EQUIS Success Story: Universidad de los Andes School of Management - UASM

Universidad de los Andes
EQUIS 20th Anniversary - Blog Series
Towards internationalisation and faculty growth - By Eric Rodríguez, Dean of Universidad de los Andes School of Management.

Universidad de los Andes School of Management (UASM) was founded in 1972 in Bogota, Colombia. It is part of Universidad de los Andes, a private university founded in 1948. The School has been accredited by EQUIS since 2003, and in 2015 it successfully underwent the EQUIS, AMBA and AACSB reaccreditation visits over a month and a half period. The School is one in eight institutions in Latin America holding the triple international accreditation, and the only one in Colombia with such a distinction.

One recommendation coming consistently from all the three PRT visits was the need to increase the number of core faculty, taking into account the School’s growth over the past 15 years. This was in due course with the School’s decision taken since the early 2000’s to increase, not only the number of faculty, but also their academic qualifications, in response to the School’s commitment to high quality management education.

The School’s quest for enhancing its faculty was aligned with the University’s long-term faculty development strategy. As part of it, since 1998, the School partially sponsored 44 faculty to develop their Ph.D. studies abroad. This implied a significant financial effort. The sole requirement for participants was returning back to the University upon completion of their degree. Having proven successful, this strategy had to be complemented in view of the imperatives of accelerated growth and the imminent generational transition and the ensuing faculty renewal.

In 2015 the EQUIS PRT visit and advice was instrumental to trigger the launch of a new recruitment strategy based on international standards and ensuring the allocation of time and resources to guarantee its success. This strategy emphasised on searching for highly qualified candidates with strong research interests, drawn from top universities around the globe. Internationalisation, multidisciplinarity and strong commitment to research were the guiding criteria. The strategy targets 80 core faculty by 2020 and it has already proven clear results. The number of faculty has grown 38% in the past five years. Almost all core faculty hold a Ph.D. (73% in 2013 versus 88% in 2017). This growing trend began in 2010 when only 57% held a Ph.D. degree. The recruitment of new faculty, many coming from abroad, has also increased the number of international faculty from 16% in 2013 to 26% in 2017.

For a Latin American School it’s not easy to attract international candidates, but over 14 years of accreditation and reaccreditation processes with EQUIS, the School has strengthen its research quality and productivity and has become an interesting geographical spot for young international candidates to develop a promising academic career. 

Over these years, the different EQUIS accreditation processes have helped the School develop its strategic objectives, such as having a strong group of highly qualified faculty, and address its shortcomings in order to offer Latin American students high quality education that can help to change and impact the country and the region.

Discover other EQUIS Success Stories:

EQUIS Success Story: University of Stellenbosch Business School

Stellenbosch
EQUIS 20th Anniversary - Blog Series

Do internationally formulated accreditation standards apply to schools in the African context? Piet Naudé, Director of the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB), evaluates his experience. 

When I arrived at the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB) in 2014, I had at that point not had experience of specific international business school accreditation processes. My experience was limited to external national accreditation of professions like Engineering, Architecture and Industrial Psychology.

I was somewhat hesitant about the upcoming EQUIS process as I assumed it could lead to a situation where internationally formulated standards are simply applied blindly to schools in an African context. This could have a homogenising effect on schools that attempt to respond to their context in a mission-specific way. And it could reinforce the hidden idea that a Western “centre” determines what happens on an African “periphery”. 
 
I was, however, pleasantly surprised at both the spirit and the actual work done with us by a very professional review team. The team consisted of experienced business school colleagues with a good grasp of the realities and constraints under which we operate. They were well prepared and gave detailed attention to our self-reflecting report, creating a base for meaningful questions and interactions. 

The peer review team, furthermore, acted in a spirit of true academic and collegial peers by pointing out the many strong points at USB, urging us to exactly strive for contextual impact and relevance. This was hugely encouraging as at that point USB had been without a full time Dean for 18 months, and the colleagues worked under huge stress.

The peer review team also assisted us in identifying important areas for improvement. The value of external reviews is that one is able to see aspects of yourself that under the pressure of operational requirements, slips your eye and your mind. The team also created opportunity for us to determine improvement areas ourselves, with clear targets set over the subsequent years.   
 
The accreditation process therefore confirmed our resolve to be a contextually based African Business School that plays an international and global role by adhering to the broad quality standards set for schools around the world.
 
