Newly Accredited: Chung-Ang University on Earning AACSB Accreditation
Cheolkyu Hong, dean of the Chung-Ang University Business School, shares his experience in going through the initial accreditation process and the impact it is having on the business school.
In this blog series, AACSB is spotlighting business schools around the globe that have recently earned AACSB Accreditation. We ask the business school leadership about their journey to accreditation and what the new achievement means to them. In this interview, Cheolkyu Hong, dean of the Chung-Ang University Business School in Seoul, Korea, shares his experience in going through the initial accreditation process and the impact it has had—and will continue to have—on the business school.
Why was it important for your school to undergo the rigorous process of earning AACSB Accreditation?
AACSB Accreditation is the most prestigious business education accreditation in the world that less than 5 percent of the world's business schools have obtained. This year, Chung-Ang University has been comprehensively accredited for the business undergraduate, MS, PhD, and MBA programs. With this accreditation, we can proudly say that our university is now entering the major leagues of business education institutions around the world. Chung-Ang University already has a business education system that is comparable to some of the world's leading universities, but with this accreditation, we can say that we have established a place to actively engage with a world-class business school network.
What did you learn about your school through your accreditation journey?
Through the AACSB accreditation process, our university has established a systematic management education system. The assurance of learning system (AoL), one of the most important requirements for AACSB Accreditation, establishes the learning goals for each degree program in the business department. Accreditation peer reviewers also periodically evaluate academic achievement using a variety of assessment methods at the degree level. The results have improved teaching methods, as reflected positively in curriculum and lecture contents. In addition, meetings with our Business Education Advisory Committee (BEAC), composed of professors, staffs, students, alumni, parents, and corporations, are held periodically to advise and reflect on the status of the business management education.
Through the initial AACSB accreditation process, we have made various changes in curriculum, lecture contents, and teaching methods in the Faculty of Business Administration. As an example of curriculum improvement, CEOs from various multinational corporations in Korea have recently introduced and established a new course based on their management practices and careers. Through this course, students gain a better understanding of global business environments and social responsibilities as well as various decision-making methods in business practices. In return, the course has helped students design their own career paths in advance. We have also created software-related courses to meet market demand and business environment changes. Moreover, we have increased the importance of management ethics and corporate social responsibility in lectures. We are working hard to improve students' problem-solving skills through case studies, team projects, and other various methods.
In the future, we aim to continue cultivating talented individuals into business leaders who will meet the demands of industry and thrive in global management.What was the most challenging/rewarding part of the accreditation process?
Through the AACSB accreditation process, we created 40 new action plans to re-establish our vision and mission. We shared our vision and mission with all of our professors, employees, students, and alumni. In so doing, we exerted enthusiasm, effort, and commitment to achieve our goals. As a result, we were able to successfully earn accreditation. Furthermore, I think this accreditation is a great stepping stone in further developing our university.
What impact do you hope to see from having achieved AACSB Accreditation?
We expect that the exchanges with world-class universities will be further activated through AACSB Accreditation. We hope this achievement will advance joint research with overseas scholars, enable the hiring of excellent faculty, and expand exchange student opportunities. In addition, by establishing the best business education system, we will be able to provide a good quality education for students, which will enable us to help produce excellent global leaders who will guide future generations; I believe this is the most important role of the university.
What advice would you give to another school approaching the accreditation process?
Unlike other accreditations, the AACSB application is a rigorous process that requires the utmost time and dedication. Basic educational infrastructure and full support from university headquarters is necessary. But more importantly, active interest, support, dedication, and commitment of all professors, staff, students, and alumni are the key elements to being successful in this process.
Cheolkyu Hong is dean of the Chung-Ang University Business School in Seoul.