Association of MBAs
Association of MBAs
|Motto||Be in Brilliant Company|
|Purpose||Business school accreditation|
|233 accredited schools|
The Association of MBAs (AMBA) is a global MBA-focused accreditation organization and a worldwide MBA alumni club, founded in London in 1967. AMBA accredits around 2% of the world's business schools. All MBA students and alumni of the 238 accredited schools join AMBA as individual members free of charge.
The London-based 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 54 countries, compared with 48 for AACSB and 38 for EQUIS.
Business schools can become associated with AMBA in two ways: by applying for accreditation, or by applying for membership in the AMBA Development Network (which confers institutional membership similar to EFMD or AACSB membership). School which cannot meet all AMBA accreditation criteria usually join the AMBA Development Network (ADN), which gives them time to prepare for accreditation with support from AMBA and mentoring from an AMBA-accredited school.
AMBA's long-serving president is Sir Paul Judge, the founding benefactor of Cambridge Judge Business School. The AMBA Chief Executive is Andrew Main Wilson, who joined the Association in August 2013. Chairman of the AMBA Board of Trustees is Len Jones, elected in September 2014.
As of August 2016, the Association of MBAs has accredited 238 business schools (headquartered in 54 countries), which offer more than 800 different MBA, DBA and MBM programs in over 80 countries. Around 80 of the AMBA-accredited schools are in the BRIC countries and 33 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.
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). 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. 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. The Association's current president is Sir Paul Judge, who helped establish Cambridge Judge Business School in 1990 and whose name the school carries.
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.
- 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
The Association of MBAs holds three high-profile annual conferences for business school deans and directors: 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.
Additionally, the Association of MBAs runs global yearly Forums with the purpose of development and training for specific functions within AMBA accredited business schools such as accreditation managers, programme managers and development staff.
The Association also organizes on a regular 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.
- List of institutions accredited by AMBA
- Triple accreditation
- Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
- European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS)
Notes and references
- "Andreas Kaplan: European Management and European Business Schools: Insights from the History of Business Schools, European Management Journal, 2014".
- Association of MBAs fabulous at forty, Ambition, January 2007 http://www.mbaworld.com:81/MBAWorld/jsp/images/knowledge/Ambition_newsletter_jan07_pdf_version.pdf
- Financial Times. Aug 1, 2006. AMBA accredits DBAs. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/719bdd34-7c30-11e2-99f0-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2MO9r1rxB
- Events for business schools - Association of MBAs. Mbaworld.com. Retrieved on 2013-08-12.