The full five year re-accreditation empowered us to increase our strengths and to ensure that over time we also addressed some of the short-comings. This is the whole idea: Continuous quality improvements for giving better service to our students, alumni, business partners and civil society.    
 
EQUIS had really helped us to confirm our vision to be an African School of global repute.
 
Piet Naudé
USB Director 

Discover other EQUIS Success Stories: 

EQUIS Success Story: School of Management, Xiamen University

Xiamen
EQUIS 20th Anniversary - Blog Series


Prof. Jianming Ye, Dean of the School of Management, Xiamen University (SMXMU), explains how the institution went from a three-year EQUIS accreditation to a five-year accreditation and how EQUIS standards helped SMXMU excel in international rankings.

Xiamen University (XMU) was founded in 1921 by Tan KahKee, the “Henry Ford of Asia”. As a harbor at the starting point of the ancient Maritime Silk Route, Xiamen had for centuries been known for its entrepreneurs, so Mr. Tan started XMU with a school of business, majors in accounting and banking and a call to “promote awareness of world cultures.” 

The School of Management, XMU (SMXMU), now one of China’s oldest and best business schools, was designated as one of the five national key disciplines in business administration and the Ministry of Education (MOE) ranks the School’s accounting as #1 in China. SMXMU has one of the first authorized MBA and EMBA programs in China, both of which are now Top 10 in China; the EMBA is famed as one of China’s “Five Golden Flowers.”

SMXMU was awarded 3-year EQUIS accreditation in 2013. In response to the Peer Review Team’s advice and under EQUIS standards, SMXMU conducted a comprehensive assessment of external environment and internal resources to further clarify its development strategy. Moreover, it has optimized the decision-making processes for teaching, research, internationalization and alumni and corporate connection in order to ensure a sustainable ecological system.

For example, SMXMU has spared no efforts to conduct improvement measures to improve its international recognition outside of East and South East Asia.

In 2013, SMXMU became one of 20 founding members of the Alliance of Chinese and European Business Schools (ACE), which was officially inaugurated in France on 31 May 2013 with EFMD as the patron.

In 2014, SMXMU joined as the Asian partner of the global leading OneMBA program. Despite initial difficulties, the School successfully implemented the OneMBA program with EQUIS standards as its guidance. As of 2016, 322 OneMBA students from 28 countries have studied in SMXMU.

Along the years, SMXMU has promoted internationalization in student exchanges, faculty recruitment and research. It also excelled in such international rankings as:

  • 2014, Forbes ranked SMXMU’s full-time MBA 7th, part-time MBA 8th and EMBA program 8th in “China’s Best Business Schools of 2014”;
  • 2014, Financial Times (FT) ranked the School’s open and customized EDP programs 46th and 53rd globally;
  • 2014, Manager rated SMXMU 1st in “Student Satisfaction” for 10 consecutive years;
  • 2015 and 2016, FT ranked SMXMU OneMBA program 34th and 29th in the world, respectively.
In 2016, SMXMU successfully obtained five-year EQUIS re-accreditation and is proud to be one of the 167 institutions around the world—the “1% of leading business schools”—holding the EQUIS quality label.

On the occasion of EQUIS’ 20th anniversary, SMXMU would like to convey its sincere congratulations to EQUIS and EFMD for their great achievements, as well as express many thanks to EQUIS for helping the School consolidate advantages, overcome shortcomings and make progress on future initiatives.

Discover other EQUIS Success Stories: 

EQUIS Success Story: Nottingham University Business School

Nottingham

EQUIS 20th Anniversary - Blog Series

In 2016, Nottingham University Business School welcomed an EQUIS peer review team for the third time, having previously been accredited for two spells of three years. Alistair Bruce, the School's Dean, discusses the customised nature of the process. 

Our School is distinctive in having three international locations, the original UK operation and parallel activity at the University’s Malaysia and China campuses, established in 2000 and 2005 respectively. This presents challenges in explaining the common principles underpinning operations in each location alongside local differences in the specifics of operation, the idiosyncrasies of financial reporting, local regulatory frameworks and requirements, and the different stages of evolution at each campus, which are reflected in observable, though narrowing, performance differentials, for example in terms of research outputs.

