MBA exchange programme standards queried

March 12, 2009

A top business school has had a ticking-off from the university quality watchdog.

In an audit at the London Business School, the Quality Assurance Agency said it could place only "limited confidence" in the school's ability to manage academic standards when it came to its collaborative provision.

The QAA's audit team said it was "essential" that the business school developed a way of ensuring independent oversight of credit awarded to students by partner institutions, and institute a system to "ensure the effective oversight of all aspects of its collaborative provision".

The business school runs an EMBA Global programme in partnership with Columbia University, and an international exchange programme that allows up to a third of second-year MBA students to spend a term at one of 35 selected partner institutions in 15 countries earning elective credits.

But the report found "the school has only limited control over, or input to, those elements of the University of London award constituted of elective courses taken".

It says: "The audit team, while appreciating that imposing external examiners on some 35 institutions in 15 countries would be impractical, considers it paramount that the school find a means of assuring itself that the academic standards of each of these institutions is comparable with each other and with those of a UK masters-level award."

However, the QAA said that confidence could be placed in the academic standards of the school's domestic provision and in the quality of the learning opportunities available to students.

A London Business School spokeswoman said the audit took place in June 2008 and "since that time we have made significant changes in these areas, and all the essential recommendations of the QAA audit team have now been addressed".

rebecca.attwood@tsleducation.com.

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