Peking University HSBC Business School on Earning AACSB Accreditation
Wen Hai, dean of Peking University HSBC Business School, shares how the AACSB accreditation journey provided more global insights and helped cultivate better collaboration among departments.
In this blog series, AACSB is spotlighting business schools around the world 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, Wen Hai, dean of Peking University HSBC Business School, shares how the AACSB accreditation journey provided a more global view of business education and where they fit in that picture, and helped cultivate a more collaborative relationship among different departments in the school.
Why was it important for your school to undergo the rigorous process of earning AACSB Accreditation?
The whole accreditation process serves basically two functions for us: one is for us to look retrospectively about what we have done and achieved in the past, and the other is for us to look ahead to our future potential development. By self-checking against AACSB standards, we are able to consider international peer insights and evaluate our school from various aspects. Further, the experiences shared by our mentor, the peer schools, and the peer review team members help us recognize our position in the business education landscape, our effective practices, and areas for improvement.
What did you learn about your school through your accreditation journey?
The journey confirmed for us that we have several good practices that have received overall positive feedback from our stakeholders. For example, the quality training of students has proved to be rather effective in team building and cultivating good leadership. To put together a smooth and successful on-site visit, support and cooperation from the stakeholders was very important, and the process of accreditation has showcased our strong ties with corporate partners and alumni, who have a very strong connection to the school.
We also discovered certain areas that may need continuous improvement, such as adopting more technology-driven pedagogical approaches and using more stand-alone assessments for student learning.
What were the most challenging and rewarding parts of the accreditation process?
The most challenging part was perhaps how to effectively incorporate the assurance of learning (AoL) process into the daily teaching routine. Given that AoL is a rather intensive process for the faculty and students, an effectively deep understanding and appreciation for accreditation is critical. Data collection can be a quite challenging task. Consequently, learning how to effectively accommodate changes into our faculty’s future teaching practices is also crucial.
Accreditation is a comprehensive and long process; it requires consistency and persistence. Throughout the process, what we found to be most rewarding is that all departments have been working together; they have had multiple meetings, the dialog between them has strengthened, and mutual understanding between them is even deeper.
What impact do you hope to see from having achieved AACSB Accreditation?
The achievement of accreditation will be a milestone for the school in terms of future global ranking. This status serves as a way of promoting ourselves and puts us on the radar of international colleagues, and the school can better attract high-quality international students through exchange programs and direct admission. Standing at an equal level, our school can build more strategic partnerships with top-tier business schools.
What advice would you give to another school approaching the accreditation process?
Accreditation is a process of aligning with the standards, locating potential problems, and practicing continuous improvement. It requires devotion and patience, and a dedicated professional team with efficient staff support is the foundation for a smooth process. Try to incorporate accreditation into the school’s routine, such as teaching and documenting. Effective communications from different departments can also help save a lot of time.
Wen Hai is dean and a professor in economics at Peking University HSBC Business School, where he also serves as vice chairman of Peking University Council.