Pretoria - The University of Pretoria’s Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences (EMS) boasts high international status, after becoming accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
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, and the faculty was recently awarded the international business education accreditation following a rigorous peer-review process which began in 2018.
The accreditation highlights the university’s commitment to the highest standard of commerce education and global excellence and is a significant achievement, said a spokesperson.
It 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, said 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.”
Kupe said the accreditation would be a passport for staff and students to the world.
“Congratulations to the EMS Faculty on earning this remarkable recognition from a trusted and distinguished accreditation body,” he added.
Dean of the EMS Faculty, Professor Margaret Chitiga-Mabugu, said she was elated at the positive outcome following the five-year 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.
“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.”
In stressing the importance of accreditations, Professor Chitiga-Mabugu said: “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.”