AACSB EMEA – Conference Takeaways

AACSB EMEA – Conference Takeaways 2022


November and December are particularly busy this year – with three conference/meeting events, in addition to the usual ‘end-of-year’ deadlines.  Event #2 was AACSB’s Annual EMEA Conference in Amsterdam.

Our key take-aways from Amsterdam were as follows:

  1. The question of purpose is still significant for many schools. The first key note session focused on the social entrepreneur mindset – and linked to the challenge of educating for business where individuals are committed to pursuing societal goals whilst still making a profit.  Several challenges were discussed but the one that stood out to us was linked to Milton Friedman.  Whilst there’s been an ongoing call for business and policy to move on from the share-holder centric theories of Milton Friedman, more attention needs to be given to really answering the question “What’s the alternative (to Milton Friedman)?”
  2. Assurance of Learning (AoL) continues to be a key pitfall for accreditation.  AoL is a concern that we regularly observe within our client community. Hearing (formally) that lack of a systematic and routine process (with clearly identified competency goals for every degree programme) is a barrier to accreditation was confirmation that this is an ongoing area of challenge– particularly for those schools working towards initial accreditation. QED will prepare some AoL advisory posts over the next few months – to summarise some of the key insights, plus advice from our experiences with Schools.  If there’s anything in particular you’d like us to address as part of this, please email your suggestions.
  3. Research Impact was the topic for an excellent and well-balanced session from Prof Barry O’Mahony (Abu Dhabi University) and Adam Thomas (University of St Gallen).  There was lots to choose from here, but a key takeaway was the reminder that schools can leverage online repositories such as Google Scholar to help build the impact narrative.  This is not primarily about the numbers (which give very limited information) but the ‘story’ behind the numbers.  For example, are researchers or articles from the school listed as primary sources for key topics (thought leadership impact) or as a primary resource for a degree programme (teaching and learning impact).

For advice and further details on any of the above, please contact the QED Accreditation Team at info@QEDaccreditation.com.