Triple accreditation

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Triple Accreditation is the accreditation awarded to 60 business schools worldwide by the three largest and most influential business school accreditation associations:

Triple-Accredited Schools
European Countries with Triple-Accredited Schools


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

Of the 13,670 schools offering business degree programs worldwide,[1] only 58 have Triple Accreditation as of November 2012. The diagram on the right shows the 55 triple-accredited schools outside of North America. Two triple-accredited schools are based in Canada and a further in Sheffield, UK not included in this diagram, bringing the worldwide total to 58. Recently Bradford University School of Management, UK has been added to this list.[E.g. for AACSB, the diagram interpretation is as follows: 53 schools are accredited only by AACSB; a further 7 are accredited by AACSB and AMBA; another 23 are accredited by AACSB and EQUIS; and 55 are accredited by all three accrediting bodies.]

A major reason for the small number of triple-accredited institutions in the world is the requirement of the Association of MBAs that AMBA-accredited business schools should only admit MBA applicants with at least three years of full-time post-graduation work experience.[2] Most top US business schools cannot meet this criterion as they sometimes (though rarely) admit applicants with only a bachelor's degree and little or no work experience. This may explain why triple-crown accreditation is pursued primarily by European institutions.[3]

Differences in Accreditation[edit]

Each of the three institutions assesses a business school according to different criteria and scope:[4][5][6]

Scope of business school accreditation for AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA
  • Scope of accreditation
AACSB has the broadest scope, as it accredits management and accounting programs at the entire university (e.g. management programs at the business school and the school of engineering) and grants university-wide accreditation.
AMBA has the most focused scope as it accredits only the business school's portfolios of MBA programs (full-time, part-time, executive, distance-learning), MBM programs (including MSc International Management) and DBA (also known as DMgt in China).
EQUIS's scope ranks in the middle, as it accredits the business school but not the university and not specific portfolios of programs.
  • Duration of the accreditation process
AACSB: 2–7 years
AMBA: 9–18 months
EQUIS: 2–3 years
  • Reaccreditation
AACSB: full re-accreditation every 5 or 10 years (the 10-year accreditation is being phased out)
AMBA: full re-accreditation every 3 or 5 years (1-year accreditation is a possible outcome of reaccreditation in exceptional circumstances)
EQUIS: full re-accreditation every 3 or 5 years
  • School audit team
AACSB's peer review team includes deans and business school administrators.
AMBA's assessment team includes deans, associate deans, program directors and one AMBA representative.
EQUIS's team includes only deans.
  • Evaluation report content
AACSB's report reflects compliance with the AACSB standards
AMBA's report includes compliance with criteria, commendations and recommendations
EQUIS's report reflects compliance with the EQUIS standards
  • Criteria/Standards size
AACSB: 77 pages for Business Accreditation; 36 pages for Accounting Accreditation
AMBA: 24 pages (9 pages for MBA; 9 pages for MBM; 6 pages for DBA)
EQUIS: 67 pages
  • Quantitative vs Qualitative
AACSB has more quantitative criteria (checklists)
AMBA has more qualitative criteria
EQUIS is in the middle (between AACSB and AMBA)
  • Internationalization
AACSB conducts the evaluation against the school's own mission, so AACSB has no internationalization requirement unless internationalization is part of the school's mission.
AMBA has internationalization criteria for research, curriculum and student enrolment. However, these are reviewed in a regional context for less internationalized regions (e.g. Latin America and Russia).
EQUIS has strict requirements on internationalization.
  • Faculty numbers
AACSB: prescribed faculty ratios (AQ/PQ ratio)
AMBA: no prescribed faculty-to-students ratio
EQUIS: prescribed minimum numbers of faculty
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?"
  • Visiting faculty
AACSB disapproves of heavy use of visiting faculty.
AMBA allows the visiting faculty model, as long as the visiting faculty are managed by the core faculty (and as long as the quality and course content is monitored).
EQUIS disapproves of heavy use of visiting faculty.
  • Research
AACSB requires research in line with the mission of the school.
AMBA requires research and publications in international refereed journals or proof of impactful research at national level.
EQUIS requires research with an international dimension.
  • Program-specific criteria
    AACSB has no program-specific standards since it evaluates the entire university.
    AMBA has program-specific criteria such as:
    • at least 3 years of full-time work experience for all admitted MBA students;
    • at least 500 contact hours (scheduled class hours) for a full-time MBA curriculum and a minimum of 120 contact hours for a distance-learning MBA;
    • at least 20 students enrolled in an MBA program;
    EQUIS has no program-specific standards since it evaluates the entire business school.
  • Accreditation fees
AACSB: 17,500 USD for initial business accreditation (or 26,800 USD for both business and accounting accreditation). In addition, an annual business accreditation fee is charged: 4,500 USD annually for a 5-year accreditation cycle or 2,500 USD annually for a 10-year accreditation cycle.[7]
AMBA: 22,000 GBP for initial accreditation or 15,000 GBP for re-accreditation.
EQUIS: 38,675 EUR for a 5-year initial accreditation or re-accreditation and 32,725 EUR for a 3-year initial accreditation or re-accreditation.[8]

Schools[edit]

There are 58 triple-accredited schools based in 25 countries and territories as of November 2012:[9][10][11]

Argentina[edit]

Australia[edit]

  • Queensland University of Technology - QUT
  • Monash University

Belgium[edit]

Brazil[edit]

Canada[edit]

China[edit]

Colombia[edit]

Denmark[edit]

Egypt[edit]

Finland[edit]

France[edit]

Germany[edit]

Ireland[edit]

Italy[edit]

Mexico[edit]

The Netherlands[edit]

New Zealand[edit]

Norway[edit]

Peru[edit]

Poland[edit]

Portugal[edit]

South Africa[edit]

Spain[edit]

Switzerland[edit]

UK[edit]

Venezuela[edit]

Top Schools without Triple Accreditation[edit]

Many of the world's top business schools are not triple-accredited, while several schools that appear low in the rankings have triple accreditation.

One reason for this is that some of the top business schools choose not to incur the financial cost of international accreditation and rely only on accreditation by their national accrediting body (usually the country's education ministry). The most notable example was the Desautels Faculty of Management of McGill University in Canada which had not received accreditation by any of the three global accrediting institutions: in 2013 it was accredited by EFMD's EQUIS program.

Another reason is that the top schools in some regions do not meet one or more of the detailed criteria of the accrediting institutions and choose not to amend their policy. Notable examples are all top US business schools: Harvard Business School, Wharton, Stanford GSB, Columbia Business School, Chicago Booth, etc., which do not meet AMBA's mandatory three-year student-work-experience requirement for all MBA applicants.

A third reason is that the 509 schools that have obtained AACSB accreditation in the US and Canada (either via the standard accreditation process or via the granting of accreditation based on their reputation as top schools) do not look outside of North America for further validation, such as through European or British accreditation.

See also[edit]

References[edit]