Is MBA Accreditation Important?
The goal of accreditation is to ensure that education provided by Institutions of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality.”
- U.S. Department of Education
Accreditation is a voluntary activity initiated by the institution that requires a rigorous self-evaluation and an independent, objective appraisal of the overall educational quality by peers. Accreditation emphasizes quality assurance and a commitment to continuous quality enhancement.
Why is Accreditation Important?
Accreditation is important because it:
- Helps determine if an institution meets or exceeds minimum standards of quality.
- Helps students determine acceptable institutions for enrollment.
- Assist institutions in determining acceptability of transfer credits. Read more about the transfer of credits.
- Helps employers determine the validity of programs of study and whether a graduate is qualified. Employers often require evidence that applicants have received a degree from an accredited school or program.
- Helps employers determine eligibility for employee tuition reimbursement programs.
- Enables graduates to sit for certification examinations.
- Involves staff, faculty, students, graduates, and advisory boards in institutional evaluation and planning.
- Creates goals for institutional self-improvement.
- Provides a self-regulatory alternative for state oversight functions.
- Provides a basis for determining eligibility for federal student assistance. Students must attend an accredited institution to apply for federal grants or loans.
The quality standards that can help you pick a business school with more confidence
Accreditation from a reputable organization is one good way to check the quality of a business school. Accreditation organizations evaluate the quality standards of a business school’s teaching, faculty, services, and students, among other things.
The three most-coveted, international accreditations for MBA programs are those awarded by AACSB, AMBA, and EQUIS; their methodologies and regional focuses are briefly described below.
In 2016, there were 73 business schools worldwide that were accredited by all three of the below organizations. This distinction is often referred to as the “triple accreditation.”
The US- and Singapore-based Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accredits business schools offering graduate and undergraduate business programs. It began doing this in 1919, as the longest serving global association dedicated to advancing management education worldwide, AACSB accredits 761 of the world’s best business schools across 52 countries and territories.
An AACSB accreditation in business represents a positive evaluation of a “school’s mission, operations, faculty qualifications and contributions, programs, and other critical areas.” Schools are reevaluated every five years.
The Association of MBAs (AMBA) is the international impartial authority on postgraduate business education, established in 1967 by a small group of business graduates with the aim to raise the profile of business education and the MBA qualification in UK and Europe. Today, there accreditation service is the global standard for all MBA, DBA and MBM programmes. We currently accredit programmes at over 200 business schools in more than 70 different countries. They are the only professional membership association connecting MBA students and graduates, accredited business schools and MBA employers in more than 110 countries.
AMBA accredits over 230 business schools in more than 70 different countries.
There accreditation process reflects this commitment to fostering innovation and challenges business schools to continuously perform at the highest level.
The EFMD Quality Improvement System (EQUIS) is a school accreditation system. It specializes in higher education institutions of management and business administration, run by the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD). EFMD offers a number of accreditations, but EQUIS focuses on institutions that offer undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral business programs, including the MBA.
EQUIS evaluates a business school’s governance, strategy, programs, students, faculty, research and development, executive education, contribution to the community, resources and administration, internationalization, and corporate connections.
Most of over 150 EQUIS-accredited business schools are located in Europe or the UK. As of 2016, only three US business schools had earned an EQUIS accreditation. The countries with the most EQUIS-accredited business schools include the UK (26), France (17), and China (18)