The AACSB, the US accreditation body, is contacting all its partner schools this week with details of the proposed changes to its quality control processes, which it hopes to implement from April.
Following two years of discussions, the AACSB’s Blue Ribbon committee has proposed several major changes to its accreditation standards. These include the inclusion of non-degree executive courses in the accreditation process for those schools that accrue 15 per cent or more of their revenues through these short courses.
Also, universities that have several business schools under their one roof will soon be able to submit individual schools for the accreditation process. There are some additional changes to the way faulty are described and counted, too.
However, the committee will not recommend introducing tiers of accreditation, as practised by the AACSB’s European rival Equis. Equis accredits schools for three years or five years, depending on the quality of the institution. Instead, the AACSB will list schools in three categories depending on the types of programmes they teach: doctoral programmes, masters programmes or undergraduate programmes.
Schools will be given the option to choose the category in which they are listed, says Joseph DiAngelo, dean of the Haub School of Business at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and the chair of the AACSB.
Meanwhile Equis, the Brussels-based accreditation body, is also adapting some of its accreditation standards and processes. Ethics, responsibility and sustainability will be included in the Equis accreditation for the first time. And those schools that have been Equis accredited for 15 years - that is, those that have received the maximum 5-year accreditation three times - will be eligible for a less onerous review when they next seek re-accreditation.