The School of Business at The American University in Cairo (AUC) was re-accredited by the three most prestigious international business and management education associations: the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the Association of MBAs (AMBA) and the EFMD Quality Improvement System (EQUIS) systems. Only 77 business schools — representing 1 percent of leading business institutions worldwide —received the three distinguished accreditations, known as the Triple Crown. Since first achieving the Triple Crown accreditation three years ago, AUC’s School of Business became the first in the Middle East and third in Africa to obtain all three renowned recognitions.“Maintaining the Triple Crown accreditation confirms the academic leadership of AUC’s School of Business in Egypt, the Arab region, Africa and the world,” said Interim Dean Nizar Becheikh. “It represents a clear vote of confidence in the school's strategy, governance and rigorous continuous improvement processes, as well as recognition of the cutting-edge quality of our programs, the high caliber and practical relevance of our research, the deep impact our community has on the business world, and the fostering of corporate engagement in Egypt, the Arab region and beyond."
This exceptional accreditation granted to AUC’s School of Business motivates undergraduate students in pursuing the job market and applying for graduate studies. “Students know the school is going to meet a certain level of learning, faculty excellence and engagement with business as part of its holistic educational experience,” said Khaled Samaha, chair of the Department of Accounting.
Over 60 years old and offering an array of programs and methods that provide real-life experience, interdisciplinary approaches to business and innovative entrepreneurial knowledge, AUC’s School of Business earned in 2006 the AACSB reaccreditation, which was renewed in 2011 and again in February 2017 for five years. Established in 1916, AACSB is the largest business education alliance worldwide. The school’s undergraduate programs in accounting, business administration, and management of information and communication technology, as well as the graduate program in business administration, have all received this accreditation.
Moreover according to AUC’s Office of Academic Assessment and Accreditation, only 5 percent of business schools receive AACSB’s official recognition, while AUC is the only University in Egypt and one of 18 in the Middle East and North Africa region to achieve University-wide accreditation. Currently, 785 business schools worldwide are AACSB-accredited. "The renewal of the AACSB accreditation is an exciting endeavor; it makes me even more confident of my choice to pursue higher education at AUC’s School of Business," said MBA student Nazly Hussein Said.
AUC’s School of Business has also been granted the EQUIS accreditation in 2014 and received its first reaccreditation in March 2017, further validating the quality of the school’s programs. The EQUIS accreditation, run by the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD), is one of the most comprehensive ways to certify the quality of a business school, as it involves an extensive self-assessment by the school and monitoring of its academic programs at all degree levels. The evaluation usually looks at how the school can maintain its standards and, more importantly, how it has progressed over its most recent period of accreditation.
Specific to graduate studies, the AMBA system was established in 1967, and thus far, about 200 graduate business schools globally are accredited by it. One of the highest levels of achievement in postgraduate business education, AMBA represents a global standard for MBA, Doctor of Business Administration and Master of Business Management programs.
First granted the AMBA accreditation in 2014, AUC’s School of Business received five-year unconditional renewal of its AMBA accreditation in May 2017. The criteria AUC has met for AMBA include institutional integrity, faculty quality, program design, leadership, graduate attributes, learning outcomes and curriculum breadth and depth.
A tangible advantage of AMBA is that accredited schools, by default, become members of the association. This is particularly beneficial to AUC students, as it exposes them to a vast network of professionals in their fields. “Accreditation and international activities and exposure are simply what keep the school competitive,” said student Walid Abou ElNour, president of AUC’s Business Association. “They make us know that our University is at par with the ones abroad. We all have to contribute to maintaining [this] as a collective effort.”
Echoing similar sentiments, Nellie El Enany, assistant professor of organization studies in the Department of Management, said “The successful international reaccreditation of AUC’s School of Business demonstrates the exceptional standards of teaching and research provided by its high-caliber faculty to its students and the wider academic community.”