The School of Business and Law at UiA has been invited in to an exclusive network of business schools across the entire world. On the 21 February 2019, the Faculty was accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
“I would like to congratulate UiA on this important milestone. This is a recognition of the long-term work with internationalisation at The School of Business and Law at UiA, as well as their focus on high-quality work in all segments. An accreditation like this has great significance for the institution, the students and the staff,” says Minister of Research and Higher Education Iselin Nybø.
In order to be accredited by AACSB, the requirement is that a thorough, external review of the business school’s teaching, doctoral degree programmes, research, funding, and collaboration with industry be carried out. In addition to extensive documentation as to what the School of Business and Law at UiA does, there have also been two visits from AACSB to check that things are as the business school claims them to be.
“I find that we have many skilful lecturers and researchers around us who really are concerned that, after five years, we will have gained a great deal of extensive knowledge, and have a certificate we can be proud of. This accreditation will serve as a recognition of this fact. In addition, the process means that the School of Business and Law at UiA has to continually develop in order to defend its accreditation, which is something that we students will benefit from,” says Kristina Ågedal, a master’s student in accounting and auditing.
Following the accreditation in 2019, the School of Business and Law at UiA has carried out new measures to ensure the continuation of the positive development. The stamp of quality has also proved to be a door opener for new international collaborations.
“There has been a really positive response from our existing partners, with invitations to participate in further collaborations and new networks. We also receive enquiries from potentially new and exciting partners as a result of the fact that we are now accredited,” says the leader of the Faculty, dean Kristin Wallevik.
Membership of AACSB opens the doors to exciting collaboration the world over. Many institutions have a basic requirement that their collaborative partners must be accredited. And the work is not over with approved accreditation in 2019, since it must be renewed every fifth year. Earlier, it was only BI that had received AACSB accreditation in Norway. The School of Business and Law at UiA has now made the serious step up to the premier league of Norwegian schools of business.
“For the School of Business and Law at UiA, it means a lot for future recruitment of both students and staff, and further collaboration with well-known partners. It will also mean a considerable amount for our doctoral degree students and their possibilities after completing their degrees,” says Associate Professor Stina Torjesen, who has been central in the work.
“We find that the students are more proud of studying with us because we work to improve their educational training. Several of them have said that they were interested in this accreditation, and some inform us that they now choose further studies here as a result of the accreditation,” she says.
AACSB’s vision is that schools of business should push for change by cultivating a position at the crossroads that exists between academia and working life. The schools of business and law shall do more than just deliver talent to the branch. A close collaboration with the business sector is important in order to create new knowledge and ideas.
AACSB is concerned that the business schools shall be able to provide studies offered to their students throughout the entire span of their careers. As a result, the School of Business and Law at UiA is a part of the pilots in UiA’s Alumni area of priority. The objective of the alumni scheme is to maintain contact with former students and to arrange subject-oriented meeting points for graduates.
In this way, the School of Business and Law at UiA is able to share knowledge and form closer connections with its alumni. Now, the first milestone has been reached, but the work towards the next assessment of the accreditation process is in progress.
“We are working with the planning connected to re-accreditation, where we work with the feedback that the committee gave us during the first approval. Such accreditation is a continual and long-term process, with requirements that there be continuous improvements,” says Wallevik.