The University of Pretoria’s (UP) Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences (EMS) is now among an elite group of 6% of institutions worldwide accredited by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International.
The EMS Faculty was recently awarded the international business education accreditation, following a rigorous peer-review process, which began in 2018. Established in 1916, the AACSB is the longest-serving global accrediting body for business schools, and the largest business education network connecting learners, educators and businesses worldwide.
The accreditation award highlights UP’s commitment to the highest standard of commerce education and global excellence. This is a significant achievement for the University, as the EMS Faculty is the first faculty of its kind in South Africa and Africa to be accredited by the AACSB. In South Africa, only three business schools are accredited, including UP’s Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS). The EMS Faculty now joins a list that comprises only nine AACSB-accredited institutions in Africa.
“Congratulations to the EMS Faculty on earning this remarkable recognition from a trusted and distinguished accreditation body,” said UP Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Tawana Kupe. “This achievement, which will expand the faculty and UP’s international footprint, is not only a demonstration of our excellence, but showcases our commitment to our internationalisation project, our pursuit of being a globally competitive institution and our steadfast commitment to producing future-fit graduates. This accreditation will be a passport for staff and students to the world.”
The AACSB accreditation is key in ensuring that business institutions fulfil their mission, are innovative, and steer positive societal impact. AACSB-accredited schools have successfully undergone a rigorous review process that is conducted by peers in the international business education community and which demonstrates that they have the requisite resources, credentials and standards to provide students with a future-focused quality business education.
Dean of the EMS Faculty, Prof Margaret Chitiga-Mabugu, was elated at the positive outcome following the five-year-long accreditation process.
“We underwent a rigorous accreditation process to ensure that our teaching and learning, research, and societal engagements comply with the highest standards of business education in the world,” she said. “This international stamp of approval is a major milestone for the faculty and UP, and strengthens our position as a global role player.”
“It confirms our commitment to advance relevant knowledge, and develop employable, innovative and diverse graduates to co-create value for society. We will continue to offer quality teaching and impactful research that has a positive societal impact.”
The accreditation process included an external review of the EMS Faculty’s mission and its compliance with 15 accreditation standards, all of which assessed the faculty’s performance in critical areas such as teaching, research, curricula development and student learning as well as its ability to provide high-quality academic programmes in an enabling and conducive environment.
EMS staff, students and graduates will enjoy a host of benefits that come with being affiliated with an AACSB-accredited institution. EMS graduates’ qualifications will be recognised by top universities and employers abroad, granting them a competitive advantage for bursaries and positions in the job market. Staff are in a position to enjoy increased research collaboration opportunities and access to a global network of academics at prestigious AACSB-accredited institutions.
“UP’s commitment to earning accreditation is a true reflection of its dedication, not only to its students, alumni network and greater business community, but to the higher education industry as a whole,” said Stephanie Bryant, Executive Vice-President and Chief Accreditation officer of AACSB. “Today’s students are tomorrow’s business leaders, and the addition of UP’s Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences to the network of AACSB-accredited business schools will have a lasting positive impact for their institution, both locally and globally.”
Prof Chitiga-Mabugu stressed the importance of accreditations. “Accreditations show that the faculty consistently provides top-quality education and research. It also ensures that crucial processes and control measures are in place to maintain quality, ensure continuous improvement, and ensure our programmes are relevant and future-focused.”
The AACSB accreditation serves as further evidence of the EMS Faculty’s international reputation for excellence, which is reflected in its top rankings in the latest QS World Subject Rankings. EMS is ranked first in South Africa in the fields of accounting and finance, as well as economics and econometrics, and second overall in the broader field of social sciences and management. All these achievements are evidence of the faculty’s commitment to delivering outstanding graduates and conducting world-class research.