Newly Accredited: Chongqing University on Earning AACSB Accreditation

Liu Xing, dean of the School of Economics and Business Administration (SEBA) at Chongqing University in China, shares experiences and insights on the path to AACSB Accreditation.

In this blog series, AACSB is spotlighting business schools around the globe that have recently earned AACSB Accreditation. We ask the business school administrators about their journey to accreditation and what the new achievement means to them. In this interview, Liu Xing, dean of the School of Economics and Business Administration (SEBA) at Chongqing University in China, shares insights on his team’s accreditation experience.

Why was it important for your school to undergo the rigorous process of earning AACSB Accreditation?

AACSB Accreditation is the most influential accreditation for business schools in the world. Joining this network and community of the best business schools in the world to further promote the internationalization of SEBA was our first goal. But earning AACSB Accreditation as neither the only nor the ultimate goal. Through this rigorous process, especially the significant steps including self-evaluation and receiving advice from outside advisors, we rethought our mission, strategies, and implementations of all mission-related activities profoundly and made sure we were doing what we needed to do for continuous improvement. We would like to take AACSB Accreditation as a fresh start for the development of SEBA into the future.

What did you learn about your school through your accreditation journey?

Through self-evaluation and discussions with advisors, we were able to better understand our vision, mission, position, strategies, distinctiveness, strengths, weaknesses, and competitors. The whole process of earning AACSB Accreditation encouraged us to reflect on these aspects over and over again to make sure we made the right decisions. For example, unlike other top business schools in China aiming to be world-class schools with a global vision, SEBA puts “building a global vision” together with “sticking to local practice” in our mission to reflect our distinctiveness of emphasizing service to the local community along with a global vision.

What was the most challenging/rewarding part of the accreditation process?

Understanding the AACSB philosophy and motivating all stakeholders to participate in this process were the most challenging parts in the AACSB accreditation process. We organized a series of seminars and workshops within SEBA to help our faculty, administration, students, and all other stakeholders better understand AACSB Accreditation. They also realized that AACSB Accreditation is beneficial for all of us, so they were willing to make contributions to it. Enthusiasm and involvement of all stakeholders was very important in earning AACSB Accreditation. We are pleased and proud that we have their support.

The most rewarding part of the AACSB accreditation process was that, during the process, we discovered we were gradually improving. Our AACSB mentors and reviewers were very experienced advisors. We received wonderful guidance and learned a lot from them. At our school we have devoted faculty, administration, and students and enthusiastic alumni and employers. They are invaluable assets of SEBA. We were able to build a strong and efficient management team during the accreditation process, and now we have more confidence for continuous improvement in the future.

What impact do you hope to see from having achieved AACSB Accreditation?

We hope to get to know more peers in AACSB community and promote more international collaborations. SEBA is located in Chongqing, China. China is known as a vibrant economy and Chongqing is one of the most important economic centers of China. We expect to, on the platform of AACSB, communicate and cooperate with advanced business schools in the world to continuously provide quality business education and intellectual contributions for China and the world.

What advice would you give to another school approaching the accreditation process?

Our first suggestion is that, because earning AACSB Accreditation is an overall strategic process for a business school, all stakeholders need to participate in it. To better coordinate and be united, the dean should stand out from the very beginning and provide full strategic direction. Second, communicating with peers, especially participating in all kinds of events like seminars and conferences hosted by AACSB is very important and helpful in assuring that you are on the right track to do this job from the beginning.

Liu XingLiu Xing is dean of the School of Economics and Business Administration at Chongqing University in China.