Preparation for the visit was, for the first time, managed by our new Accreditation Standards Committee (ASC). This body, chaired by the Dean and linking all campuses via videoconference, aims to professionalise our support for accreditation. It involves regular meetings of those responsible for leading the School’s accreditation, as well as discipline, programme and functional (e.g. research) leads and is supported by a dedicated Accreditation Manager. The ASC manages the scheduling of work, strengthens buy-in to the process and embeds accreditation and continuous improvement at the heart of the School’s work.

The PRT’s visit was by some distance the most productive and enjoyable we have experienced. The tone was set by an experienced and sensitive Chair who was able to stimulate a rich and open set of conversations with a range of groups by encouraging mutual trust, frank self-reflection, celebration of achievements and honest identification of challenges. There was a genuine sense of developmental engagement, that the PRT was working with us, rather than merely testing our performance against the standards. This offered an interesting contrast to our earlier PRT visits and appeared to signal a nuanced and welcome change of approach.

The positive feeling was echoed across the range of groups, our academic and administrative staff, students, alumni, corporate partners and advisory boards, which met with the PRT. In my view, the richness of the experience was largely a function of the team’s deep knowledge and experience of the business school world and context. For example, they understood the particular need for business schools within larger institutions to retain a distinctive identity and a degree of strategic autonomy and agility in order to sustain and enhance competitive profile and position. Several very positive suggestions emerged during discussions and in the recommendations, particularly in relation to further development of an authentic international operation. The team also recognised the value of the School’s strong community culture, which underpins its structures and processes in delivering its mission.

The outcome of the visit was our first five year accreditation, an enormously important validation of the collective efforts of our core team and of all of our stakeholders.

The positive nature of the experience inspired me to make myself available as a PRT member and I’m already looking forward to my second assignment in this capacity. It’s a role which I’d highly recommend!

Alistair Bruce, 
Dean of Nottingham University Business School

Three New Schools Join the EQUIS Business School Accreditation Family

EFMD Blog header EQUIS all
EFMD would like to warmly congratulate Insper Instituto de Ensino e Pesquisa, Faculty of Business Administration at the University of Economics Prague and the Indian School of Business which have just been awarded EQUIS accreditation.

This takes the number of accredited schools to 170 across 42 countries.

Please read below what the Deans of the newly accrediteds schools say about the achievement.

“ISB is proud to join the select group of schools that have received the prestigious EQUIS accreditation. It is an endorsement of our the quality of our programmes, particularly internationalisation, corporate connections, and ethics. The accreditation recognises that our processes for quality control in all aspects of the running of our school meet rigorous international standards of excellence," said Rajendra Srivastava, the Dean of ISB. "We are confident that the EQUIS accreditation will enhance our school's appeal to potential international applicants, especially in Europe,”

Marcos Lisboa, the Dean of Insper commented the school's achievement: "Achieving the EQUIS accreditation has been part of Insper’s strategic objectives for long and it is supported by a twofold consistent rationale. First, it was a way of fostering improvements at Insper, having international accreditation standards as benchmark. This is by far  the main value of accreditation, which has been already achieved. Second, the EQUIS accreditation is a powerful way of introducing the School to international partners and communicating to the domestic market, including students and organisations, not only the school’s quality standards but also its commitment to continuous improvement."

“To get ranked among the top business schools has been a long and demanding journey. Obtaining accreditation is for us however not only a great success, but also a great commitment,” added Ivan Nový, the Dean of the Faculty of Business Administration at the University of Economics Prague.

Martin Schader, the EQUIS Director, added: "We are delighted to welcome three new schools into the community of EQUIS accredited schools. The EQUIS community includes now 170 institutions from 42 countries worldwide. EQUIS accreditation ensures a rigorous quality improvement process, benchmarking the School against a set of international standards in terms of governance, programmes, students, faculty, research, and foremost, internationalisation, ethics, responsibility and sustainability, as well as corporate engagement. There are currently no substitutes for such an in-depth assessment of quality.”

The list of reaccredited schools is available here.

More information on EQUIS is available at www.efmd.org/equis

EQUIS Success Story: Tongji SEM

Tongji SEM
EQUIS 20th Anniversary - Blog Series


International Accreditation Boosts Tongji SEM’s Ranking of Master in Management 

In recent years, international accreditation has not only significantly improved teaching and research ability of the School of Economics and Management, Tongji University (Tongji SEM), but also effectively enhanced the international rankings and brand influence of the school.

