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Triple crown accreditation in Asia: Where are they and how to get in

SOURCE: ROSLAN RAHMAN / AFP
Singapore's Lee Kong China School of Business is a triple crown accredited business school.


By U2B Staff 

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When it comes to choosing a solid MBA programme, there are two things that most business school applicants think about – business school rankings and business school accreditation or programme accreditation. To put it simply, look for a business school that is accredited and runs an accredited MBA programme.

Most MBA consultants would regard accreditation from either or all three main accreditation bodies, AACSB, EQUIS, or AMBA as excellent MBA programmes. EQUIS and AACSB accreditations apply to business schools, while AMBA is a programmatic accreditation that accredits individual programmes.

Accreditation is important as it acts as a quality assurance for applicants to business schools, ensuring their programmes are trustworthy. While not all business schools have all three accreditations, those that achieve the approval by all three accreditation bodies are certainly worth considering.

If you are planning to invest a lot of money and time in getting an MBA, then an accreditation should be placed high up on your list of requirements: The accreditation process involves evaluating varying aspects of a business school, from the quality of their faculty to its education, and can act as a convenient way for you to ensure that you receive a solid education.

This is especially important if you are considering getting an MBA abroad.

According to a survey conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), applications to MBA programmes to elite business schools in the United States is dropping.

The declining trend began in 2014 and in 2017, the percentage of applications to business schools in the United States, including Stanford, Harvard, and UPenn declined by 7%.

More interestingly, programmes outside of the United States reported increases in application volume. Applications to business schools China and the Asia Pacific showed an increase in applications by 67%, Canada by 62%, and Europe by 61%.

The GMAC also reports that MBA programmes in China and the wider Asia-Pacific region have seen a year-on-year rise in application volume. GMAC also reports a 41% increase of applications to MBA programmes in China, reflecting the strong growth in international applications in 2019, with a further 23% reporting stable growth in international applications.

So, while the demand for MBAs may be dropping in the United States, the demand for the programme is growing in the Asia Pacific, in line with its growing economy. Nearly 87% of employers in the Asia-Pacific region have plans to hire recent MBA graduates, more than any other region in the world in 2019.

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Business schools in the Asia Pacific region have a lot to offer, including triple-accredited MBA programmes

When it comes to getting an MBA, most business school applicants had a natural tendency to flock to schools in the United States, United Kingdom, and even Europe, but business schools in the Asia Pacific region have also come on top, especially recently.

In fact, many business schools and MBA programmes in this region have achieved international accreditation from and many are now ranked among the world’s best business schools.

Australia is home to business schools that also host triple-accredited MBA programmes. These schools include QUT Business School, Queensland University of Technology, Monash University, and the University of Sydney Business School.

Similarly, there are four schools in New Zealand with similar accreditations including the University of Auckland Business School, University of Waikato Faculty of Management, Victoria University of Wellington, Victoria Business School, and University of Canterbury Business School in Christchurch.

Indian business schools are also demonstrating strong quality in terms of MBA offerings, with three schools that have made it to the list of 100 triple crown accredited schools. These institutions include the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, Indian Institute of Management Indore, and the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad. These schools also made it to the Financial Times’ top 100 MBA in 2020.

Eight business schools in China made it into the list of 100 triple crown accredited schools: Antai College of Economics and Management, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Beijing Institute of Technology, Lingnan College and Sun Yat-sen Business School both of which are from the Sun Yat-sen University, School of Economics and Management, Tongji University, University of International Business and Economics, Zhejiang University and Xiamen University.

The Hong Kong Baptist University School of Business also makes the list of 100 triple crown accredited business schools this year as well as the Lee Kong China School of Business based in Singapore.

Chinese business schools are also highly ranked by major publications such as the Financial Times, Forbes, and Bloomberg Businessweek.

Additionally, business programmes based in China and Hong Kong occupy 14% of the Financial Times’ top 50 MBA rankings, with Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) and The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) listed as one of the best performing schools.