EQUIS accreditation and quality improvement system was born in Europe. When EQUIS was designed 20 years ago, EFMD aimed at creating a system which would reflect European values and approaches to quality in business and management education. Now EQUIS has become the global standard for management education and nearly half of the 172 accredited schools are located outside Europe. EQUIS’ respect for diversity, commitment to internationalisation and corporate connections are deeply rooted in the European concept of management education.
The United Kingdom has a global reputation for excellence in business education, attracting many talented international students, leading in rigorous and impactful research, and having impressive partnerships with some of the world’s top-rated institutions.
The UK can be proud of the highest number of EQUIS accredited schools, having 26 institutions awarded the EQUIS quality label, including London Business School, Alliance Manchester Business School, Cass Business School, Ashridge, Cranfield School of Management, Henley Business School, Imperial College Business School, Saïd Business School, Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Edinburgh Business School, Strathclyde Business School and Warwick Business School, just to name a few.
Peter Tufano, Peter Moores Dean at Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, appreciated the insights from the EQUIS peer review. "The accreditation process provided us with a structured approach to reflect on our unique strategy of being a business school embedded in Oxford University. The review panel's insightful perspective was useful to me and my team and we will integrate these perspectives into our discussions and planning for the future," he commented after having received a five-year EQUIS accreditation in 2014.
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Since its establishment, a strong emphasis on internationalization and corporate connections has been the differentiating point of the EQUIS accreditation system. Coupled with recently added ethics, responsibility and sustainability standards, they have created a solid framework for quality measurement for international business schools.
This framework has context and strategy at its heart. An accredited school should have a clear vision for its future direction and from which its medium-term objectives are derived, taking into account the School’s environmental context. Sufficient resources, external governance and internal management structures are vital to ensure successful implementation of the strategic plan.
Furthermore, EQUIS accredited schools will aim to recruit talented students with diverse backgrounds and to produce high quality graduates who are sought after by employers. Personal development is a key linkage between students and programmes. Schools therefore need to be closely connected to the corporate world, widely defined as private and public sector.
It is also vital that the School’s graduates and faculty have an understanding and empathy with different international cultures and practices and acquire the skills to operate effectively in an international environment.
The output from a school’s research & development is an important contribution towards knowledge transmission and to advancing the practice of management, ultimately leading to enhancing the School’s reputation.
While not all business schools carry out Executive Education, and it is not a requirement for EQUIS, this activity should largely be delivered by the School’s own faculty since it can provide a direct link between knowledge creation and the educational needs of employers.
EQUIS has always aimed at building a community of mutual learning and best practice for business schools coming from different higher-education systems. Prof. Sue Cox, Dean Emerita of Lancaster University Management School in the UK and former EFMD Board member, stresses the emphasis on schools’ differentiating points in the EQUIS quality framework. “EQUIS actively encourages schools to consider their unique selling proposition within the strategic planning process,” she says.
Over the last 20 years, EFMD has conducted over 600 peer review visits, with over a thousand outstanding experts devoting their time and knowledge to the development of the system. Back To Top