In April 2016, after successfully obtaining the five-year EQUIS re-accreditation, Tongji SEM consecutively earned AACSB accreditation and AMBA re-accreditation, becoming one of the only four business schools in mainland China holding the three most prestigious global accreditations. 
Attaining these accreditations has helped to enhance the school’s recognition and qualified it for improved rankings by authoritative international ranking bodies.

In 2014, after obtaining EQUIS accreditation, Tongji SEM was ranked number 65 for the first time by Financial Times. This ranking body requires either EQUIS or AACSB accreditation. In 2014, Tongji SEM was one of the only two business schools in greater Chinese ranked by Financial Times.

In 2015, taking accreditation as a catalyst, the teaching and research quality of the School was improved substantially. In the meantime, the employment and salary levels of the graduates of Tongji SEM increased remarkably, while the amount of international publications was raised by 20 percent year-on-year. In that year, SEM was ranked 52nd worldwide. In 2016, with persistent efforts, the Master in Management programme of the school edged into world’s Top 50 by the Financial Times ranking. 

EQUIS is one of the world's top two authoritative and influential accreditations for business schools. 2017 witnesses the 20th anniversary of EQUIS, which pays special attention to the continuous improvement of the teaching and research quality and the internationalization and corporate connections of business schools.

So far, there are only 167 schools and universities from 41 countries around the world having obtained EQUIS accreditation, accounting for only 1 percent of the world's 15,000 business schools.

Discover other EQUIS Success Stories: 

EQUIS Success Story: SKEMA Business School

SDMIMD
EQUIS 20th Anniversary - Blog Series

Prof. Alice Guilhon, dean of SKEMA Business School, explains how the EQUIS Accreditation has helped in the merger of two well-established French schools and implement the necessary actions plans.

SKEMA Business School was created in 2009 by a merger between two well-established French schools: ESC Lille whose history dated back almost 121 years, and CERAM the school that for 47 years had been located in Europe’s biggest science park, Sophia-Antipolis.

The merger’s objectives were twofold:

Respond to the globalisation of markets and the economy by training talents able to work on all continents;
Respond to the digitalisation of the economy by putting knowledge and information management at the heart of its research and teaching programmes, emphasising creativity and entrepreneurship, multiculturalism and international management.

This merger thus had nothing to do with a desire to reduce costs, economise resources or rationalise our territorial implantation. It was rather a strategic project aiming to create a new type of school with the following characteristicsthe school should be multisite with its own campuses in several countries and locations, all involved in the local economy; its students were to acquire a global vision of the world with innovation as the leitmotif for learning.

When the new brand was launched in 2009, only the EFMD supported it – mostly, academic killjoys predicted our certain demise. Eight years later, many of us have seen others imitate us, either by pursuing mergers or by adopting a multisite strategy

SKEMA’s first strategic plan from 2010 to 2015 focused on making the merger a success and establishing our international development. Our accreditation by EQUIS was a precious guide to our success in achieving this first plan. Apart from an “instrumental” view of accreditation, we concentrated on the EQUIS guidelines to succeed in our merger and implement the necessary action plans. Amongst these were the SKEMA balance score card – a real tool for tracking our activity that includes key processes each of which refers to the strategic indicators defined by EQUIS, namely, status, quality of students and programmes, international activity, corporate relations and executive education, ethics and corporate social responsibility. An array of 22 strategic indicators and hundreds of operational indicators are tracked each year by SKEMA’s departments and managers. Since 2009, we have been implementing a culture of excellence, quality and continuous improvement that has enabled the school to focus on its strategic objectives.

Often the cultural differences inherent to mergers give rise to serious conflicts and psychosocial problems. Our approach focused our collaborators on developing the school, being client centred and having an efficient organisation. This meant that no time was wasted listening to a discourse lamenting the good old days, or “it was better before” etc. In this way, in November 2009 we announced the name SKEMA and in June 2010 we opened our campus in the United states!

I would like to take this opportunity to address my heartfelt thanks to EQUIS and EFMD, not only for supporting SKEMA, but also for having given us the tools and capabilities to succeed so efficiently in this extraordinary strategic project!

Yours sincerely

Alice GUILHON
Dean 

Discover other EQUIS Success Stories: