AACSB Accreditation Extended to 17 Business Schools: MBA News | TopMBA.com

AACSB Accreditation Extended to 17 Business Schools: MBA News

By QS Contributor

Updated August 27, 2014 Updated August 27, 2014

AACSB accreditation has been extended to 17 business schools across Europe, Asia and the US.

With the new additions, the total number of business schools accredited by AACSB (the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) is now over 700, spanning 47 countries, in addition to 180 institutions that hold specialized accreditation for accounting. In total, around 5% of the world’s business schools hold AACSB accreditation.

The newly accredited institutions include Black Hills State University, Dominican University (both US), ESSCA École de Management (France), the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management (Germany), Northumbria University and the University of Birmingham (both UK). The inclusion of Universitas Gadjah Mada and the BI Norwegian Business School  mean that Indonesia and Norway can boast schools with AACSB accreditation for the first time.

“AACSB is pleased to congratulate the newly accredited institutions… and are excited to add two more countries to the worldwide roster of business schools with AACSB accreditation,” said Robert D Reid, executive vice president and chief accreditation officer at AACSB International.

But is AACSB accreditation good for business education?

Business schools are faced with the tough challenge of balancing the need to differentiate and modernize their curricula with the standardization that accreditation demands.

“In today's complex world, it takes a great deal of determination to earn AACSB accreditation… schools must not only meet specific standards of excellence, but all parties involved – deans, heads of business units, academic and non-academic staff – must make the commitment to ongoing improvement to ensure that the institution will continue to deliver the highest quality of education to every student,” said Reid.

Such demands invariably impact the flexibility of business schools to set their curricula. A criticism that is increasingly being leveled at business schools is that conformity to rigid curricula doesn’t prepare MBA graduates for ‘real world’ business. Strict adherence to AACSB accreditation standards (as well as those of other accrediting bodies) limit the ability of faculty members to engage with students on ever-changing and dynamic business issues and also takes the focus away from other issues, such as the lack of business experience among business school professors.

AACSB International, founded in 1916, is an association of more than 1,400 educational institutions, businesses, and other organizations in 88 countries and territories. AACSB's mission is to advance quality management education worldwide through accreditation, thought leadership, and value-added services.

This article was originally published in May 2014 . It was last updated in August 2014

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