The value of triple accreditation
Since 2016, THM has supported the University of Exeter Business School on its triple crown journey
Exeter is the latest institution to join the ranks of the top 1% of the best global institutions to gain accreditation from the three largest, most influential business school accreditation organisations worldwide: AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA. Just 90 business schools (up from 56 in 2012) could make this claim as of March 2019 (mba.today) and 24 now have a UK base, including the London campuses of Hult International and ESCP Europe. An impartial quality assurance process, accreditation acts as a public guarantee that accredited schools have undergone rigorous ongoing assessment to meet a set of ever-evolving quality standards which evidence provision of an excellent education, relevant to future employers and valued across the globe. But what practical value does triple accreditation bring?
Past (limited) research indicates there is a strong relationship between accreditation and student quality for undergraduates, student numbers and tuition fees for postgraduates (The Knowledge Partnership, 2016). However, while almost two-thirds of prospective MBAs/Master's students questioned in 2016 wanted their choice of school to be accredited by one of EQUIS, AACSB or AMBA, less than half sought 'triple accreditation' specifically (Carrington Crisp, 2016). A quick scan of discussions on The Student Room reveals good knowledge among prospective students of triple accreditation holders, but there are mixed views and a distinct lack of evidence (other than the oft-cited 'top 1%' and 'high-quality' claims) to demonstrate more tangible benefits meaningful to students, such as employability, employer partnerships, impact on reputation, value of a qualification etc.
"Don't get hung up on triple accreditation - having one or more is sufficient. In the UK AMBA is the most common.All [XYZ universities] hold triple accreditation, so you can be sure the courses are of a high standard.A pointless title that doesn't mean anything to employability or prestige, Oxford and Cambridge aren't triple crown accredited. Gives you more enjoyment/value. I think MBAs at any triple accredited school are good, just for the networking.Doesn't mean that a university is better than the other, just because it has triple accreditation."
Can we develop a 'triple crown' value proposition?
More clearly needs to be done to develop better selling messages to inform prospective students and employers of the tangible benefits of triple accreditation. To overcome the obstacles of three totally separate organisations, it may be up to the business schools themselves to rally together or lobby to make this happen. COMING SOON! I have begun to gather public 'value evidence' available from AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA individually and would relish the opportunity to develop a 'triple crown' value proposition for the sector.
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