization provided in Florida Admin. Code Ann. R. 6E-1.0041. In the United States, European-American University and Theological Seminary operates as an integrated auxiliary of the Apostolic Episcopal Church, a continuing Anglican denomination. Churches (including their integrated auxiliaries such as European-American University and Theological Seminary) that meet the requirements of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code are automatically considered tax exempt.
All programmes are open to students without requirement of any specific religious beliefs.
Further religious authorization in the USA
In addition to the statutory authority under which European-American University and Theological Seminary operates in the State of Florida, it also operates under the statutory authority and/or exemptions provided for religious degree-awarding bodies operating via distance learning in other states.
This authority and/or exemptions are dependent on the parent religious nonprofit corporation of the Apostolic Episcopal Church in Hawaii (file number 314114 D9), of which European-American University and Theological Seminary is an integrated auxiliary. This corporation has mandatory tax exemption as a church under 26 US Code 508(c)(1)(A).
Note that the precise degree titles permitted or restricted by these legal authorities may differ from those that are permitted under the Florida statute above. For enquiry as to the authority that applies to any specific degree title in respect of the state(s) concerned, please contact the University. The following is a non-exhaustive list:
- Arizona (Arizona Revised Statutes 32-3022(e))
- Hawaii (Hawaii Revised Statutes 305J-3(a)(7) and (9); Hawaii Administrative Rules 16-255-3)
- Indiana (Indiana Code 21-18.5-2-12(b)(7))
- Nebraska (Nebraska Revised Statutes 85-2403 (9)(b)(iv))
- South Dakota (South Dakota Codified Laws 13-48-41)
The statutory authority and/or exemptions provided by the above laws are not dependent upon any specific process of institutional authorization or review by the state. They constitute, in and of themselves, the entire authority under which a religious degree-granting institution may operate in each case.
European-American University was registered in France as an association sans but lucratif (non-profit association) under the law of I July 1901, by the Préfecture of Police in Paris on 17 March 2022 with reference W751264314, published in the government Journal Officiel with reference 1432 on 29 March 2022. The publication in the Journal Officiel can be verified online:
The objects of the University’s registration in France are to offer higher education to national and international students. As a non-profit association, the University in France enjoys automatic tax exemption.
In France, the provision of higher education is free and can be undertaken by both state and private providers (French Code de l’éducation Article L.151-6). Many of the latter are constituted as non-profit associations.
The legislation of the French Code of Education, specifically Article L.731-14, permits private providers of higher education to offer their own private degrees at all levels of postsecondary education. The official and legal status of the degrees awarded by French private providers of higher education is that of certificats d’enseignement supérieur privés, and not titres ou grades universitaires (university titles or levels) which may only be awarded by public, state universities in France. The French academic system does not use the word “degree”. Certificats d’enseignement supérieur privés may be designated as representing any postsecondary level of achievement and are comparable to the private degrees issued in other European countries such as Switzerland. Certain licensable areas specified by French law (medicine, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, etc.) cannot be offered by private providers, and certain French academic titles are prohibited from use by private providers. There is no system in France whereby these private degrees can achieve any additional accreditation or endorsement by the state, and therefore they stand purely on their own merits.
The University implements the French VAE (Validation des acquis de l’expérience) law dated 17 January, 2002 by distance, following the assessment of degrees completed at recognized universities (such as European-American University under its other legal authorities below) and the assessment of work experience or other specialized postsecondary level training. The VAE juries are made up of members of the University’s Fellowship and other academic experts as required. The University does not maintain any physical facilities or establishment in France and offers no educational programmes or courses there.
5. THE INTERNATIONAL CONTEXT
While the word “accreditation” is commonly used to describe the status of universities internationally, in a number of countries, the legal status required to confer degrees is often entirely separate from government or private systems of accreditation or licensing. These systems may be purely voluntary and are directed largely towards quality assurance. In some countries, no such “accreditation” may exist for private institutions, or given categories of institutions (such as religious institutions) may be exempted from accreditation and/or licensing. In these cases they are authorized either directly by statute or exist in a context that is not subject to restriction by law.
The status of European-American University as a private international education provider sometimes causes some confusion as to how it should be categorized within the educational spectrum. It will be seen that private and religious education providers are not always listed in official publications and databases of tertiary institutions, notwithstanding their legality and legitimacy.
One approach to the matter is provided by the European Area of Recognition (a consortium consisting of a number of national recognition bodies from European Union member states), whose European Area of Recognition Manual (European Area of Recognition Manual: Practical Guidelines for Fair Recognition of Qualifications; Nuffic, 2012) contains a chapter devoted to “Non-Recognised but Legitimate Institutions” (chapter 16, p. 69). This says,
“When an institution is not recognised in a national system, it is important to not simply dismiss it. An effort should be made to ascertain whether the institution can be considered to be a legitimate provider even though it is not officially recognised, in which case a fair and transparent assessment is still possible. ‘A Non-recognised but legitimate institution’ refers to institutions which are not formally recognised by the authorities officially responsible for the accreditation and recognition of institutions in a given system, but which may offer study programmes of comparable level to other formally recognised programmes. Such institutions may include government or military institutions, adult education centres or religious seminaries.”
This statement correctly recognizes that adult education centres, such as European-American University, may have their origins and maintain their operations independently from the mainstream of national systems of education, and goes on to say that some (as in the case of the University) may also be transnational education providers. It recommends an approach to recognition based on the gathering of information and research about the institution in question. Having given an example of the approach for dealing with a credential from a religious institution that is not accredited by the relevant quality assurance authority in the home country, it recommends that “An analysis of the qualification may lead to some form of recognition, on the basis of the course entry requirements, duration, structure, learning outcomes and any external quality assurance mechanisms which may apply. Details of research conducted and the decision made are then saved centrally to ensure consistency in future assessments.” (p.70)
6. PAST STATUS
The University was first incorporated in the Commonwealth of Dominica under Statutory Rules and Orders No. 65 of 1996, where it was registered until the re-organization of its administration in 2019. In that year, the University’s Dominican corporation was replaced by its corporation in Panama which is detailed above. Dominica has since acted to repeal Statutory Rules and Orders No. 65 of 1996, which means that the legal form under which the University was formerly registered now no longer exists.
The University was awarded a Parliamentary Charter and Decree of Official Accreditation and Recognition on 29 July 2008 by the former International States Parliament for Safety and Peace, an intergovernmental organization with observer status at the United Nations. The ISPSP ceased to exist on the death of its founder in 2013.