Newly Accredited: IBS Moscow on Earning AACSB Accreditation

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Tuesday, October 8, 2019
By AACSB Staff
Photo courtesy of IBS Moscow
Dean Sergey Myasoedov discusses the school's values in leadership and globalization, and how the accreditation process helped further distinguish these strengths.

In this series, AACSB spotlights 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 April, Institute of Business Studies (IBS)-Moscow, of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RAPNEA), became the first Russian business school to earn AACSB accreditation. Vice rector of the university and founding dean of the business school, Sergey Myasoedov, shares the reasons his school pursued the accreditation, the experience he and his team ventured through to get there, and the impact he plans to see.

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

There were several important reasons for the very serious decision to undergo the AACSB accreditation process:

First, the very fact that it is the most rigorous and objective business school accreditation in the world.

Second, the IBS-Moscow team always wanted to create world-class business school in Russia. AACSB accreditation became the proof of it. It permitted the team to say with inspiration, “We did it! IBS-Moscow is a Russian business school of world class!”

Third, the mission-driven, innovation-oriented, and strategic character of the AACSB accreditation standards helped us to renovate and further improve the quality of our program portfolio, to develop and modernize the process of program management, and to focus research on the mission and strategic goals.

Fourth, the IBS-Moscow team understood that AACSB accreditation would help to establish new synergistic partnerships with business schools in other countries. This is principally important for a global business environment.

And finally, IBS-Moscow, driven by the value of leadership, wanted to become the first Russian business school to earn AACSB accreditation. Achieving that status will stay with us forever!

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

To sum up a lot of both small and big findings we discovered over the five-year-long accreditation period, I would highlight the following:

  • IBS-Moscow is in many ways a truly high-quality and competitive business school that knows how to bring value to both Russian and foreign students.
  • IBS-Moscow must continue to focus on quality improvement and has a lot to learn from the leading business schools of the world.
  • AACSB accreditation teams and peer review groups are rigorous and do not accept compromise in quality. Simultaneously, they are very friendly and always ready to help you in the process.
  • AACSB accreditation is the accreditation that helps us reach our goals!

What were the most challenging and rewarding parts of the accreditation process?

The biggest challenge was understanding the quality assessment system, sometimes referred to as a “double loop” system, and to implementing it into IBS-Moscow’s practice of quality self-evaluation. When we learned how to leverage the methods and understood the value of the system, we started thinking about how to implement it not only within the business school but also at the university level.

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

IBS-Moscow is empowered to lead in Russian business education. For us, the positive impact on the development of a national business education is a very meaningful part of our strategy and mission. Many business schools are benchmarking against IBS-Moscow and following our development and growth. After IBS-Moscow achieved AACSB accreditation, we recognized that more high-quality business schools in Russia have followed and begun the AACSB accreditation process.

As I have recently become the president of the Russian Association of Business Education (RABE), a like-minded organization with more than a hundred Russian and Common Wealth of Independent States business schools as the members, the process of accreditation has showed me opportunities where two associations could cooperate to create synergy, to promote the quality of business education and the U.N. Principles for Responsible Management Education. AACSB accreditation creates additional opportunities for IBS-Moscow and RABE to have international impact.

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

Don’t be afraid. Don’t wait for years. Don’t postpone the decision to start the eligibility application.

It may take five or six, or even seven, years to realize the great achievement of AACSB accreditation for your business school. But it is worth it.

By the end of the process, you will get a 360-degree analysis of your business school’s strengths and weaknesses, plus a clear strategic vision for the future.

During the period of the accreditation process, the best business education experts in the world will become your mentors and consultants. By the end, you will gain not only the leading business education accreditation globally, but many new friends and new opportunities for networking—not to mention the fantastic feeling of inspiration that your business school became better, more competitive, and stronger overall.

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