WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT MBA ACCREDITATION and RANKING (FAQ)

1. What does accreditation mean? Is there any accreditation which is applicable to every school in every region of the world? What guarantees the quality of MBA programs? How can you check it?

Accreditation means that the teaching process in the school complies with the standards established by an accreditation body. If you see that a school is accredited by an accreditation body it means that both the way it conducts the classes and supports students during the program are in compliance with the processes of the respected body. Accreditation doesn’t mean that (1) the quality of education and the real results achieved by a student as a result of studying in the school are high, or (2) a student has good chances of building an impressive career fast and acquiring high income thanks to his/her MBA. You can assess the results of studying (the quality of knowledge acquired by a student as a result of his/her study and career and income growth) by looking at National and International Rankings of the school, because Rankings are developed based on the results of the graduates’ surveys of the level of their satisfaction with the MBA programs.

A universal MBA accreditation applicable to all business schools operating anywhere in the world does not exist. In fact there are hundreds of different MBA accreditation bodies located in different parts of the world and in competition with one another. Any accreditation is paid for, this is how accreditation bodies make money.

2. What are the types of MBA schools and which type is usually subject to accreditation? Why? Which type suits you the best?

Normally, MBA and Executive MBA programs are delivered in two types of schools, and characteristics of a certain program depend on the type of the respected school. A smart student is supposed to choose exactly the type of school which corresponds to his/her goals and expectations the most. Choosing the wrong type of school will cause dissatisfaction and a student will not achieve the results he/she has expected.

1st type – Academic Business Schools (ABS).  Normally ABS are the schools which are subsidiaries of established universities. They do not have very strong connections with real business and do not dig deeply into the current practical needs of real business during their classes. However, they do offer a student a good theoretical training. This is the best option for a younger manager at the lowest managerial position who is not yet familiar with the real business problems or ranked high enough to take managerial decisions. ABS is a good start for those at the beginning of their career. Although a student will not get extensive practical skills at ABS, they will get a good theoretical background which is enough. He/she is supposed to get the hands-on practical skills from further training in the future after finishing the MBA.

The absolute majority of MBA accreditation are designed for ABS. They regulate education and  instruction processes (i.e. how many instruction hours, what kind of disciplines must be in the syllabus, etc.). An accredited school has no freedom to change their syllabus without the consent of an accreditation body, if it doesn't want to risk losing its accreditation. This is why accredited ABS can’t change their programs immediately once they see any emerging needs of real businesses. Such schools provide mainly academic education.

2nd type – Implementation Business Schools (IBS). Usually IBS are the schools which are either subsidiaries of consulting companies or independent schools. They have very strong connections with real businesses and dig deeply into the practical needs of real businesses during their classes. In addition, IBS expects their students to have some working experience and educational background and therefore they pay less attention to theoretical discussions during their classes. During their studies at IBS students are expected  to develop the projects for their companies and implement them; students upgrade and streamline the business processes in their companies by doing these projects. In fact, thanks to MBA training they get the practical skills and immediately improve the performance of the companies they are working for. Normally, it results in a faster career development and income growth. However, you should be aware that doing MBA at IBS is normally more difficult than at ABS (because of the requirement to develop implementation projects). This is also not an option for those who are looking for theoretical training rather than practical experience.

IBS are normally reluctant to undergo any accreditation because they want to keep their independence and flexibility to be able to change their programs as soon as it is required by following the needs of real business. Accreditation does not allow for this level of flexibility and hence IBS do not normally apply for any accreditation. IBS keep their ability to adjust their MBA programs to the emerging needs of business and expectations on the market.

3. Are MBA diplomas issued by Academic and Implementation Business Schools considered equally by employers? How can you be sure of that?

Yes, they are. There is no difference between the diplomas. Both types of schools grant similar diplomas and must comply with the national legislation of the country in which they have registered their MBA programs.

The best of both types of schools participate in School Rankings. You should know that the absolute majority of schools are not allowed to participate in school rankings because of the serious concerns which ranking bodies have about the quality and value of their MBA programs. However, once a school is allowed to participate in a national or, even better, an international ranking, students can be confident that the MBA programs the school offers will provide them with a high quality training. So if you want to choose a good school with valued and respected MBA programs, you should make sure that it is listed in both national and international rankings.

4. What type of school is EMAS? What kind of accreditation does it have?

EMAS is an Implementation Business School, which means that our students have to do a number of consulting projects and our MBA programs are enriched with business practice. It has a Russian national accreditation (license of the Ministry of Education Series 52Л01 № 0001683) which proves that our programs are in full compliance with the strictest Russian educational quality standards (one of the strictest in the World).

4. Which National and International Rankings has EMAS participated in? What is the proof of the quality and value of EMAS MBA programs?

EMAS MBA programs have been included in the prestigious National (Russian) and International Rankings as follows: