An important step in selecting or considering a business school is to check whether it is accredited or not. If a college or school is not accredited, never ever apply for it. Not only that it is accredited, but you must also check who it is accredited with. In this article, we will explain what accreditation is: its definition, importance, recognized bodies and some details about them.
It is an act of granting credit to educational institutions for meeting standards and quality requirements. It is an affirmation of the quality assurance to distinguish schools who meet high standards of education. The process involves a set of rigorous methods to evaluate a school’s efficiency and effectiveness in delivering its program. It is a detailed process where in several indicators, factors and parameters are checked according to some strict principles and thereby affirming the institution’s high standards in the context of meeting the expectations of the stakeholders. It is not necessary to go into these details of the whole process nor is it important to list every single body awarding accreditation. For the purpose of seeking entrance to a business school (and also for the purpose of this article) it is sufficient to know its meaning and importance and the top three accrediting agencies which are globally recognized.
Types of Accreditation
It is important to know about the types of accreditation as these may be a little bit misleading for a new student. There are two kinds of accreditation: institutional and specialized. The former is awarded to the whole institution like to the whole university irrespective of its various disciplines and fields. It is an overall recognition of a university and is generally awarded by the country’s accreditation bodies. The later is Specialized or professional accreditation which is awarded to a university for a specific discipline. If you are seeking to apply to a business school, it is very important to check that the school has professional or specialized accreditation for its MBA. A good MBA school shall always have a Specialized Accreditation irrespective of the fact that the University has an institutional one.
Who Awards it?
There may be some schools who claim to be accredited. This is, however, not sufficient unless the claim is supported by the fact they are accredited by top awarding bodies. There are many organizations around the world awarding accreditation, but the irony is that, in some cases, they are themselves not recognized. It is, therefore, extremely important to know the accrediting body. Here, we would mention three most popular and well-known accrediting bodies. An ideal situation is that a Top Business School should be accredited by all these three bodies while a good school should have an accreditation of, at least, one.
AACSB stands for The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business based in the United States. They have a process of rigorous methods to ensure the quality of the schools program. Any school accredited by AACSB is regarded very prestigious. They accredit only 15 schools in the UK, 16 in France, 10 in Australia, 7 in Germany, one in Ireland, 2 in Japan and many in the States.
AMBA stands for the Association of MBAs and is based in the UK. It also has a limited number of accreditation worldwide because of its stringent methods. AMBA may not be regarded as prestigious as AACSB but is still considered as one of the best global accrediting bodies.
The following table shows the number of schools AMBA currently accredits.
|Name of Country/ Region||Name of School|
|East Eurpe and Russia||18|
|Austalia & Newzealand||8|
It stands for European Quality Improvement System. They provide accreditation on general quality. Equis also takes into account how far the business school has succeeded in its level of internationalization. AACSB and AMBA do not require this level. In some respects EQUIS is more demanding even than AACSB. It has been reported that EQUIS accredited school have been successful in their application to AACSB while it is not the same the other way round!
As mentioned earlier, the Top Business Schools should have all the three accreditations. You can check it on the websites of any particular school. The first choice should be that a school is accredited by all these three bodies, the second choice by two and the third by, at least, one. Although, there are many other regional and global organizations claiming to be internationally respected accrediting bodies; we think that if a school is not recognized (bare minimum) by one of these three top accreditation agenciess, best advice would be not to apply to that school. However, it must be noted, that certain applicants my need an MBA degree irrespective of any accreditation which shall absolutely depend upon their individual requirements.