Waikato Management School reaffirmed as leading international business school

7 February 2011

Professor Frank Scrimgeour

Professor Frank Scrimgeour: Dean of Waikato Management School.

Triple-crown holder Waikato Management School has achieved re-accreditation for two of the three leading international business school accreditations held by the School.

Both EQUIS, run by the European Foundation for Management Development, and AACSB (the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) awarded Waikato five-year accreditations – a real feather in the School’s cap, says Dean of Waikato Management School Professor Frank Scrimgeour.

“It confirms our position as the No 1 business school in New Zealand,” he says. “We’re particularly pleased with the five-year accreditation from EQUIS – this is granted only to the very best business schools, and in New Zealand only we and Auckland have achieved this standard.”

The School is also accredited by AMBA, the London-based Association of MBAs, putting it among the select number of elite business schools worldwide to hold the coveted triple crown of all three accreditations.

The re-accreditations were based on exhaustive self-assessment reports written for each accrediting body, and visits from EQUIS and AACSB evaluation teams in the course of 2010.

The teams included deans from leading international business schools, such as the Anderson School of Management at UCLA and the Haas Business School at UC Berkeley. Anderson and Haas are often ranked in the top five business schools worldwide.

For EQUIS accreditation, business schools are judged against standards covering all aspects of their operations, including governance and strategy, academic programmes, student body, faculty and research, with a special emphasis on internationalisation and connections to the corporate world. Currently 129 business school are EQUIS accredited across 36 countries.

Established in 1916, AACSB is now the largest business school accreditation agency, with 607 accredited business schools across 38 countries.

AACSB assesses business schools against 21 standards covering strategic management, faculty and staff, research, academic programmes and assurance of learning. Schools are judged in terms of their mission; thus as a research school, Waikato Management School was judged against standards expected of business schools with a comprehensive education and research programmes.

The AACSB final report singled out for special praise Waikato Management School’s achievements in research as recognised by the government’s Performance-Based Research Fund (PBRF) rankings, the School’s comprehensive assurance of learning programme, and its commitment to supporting Māori students.

Introduced by AACSB in the last few years, the comprehensive assurance of learning programme requires participating organisations to state the learning objective for every qualification, measure student attainment and base improvement of the programmes on these measures.

Associate Dean Academic Professor John Tressler says Waikato Management School has introduced a range of measures of student attainment. “Our graduate students submit their best course work as a portfolio which is reviewed against our standards, and our final-year undergraduates sit comprehensive tests of general and specialist subject business knowledge. We also assess their writing competency.”

Professor Scrimgeour says to be highly commended by AACSB confirms Waikato Management School as a leading edge practitioner. “It’s a ringing endorsement of our staff and of the quality of our programmes, and signals to potential students, staff and employers of our graduates that we are committed to continuous improvement.”

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