Sounds of a Global Drumbeat: Increasing Diversity of AACSB Member Schools

Sounds of a Global Drumbeat: Increasing Diversity of AACSB Member Schools

Three and a half years after the opening of AACSB’s EMEA office in Amsterdam, 463 countries and territories are represented in membership across the region, with 448 educational members.

I had the pleasure of writing this post from Honolulu, Hawaii—the site of AACSB’s 2018 International Conference and Annual Meeting (ICAM). This stunning 50th state of the United States is a remarkable melting pot of cultures, languages, and customs reflective as a microcosm of the richness of diversity and inclusion at AACSB. Over 1,100 colleagues gathered from more than 60 countries and territories to share best practices, insights, research, and teaching relating to continuous improvement and high quality in business education.

This same diversity is increasingly reflected in the growth of regional members. Now, some three and a half years after the opening of AACSB’s Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) office in Amsterdam, 63 countries and territories are represented in membership across the EMEA region. Specifically, 448 educational members are now represented in the region. While these numbers are worth celebrating, and the EMEA team has worked tirelessly to build an engaged and impactful membership in our region, we realize there is still a great deal of work to do.

What has excited me so much about recent membership activity is the diversity of countries engaged. In our most recent membership commitments, team members connected with business schools in seven different countries including the following:

  • Université Tunis Carthage, Tunisia
  • Amsterdam University of Applied Science, the Netherlands
  • Beirut Arab University, Lebanon
  • Al Yamamah University, Saudi Arabia
  • WSB University, Poland
  • The University of Georgia, Georgia
  • Alfred Nobel University, Ukraine

This diversity of institutions spans public and private, large and small, urban and rural—not to mention the incredible mix of regions. To many current and potential member schools, this is one of the great added values of AACSB membership. What is equally powerful is the fact that these institutions offer programs in a variety of languages. Many people may not realize that AACSB is “agnostic” regarding the language of instruction. Consistent with our focus on institutional mission, the language of instruction is determined by the business school and is directly aligned with the vision, mission, and values of the faculty. Part of the great richness of our organization is the breadth of membership and the diversity of schools now representing over 100 countries and territories worldwide.

Our newest member school, Alfred Nobel University in Dnipro, Ukraine, is a wonderful example. The business school has embarked on a decidedly global mission and strategy. In January of this year, master’s students of the Department of International Finance, Accounting, and Taxation started their dual degree studies in Sopot University of Applied Sciences in Poland under the agreement between the two institutions. Under this project, financed by the European Commission, students receive a scholarship under the “two diplomas” program—an international educational program that grants students both Polish and Ukrainian degrees.

As a further indication of its global gusto, Alfred Nobel University just celebrated Zimbabwe Independence Day, and next month the university will celebrate a unification day of students from Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Through these examples implemented by just one institution, you can hear the beat of a global drum that resonates throughout AACSB, and how our fantastic international footprint enhances the perspective and the connectivity opportunities for the business school at Alfred Nobel University.

We applaud all of our members. But we are truly energized by the increasingly growing diversity of interest in AACSB in our 102nd year. We look forward to celebrating this continued growth at next year’s ICAM, held in the EMEA region in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Tim Mescon Follow Timothy Mescon on Twitter @timmescon.