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Published on the 09.21.2017

International labels, with the strength of the arms and the sweat of the face

If you work in a business school’s administration, you probably know it much more than we do, accreditations are must have, but are also synonymous of efforts, investments, challenges. It is hard to get accredited and to enter the club, it is even more to stay in.

Amongst wanted accreditations stands AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business), the oldest, most wanted one, created in the United States in 1916. Simply put, getting AACSB accredited is hard. Admission and renewal procedures are long and need a certain amount of data and money. Indeed, as the accreditation is particularly based on a quantitative approach, all data from: the number of teachers per 10 students, the way students are evaluated, the average of their results per year, to the number of doctors amongst professors, are processed and analyzed in detail.

More precisely, an applying institution must fill an Initial Self Report first, including all academic and financial data about the school, year on year and in the future. All this thanks to the help of Mentor (a Dean of an accredited school). Another has to be done to present it to an Initial Accreditation Committee (the ones who’ll recommend the school or not). That’s an administrative quagmire for both parties that can lasts up to 7 years and even more in some cases. Moreover, a renewal process can also take some time. Up to 2 years, according to the Director of ESSCA Shanghai. Two years during which the school administration search for files, find them, analyze, classify, organize…This process has a cost of course. Around 40 000$ for an accreditation process and annual fee between 3600 and 5950 USD.

At TestWe, we understand the issue. That is why we try to transform the Twelve Labors of Hercules into a half one. An e-Exam solution is also a data centralizer. Easily accessible, “it shows up at the right time for our renewal process” according to the Director of ESSCA Shanghai (lien vers étude de cas ESSCA). And results are here, TestWe users save up to 6 months on their accreditation process.

Other prestigious labels exist. Like EQUIS (European Quality Improvement System), which is the european equivalent of AACSB, has a more qualitative approach to business schools (for example, it evaluates the relationship between the school and the professional sector). The accreditation is valid 3 or 5 years and costs 53 600 euros (16 000 for a renewal) and is almost as complex as AACSB. 900 universities are accredited.

EQUIS and AACSB form the “Triple Crown” in combination with AMBA, a british accreditation specialized in certifying MBAs.They have more than 200 members. Now you can visualize the challenge: you know what AACSB represents in terms of costs, organization challenge and efforts. Multiply it by three, you’ll get the final image of what a Triple Crown is. Yes, TestWe can help there.

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