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News & Press: ACBSP News

SEAA Trust β€” An Interview With Douglas Viehland About Accreditation in India

Tuesday, November 20, 2012   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Giles Rafol

SEAA Trust
self-regulation through accreditation

Interview with Douglas Viehland, Excecutive Director - ACBSP

Douglas Viehland, the Executive Director of Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programmes USA, almost single handedly established his accreditation agency as the number one international accreditation body with the largest number of accreditations so far in a market which is intensifying for international accreditation. Between the top five accredited bodies 20 accreditations have been done and the tally for Viehland is seven, an impressive figure by any measure considering the short period of time involved in propagating international accreditation initiatives in India.

SEAA has been working closely with ACBSP on its efforts. A.Thothathri Raman quizzed Viehland on a range of issues pertinent to his organisation and also the future of international accreditation in India. Here are some excepts.

Doug Viehland
1.On expanding the list of ACBSP accredited schools in India and emerging as the top accreditor

ACBSP is the largest accreditor of business schools in India and the second largest accreditor in the world. ACBSP obtained this position by our outreach to schools in India and throughout the globe, by having an accreditation model that focuses on teaching excellence and by offering other benefits in addition to accreditation.

2. On the state of the art of Indian B-schools

Business schools in India are similar to business schools in other emerging countries, striving to offer an improved quality of education. They are challenged in this role by not being able to offer salaries and recognition for qualified faculty that is provided in other parts of the world. They are sometimes hampered by a ACITE requirements that are prescriptive in nature and based on inputs. Still, my experience is that the students attending business schools are highly motivated, the faculty members are dedicated to their tasks, and the graduates are well qualified.

3.How you do you think new schools could fit in with the international accreditation norms

By new schools I assume you mean schools that are just starting graduates. While they are not yet eligible to begin the process for specialized accreditation, they should use an international accreditation norm from the beginning. They have the advantage of not having to break and re-format existing practices that may is a barrier for long established schools. Upon joining as a member, ACBSP schools are able to receive the services of a person who can assist them along this path to create these processes in the same way a mentor assists a school in candidacy for accreditation. The choice of international accreditation body should be one that fits their mission and one that offers value for the expenses incurred. I think ACBSP is the best fit for the majority of schools in India.

4.What should schools do to be prepare themselves for the accreditation

For ACBSP, it is important they have an outcomes assessment approach for assurance of learning. ACBSP is creating a partnership with the SEAA Trust and Peregrine Academic Services to launch an new assessment product that focuses on business schools in India. Having this assessment in place is also a focus of accreditation by other accrediting bodies and all will have this service available to them and not just ACBSP schools.

5. Local vs International Accreditation

ACBSP believes in the national accreditation is of value as the ACITE requirements are not as valued and we encourage schools to obtain national accreditation.

6. On NBA accreditation

ACBSP is actually changing our requirements effective July 1. While any school that has the authority to grant degrees from a government agency may join as a member, to enter the accreditation process by becoming a candidate for accreditation, the business school must have either NBA or NCAA accreditation.

7.On Indian Accredited school leadership working on the international accreditation scene

ACBSP is unique from most accrediting bodies in that we have a region for all member schools in South Asia. This provides to ACBSP members, not only the commitment and involvement on a global scale but networking opportunities for schools in their region. It is also an opportunity for these schools to advance to leadership within ACBSP. Dr. Nandagopal from PSG School of Management will become a member of the ACBSP Board of Commissioner later in June. This Board is responsible for making all accreditation decisions.

8.Finally the game plan for ACBSP in India (Peregrine Academic Services etc.,)

ACBSP plans to continue our outreach to India by working with the organizations in India that have a focus on business schools and business school accreditation. This includes the Association of Indian Management Schools and the SEAA Trust. A big emphasis during the next year will be to assist Peregrine Academic Services to launch their new service for assessment of student learning. With an increased number of schools having completed the accreditation process, we now have persons experienced in preparing a self-study and hosting a site visit. We will be growing the number of persons in India who can serve as site team evaluators and mentors and this will be of value for both the school being accredited and for the school assisting in the process.

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