Indian Institute of Management Calcutta is the only Indian B-school to be accredited by three important international accreditation agencies, the Association of MBAs (AMBA), Association of Advanced Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS). Only five other business schools in Asia and 73 around the world have the triple crown in accreditation. Saibal Chattopadhyay, director, IIM Calcutta, talks about why a B-school needs to do extremely well to meet the quality requirements of all three. Excerpts from an interview.
Do you think a triple accreditation will help you scale up the global rankings?
Accreditations from reputed international agencies such as AMBA, AACSB or EQUIS involve international benchmarking of the programmes offered and of the institute as a whole. Accreditation processes review institutional strategy to see if they are in sync with the pace of change in the global environment and in the corporate world. They also review the learning environment, academic quality of programmes, efforts to develop ethical leaders, impact of faculty research, quality of students, societal and professional relevance, and assurance of learning, among others.
How are the three accreditations different from one another, in terms of value addition?
AMBA focuses on individual programmes and its rigorous assessment criteria ensure that an AMBA accredited programme has demonstrated best standards in teaching, curricula, and student interaction.
AACSB accreditation is more strategic and it assesses the whole institute. Through its accreditation standards and processes dealing with strategic management, student, faculty, and staff, teaching and learning environment, and academic and professional engagement, it recognises institutions that uphold its mission and core values, and work to advance global management education.
EQUIS, like AACSB, also assesses institutions as a whole, looking for demonstrated high quality in all dimensions of activities, but with emphasis on internationalisation. It also considers how well the Institute is connected with the corporate world and also the quality of executive education offered.
What is the renewal year for each of these at IIM Calcutta?
AMBA and AACSB accreditations are for five years, while EQUIS is for three years. The renewal for all these will be due in 2018-19.
As a triple accredited institute, do you plan to bring in any changes in the curriculum or admission criteria at the institute?
Our admission criteria are extremely rigorous and the curriculum including the courses on offer and pedagogy are updated on a continuous basis. We periodically carry out major curriculum reviews (and associated reforms, if any are warranted) as well. One such review is currently underway.
How did you work to achieve all the three accreditations?
The board of governors of the institute and the ministry of human resource development were highly supportive of the institute’s effort to achieve excellence in management education. Our participation in the accreditation process is a relatively new development. These accreditations are perhaps natural outcomes of what we do. The accreditation processes required us to document our activities and subject ourselves to a rigorous peer-review process that involved review visits by international peer-review teams.