In 2010, WHU has been accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Thus, WHU is the fourth business school in Germany to be accredited by AACSB, which is one of the most significant accreditations for business schools worldwide.
AACSB is characterized by outstanding commitment to high quality and constant improvement as well as a particularly strict and broad expert assessment. AACSB has placed special emphasis on the excellent quality of the study program as well as the internationality of WHU.
AACSB International accreditation represents the highest standards of achievement for business schools worldwide. Institutions that earn accreditation confirm their commitment to quality and continuous improvement through a rigorous and comprehensive peer review. AACSB International accreditation is the hallmark of excellence in management education.
AACSB International accreditation assures stakeholders that business schools:
In 1998, WHU became the first German business school to be accredited by the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS). The accreditation has been extended for another five years in March 2009. This recognition is granted as a sign of approval for international business schools.
The fundamental objective of EQUIS is to raise the standard of management education worldwide. EQUIS assesses not just degree programmes but all the activities and sub-units of the institution, including research, e-learning units, executive education provision and community outreach. Institutions must be primarily devoted to management education.
EQUIS looks for a balance between high academic quality and the professional relevance provided by close interaction with the corporate world. A strong interface with the world of business is, therefore, as much a requirement as a strong research potential. EQUIS attaches particular importance to the creation of an effective learning environment that favours the development of students’ managerial and entrepreneurial skills, and fosters their sense of global responsibility. It also looks for innovation in all respects, including programme design and pedagogy.
Institutions that are accredited by EQUIS must demonstrate not only high general quality in all dimensions of their activities, but also a high degree of internationalisation. With companies recruiting worldwide, with students choosing to get their education outside their home countries, and with schools building alliances across borders and continents, there is a rapidly growing need for them to be able to identify those institutions in other countries that deliver high quality education in international management.
WHU is proud to have been EQUIS approved and understands this grant as a confirmation of its own high standards and commitment to excellence in management education. The University of Mannheim is the only other university in Germany that has also fulfilled the strict requirements for EQUIS accreditation.
WHU is currently undergoing the system accreditation process, supervised and evaluated by accreditation agency FIBAA. With resolution from February 29th 2008, the German Accreditation Council has introduced a new instrument of quality assurance in the German university sector as an addition to the existing program accreditation.
Key aspect of the system accreditation is the school’s internal quality assurance system. A successfully completed accreditation means that all programs that have been approved by the quality assurance system are automatically accredited for another six years. In the course of the system accreditation, structures and processes which are relevant for academic studies and teaching are being examined in terms of assuring conformity with the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ESG), guidelines of the Conference of German Cultural Ministers (KMK) and the German Accreditation Council criteria.
A positive system accreditation certifies that the school’s internal quality assurance system is qualified to assure the achievement of quality goals and standards. In this context WHU has implemented a quality assurance system which puts special emphasis on the school’s core competences – academic studies and teaching; research and practice.
All Bachelor and Masters programs at WHU have been accredited by FIBAA (Foundation for International Business Administration Accreditation) in 2005. Accreditation is a requirement for government approval of the new programs. The internationally recognized Bachelor and Master degrees are to be introduced throughout Germany by the year 2010, replacing the German Diplom and Magister. The goal of this reform, which is based on what is called the “Bologna Declaration”, is to create a free “European space for higher education". In addition to the comparability of degrees, however, there must also be more curricula-related transparency and compatibility of standards. In order to assure the quality of higher education, professional training and research, the newly structured programs must be accredited in accordance with common national requirements agreed upon by the German ministers of education.
Germany has a decentralized system of accreditation. The compatibility of quality standards is accomplished by the German Study Course Accreditation Foundation ("Stiftung zur Akkreditierung von Studiengängen in Deutschland") via certification of accreditation agencies, which use formalized, objective processes to assess degree programs. FIBAA is one of five German accreditation agencies.
In 2010/2011 all degree programs were re-accredited by FIBAA, granting the premium seal to the Bachelor, EMBA and both MBA programs.