Association of MBAs

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Association of MBAs
Association of MBAs Logo.svg
Abbreviation AMBA
Motto Inspiring Global Excellence
Formation 1967
Type Charity
Purpose Business school accreditation
Headquarters London, UK
Region served Global
Membership 217 accredited schools
President Sir Paul Judge
Website www.mbaworld.com

The Association of MBAs (AMBA) is a London-based international portfolio-accrediting organization with a focus on MBA programs at business schools worldwide. The Association is one of the three main global accreditation bodies in business education (see Triple Accreditation) and styles itself "the world's impartial authority on postgraduate management education". It differs from AACSB in the US and EQUIS in Brussels as it accredits a school's portfolio of postgraduate management programs but does not accredited undergraduate programs. AMBA is the most international of the three organizations, having accredited schools based in 52 countries, compared with 42 for AACSB and 38 for EQUIS.

AMBA's current president is Sir Paul Judge, the founding benefactor of Cambridge Judge Business School.

Feb 2014 Survey Results among MBA applicants, in response to the question: "Which of the following accreditations is/was most important to you when choosing a business school?"

Global presence[edit]

As of July 2014, the Association of MBAs has accredited 217 business schools offering more than 800 different MBA, DBA and MBM programs in over 85 countries (including the 52 home countries of the 210 institutions). Forty-five of the AMBA-accredited schools are in the BRIC countries and 32 are in Latin America (See List of institutions accredited by AMBA). The Association has accredited only one business school in the United States as most top US schools do not meet its criterion for a minimum of three years of full-time work experience for all admitted MBA students.

This is a world map of AMBA-accredited business schools by country.

History[edit]

The Association of MBAs was founded in 1967 as an MBA alumni club by eight UK graduates from Harvard Business School, Wharton, Stanford and Columbia, and two graduates from the first intake of London Business School. The founders saw a lack of awareness in Europe of the value of the MBA degree, which at that time was primarily an American qualification. They decided to form a lobby and membership group to promote the benefits of postgraduate business education, under the name of Business Graduates Association (BGA).[1] The organisation's development helped shape the growth of management education in Europe and the UK and coincided with the setting up and growth of London Business School and Manchester Business School in Britain.

The Association's first Director General was Vice-Admiral David Clutterbuck who assumed this position in 1969.[2] In 1983 BGA began to accredit the growing number of MBA programs, while preserving its functions as a membership organization. BGA was renamed Association of MBAs in 1987.[3] The Association's current president is Sir Paul Judge, who helped establish Cambridge Judge Business School in 1990 and whose name the school carries.

Activities[edit]

Accreditation[edit]

Scope of business school accreditation for AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA
Number of schools with single, double and triple (AACSB-AMBA-EQUIS) accreditation outside North America

The Association of MBAs accredits Masters of Business Administration (MBA), Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) and Masters in Business and Management (MBM) degrees. When a school applies for accreditation for its MBA programs, AMBA requires that the entire portfolio of MBA programs be put up for consideration (See diagram on the right) and will award accreditation only if all programs meet its criteria (though the school pays the same fee regardless of the number of programs being reviewed).

The Association's process of accrediting a school's MBA programs portfolio includes reviewing compliance with over 100 criteria, most of them qualitative rather than quantitative. The criteria fall into seven dimensions: history and development of the institution; facilities and libraries; teaching faculty, teaching standards and research track record; program administration, career and alumni services; student admission standards, diversity and cohort size; curriculum content, program mode and duration; and learning outcomes.

Some of the key AMBA criteria for the accreditation of an MBA program include:[4]

  • all admitted students should have at least three years of full-time post-graduation work experience upon the start of the MBA course (a criterion which the vast majority of the top US business schools cannot meet as US MBA programs sometimes admit applicants with only a bachelor's degree and no work experience);
  • a new school applying for accreditation should have a track record of at least three years of graduating MBA students before it can be accredited;
  • an MBA program should have a cohort size of at least 20 students.
  • at least 50% of the faculty of an MBA program (including visiting faculty as part of the total) are expected to have PhD degrees;
  • a full-time MBA curriculum should contain no less than 500 contact (scheduled classroom) hours and a distance-learning MBA program should have no less than 120 synchronous contact hours;

The diagram on the right shows the overlap of accreditations by the three main global accrediting bodies as of 2012. A total of 102 schools outside North America are only AMBA-accredited; a further 7 are AMBA- & AACSB-accredited; another 21 are AMBA- & EQUIS-accredited; and 54 are triple-accredited (AMBA-AACSB-EQUIS).

Conferences, MBA fairs and events[edit]

The Association of MBAs holds three high-profile annual conferences for business school deans and directors:[5] an Asia-Pacific, a Latin American and a global one (usually held in Europe). Participation is open to both accredited and non-accredited schools. The Association also hosts an annual Gala Dinner in London in the autumn, which is open only to accredited schools.

The Association organizes two annual MBA Fairs in London (spring and autumn), which offer MBA applicants the opportunity to meet with the business schools accredited by AMBA.

In addition, the Association organizes on a weekly basis various webinars, lectures and networking events catering to MBA alumni, current MBA students, prospective MBA students and business school admissions departments. These on-campus events are held at business schools and often feature distinguished speakers and practitioners in fields such as leadership, entrepreneurship and innovation.

Publications and research[edit]

The Association of MBAs publishes:[6]

  • a quarterly magazines named "Ambition" for its member students and alumni;
  • a quarterly magazine named "Business Leadership Review" (BLR) for the management education community, with 4,000 subscribers;
  • an annual guide book named "The Official Guide to Choosing an MBA",[7] published in cooperation with The Independent, for people considering doing an MBA degree.

The research division within the Association - the Evidence & Ideas Lab - conducts annual surveys and produces analysis on topics including MBA careers, employers and the job market; MBA intake and admissions statistics; government policies towards international MBA students; and business school education standards.

Membership[edit]

AMBA was originally set up as an association of MBA graduates and part of its activities remain focused on maintaining the membership dimension.[8] AMBA membership should not be confused with AMBA accreditation.

AMBA serves as the member organization for:

  • individual MBA alumni and students from all 217 AMBA-accredited schools (individuals who choose to become members);
  • institutional group members such as some British, French and Australian accredited business schools, whose entire MBA student and alumni cohorts are automatically enrolled as members;
  • institutional members such as multinational companies employing large numbers of MBA graduates. These companies are allowed to join AMBA as members irrespective of the academic background of their management and employees.

The Association has over 9,000 subscribing members, including individual and institutional members and students and alumni of the member schools.[9] AMBA's quarterly magazine "Ambition"[10] serves this global membership.

Notes and references[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]