Diversity and inclusion are among AACSB’s core values and are a critical component of the newly implemented 2020 business accreditation standards. AACSB-accredited business schools are committed to demonstrating positive societal impact and creating welcoming environments that promote diversity, inclusion, and belonging. The standards and guidance for diversity and inclusion are global by design and highly adaptable in order to serve the needs of stakeholders at more than 900 AACSB-accredited schools in over 50 countries and territories.
Within each region, country, and community, the meaning of diversity and inclusion varies. The AACSB accreditation standards view diversity and inclusion through a global lens and are consultative in nature, not prescriptive, when it comes to guiding how accredited schools can have an impact.
Diversity and inclusion are among the 10 “Guiding Principles” underpinning the shared ideals of AACSB accreditation.
The standards include greater emphasis on the importance of diversity and inclusion than ever before.
AACSB remains deeply committed to diversity and inclusion in collegiate business education. These values of diversity and inclusion foster the exploration of differences in a safe and supportive environment, where community members move beyond tolerance of differences to seeking and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity and the contributions these differences make to innovative, engaged, and impactful business experiences. When business schools unlock access, reduce barriers, and intentionally create strategies to engage disadvantaged or underrepresented populations, they create an environment of success and enhance excellence.
Guiding Principle 9 speaks to diversity and inclusion as a foundation of AACSB accreditation:
Diversity in people and ideas enhances the educational experience and encourages excellence in every business education program. At the same time, diversity is a culturally-embedded concept rooted in historical and cultural traditions, legislative and regulatory concepts, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic conditions, religious practices, and individual and shared experiences. Within this complex environment, the school is expected to demonstrate a commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion issues in the context of the cultural landscape in which it operates. The school fosters awareness, understanding, acceptance, and respect for diverse viewpoints related to current and emerging issues.
Learners engage in experiential and active learning designed to be inclusive for a diverse student body...
The school actively seeks to attract and retain diverse learners consistent with AACSB Guiding Principle 9.
Interpretive Guidance for Standard 6
Admissions processes should be in place that ensure a learner population with diversity of all kinds...
Demographic data that should be reviewed normally include the following for the incoming class, for learners at various levels of degree completion where appropriate, and for graduates:
In addition to maintaining policies and programs intended to attract a diverse set of learners, the school should have programs and policies in place to ensure that students from underrepresented populations thrive and succeed.
Interpretive Guidance for Standard 7
Download the 2020 Business
Download the 2020
Interpretive Guidance Document