Accreditation criteria focus on every aspect of MBA provision, these include:
I. The Institution
III. Programme Management and Student Engagement
V. Purpose and outcomes
VII. Mode and Duration
I. THE INSTITUTION
The institution offering a MBM should have a clear strategy and mission, explicitly expressed and reflecting its key strengths. It will have a clear understanding of the market for its products, including a means of regular access to employer opinion. The institution should have its own identity and an adequate degree of independence from any larger institutional structure of which it may be a part, as well as secured financial viability and institutional continuity.
Faculty teaching at Masters level must be appropriately qualified and credible. At least 75% of teaching staff should have a relevant postgraduate degree, and the majority of faculty should hold a Doctorate. Research should be of a high quality in all areas of activity and show some evidence of an international dimension.
III. PROGRAMME MANAGEMENT & STUDENT ENGAGEMENT
The institution should be able to provide strong academic leadership and administrative support for the programme. There must be evidence of action taken as a result of student feedback. A well-developed and effective career service is expected, both for placements and career enhancement, and an active alumni association should provide extensive opportunities for networking and life-long learning.
As the MBA is a post-experience, postgraduate degree, students admitted onto an accredited MBA must have a minimum of three years work experience, with the cohort averaging 5 years experience. Evidence will be required to show rigour in admissions standards, which must include academic criteria as well as work experience. The student body must be substantial and varied enough to form a critical mass and emphasis is placed on the value of peer group exposure, therefore a minimum annual intake of 20 is sought.
V. PURPOSE & OUTCOMES
The programme must have clearly stated aims and outcomes. The general purpose of an MBA is to:
(i) enhance and develop previous relevant experience in business and management;
(ii) prepare students for leadership and transformational roles in business;
(iii) develop strategic thinking, innovation and entrepreneurial skills;
(iv) develop an understanding and provide experience of global business issues, including the potential contribution that business can make to solving these issues;
(v) develop the ability to apply previous and newly acquired knowledge and experience to complex business issues in a range of contexts;
(vi) develop knowledge, at an advanced level, of organisations, their management and the environment in which they operate;
(vii) develop an understanding of responsible risk management and sustainable value creation on the basis of the environmental, social and governance impacts of business
(viii) develop interpersonal and group-working skills; and,
(ix) encourage lifelong learning and personal development.
It is important that MBA graduates understand organisations and their stakeholders, the external context in which they operate and how they are managed from a sustainable and long term perspective, as well as understanding the important role of ethical decision-making in business. The institution must be able to provide evidence that MBA graduates are achieving these outcomes in the workplace.
VI. STRUCTURE & ASSESSMENT
The curriculum should be generalist in nature and must cover the core business skills: marketing, the economic and legal environment of a business, accounting and quantitative methods, finance, organisational theory, interpersonal skills, information technology, risk, ethics, CSR, entrepreneurship, and
the processes and practices of management.
The programme must be designed to build on the significant work experience and diversity amongst the student cohort. Particular attention should be paid to the international dimension of contemporary management.
Each core subject should be addressed by a course of instruction, although integration of these core subjects is vital.
The programme must have a rigorous, appropriate and well implemented assessment strategy
VII. MODE & DURATION
Programmes should be equivalent to at least one year of fulltime study or two years part-time. This should include a minimum of 500 contact hours and 1,800 student learning hours (or 90 ECTS equivalent). Programmes offered by more flexible modes of delivery must provide substantial evidence that programme design and delivery allow all the criteria to be met; even distance learning programmes must contain some element of face-to-face contact. (www.mbaworld.com)
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