The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the evolution and current status of the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS), the European Foundation for Management Development's (EFMD) accreditation for high‐quality international business schools. The paper aims to analyse and describe the value of EQUIS, as well as other international accreditations, to the world of higher education in business administration.
The paper presents the viewpoint of the EFMD's Director of Quality Services on the value of international accreditation.
The value added by accreditation systems stems from three main, and often inter‐related, areas – assessment of the quality of the school based on several criteria; enhanced brand recognition from being granted a distinctive accreditation label; and contributions to the actual improvement of the school.
International accreditation does add value to business schools in a variety of ways. It is also suggested that some of the value added is specific and unique to having international accreditation and is therefore unobtainable by any other means.
The paper highlights both the similarities and differences between international accreditations available for business schools. This should facilitate the assessment of the benefits and feasibility of international accreditation by decision‐makers at international business schools around the world.
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