Row ends MBA scheme hope

May 16, 1997

PLANS for a universal assessment and accreditation scheme to check standards in the burgeoning market for MBA qualifications have collapsed after 18 months of development, following a row between the development partners.

The Association of MBAs (AMBA) has pulled out of talks with the Association of Business Schools (ABS) at the eleventh hour. AMBAquestioned the independence of the ABS, which represents the interests of its member schools.

The ABS said it was "extremely disappointed", and insisted that the diverse MBA market place still desperately needs a comprehensive assessment scheme. Two-thirds of British MBA programmes will now be ignored, said ABS chairman Chris Greensted.

"The joint scheme would have given the public information on all MBAs, including criteria for judging teaching and research," he said. "Now we have only partial information. There will be no block on the bad MBAs, and there will be no recognition to those in the middle."

An ABS postal vote found that 93 per cent of ABS schools which were also members of AMBA were in favour of the joint scheme.

AMBA said it would stick with its existing scheme with minor modifications, which currently accredits around 30 MBA programmes at the top end of the market.

The collapsed joint scheme would have accredited more than 100 MBA programmes on a three- grade scale: approved, accredited, and, by implication, failed.

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