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AACSB standards to inspire innovation

AACSB International announced in a media release its new business accreditation standards in pursuit of its vision to transform business education around the world. For more than a century, AACSB accreditation has been synonymous with the highest standard of quality in business education. The new, principles-based standards further support schools as they deliver on their unique mission, emphasize outcomes in learning and research, and demonstrate positive societal impact — reinforcing the role of business schools as a force for good.

The fundamental purpose of AACSB accreditation is to encourage business schools to hold themselves accountable for improving business practice through a commitment to strategic management, learner success, and impactful thought leadership. AACSB achieves this purpose by defining a set of guiding principles and standards, coordinating peer review and consultation, and recognizing high-quality business schools that meet the standards and actively engage in the process.

Following nearly two years of extensive stakeholder feedback and collaboration with members globally, the 2020 standards received enthusiastic support by the association’s Accreditation Council, which comprises more than 870 schools in 56 countries and territories. The new standards represent AACSB’s diverse global membership and recognize the importance of lifelong learning and the co-creation of impactful thought leadership.

“The 2020 standards were developed to inspire innovation and encourage agility within business schools at a time when market needs are changing rapidly and delivering value is essential,” said Stephanie M. Bryant, AACSB’s Executive Vice President and Chief Accreditation Officer. “AACSB and our accredited schools are transforming business education and leading at a time when disruption is the new normal. We believe that working together we can successfully solve some of society’s grand challenges.”

The 2020 standards truly represent the broad views of AACSB’s diverse, global membership. The new standards fulfill the following key objectives:

1. Reinforce long-held AACSB commitments to mission focus and peer review;

2. Emphasize a principles-based and outcomes-focused approach, as well as relevance for business schools now and in the future;

3. Recognize the changing landscape of student demographics and reflect the activities we envision business schools of the future will undertake to ensure continuous improvement and high quality in business education;

4. Value the diversity of thought leadership in the context of a school’s mission;

5. Characterize the guiding principles that represent key values to AACSB.

Established in 1916, AACSB is the world’s largest business education alliance, connecting educators, learners, and business to create the next generation of great leaders. With a presence in more than 100 countries and territories, AACSB fosters engagement, accelerates innovation, and amplifies impact in business education.

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