No AMBA accreditation for online MBAs

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Denver, Dec 30, 2005.

  1. Denver

    Denver Member

    No AMBA accreditation for online MBAs

    From the December 19 Financial Times
    Business Education without classrooms by Kim Thomas

    “Robert Owen, director of accreditation services at the Association of MBAs (AMBA), says there is a good reason for this. He believes that online delivery is a poor substitute for classroom interaction. “Business and management is a subject that needs to be discussed and debated face-to-face,” he says. AMBA has taken a decision not to give accreditation to purely online MBAs, although it accepts courses with some online element.”
  2. -kevin-

    -kevin- Resident Redneck

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 30, 2005
  3. w_parker

    w_parker New Member

    Snobbery, and quite frankly who cares about AMBA accrediting? AACSB will work for me.

  4. DesElms

    DesElms New Member

    AMBA is not an accreditor recognized/approved by the US Department of Education (USDE) or its Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). In my book, that makes AMBA not an "accreditor" at all.

    Agreed. In fact, it's not even "accrediting." Approval, maybe; but not accrediting.
  5. tcmak

    tcmak New Member

    That really depends on where you are and your perspective in looking at this... AMBA is very common in UK. AACSB, on the contrary, is not the majority in UK. I believe there are more EQUIS-accredited business schools than AACSB-accredited schools in UK.

    As for another post about some UK DL programmes accredited by AMBA. Take a further look and you will find that they all have face-to-face/residential elements in their programmes.

    Although taking part of a DL MBA programme, I am wondering why discuss and debate has to be done face-to-face.... but it cannot be done in a real time synchronised manner.... I would be interested to know any more value of the discussion can be added face-to-face, as compared to "real-time synchronised online" manner.
  6. Massalocin

    Massalocin New Member

    Regarding the AMBA issue, DesElms wrote: In fact, it's not even "accrediting." Approval, maybe; but not accrediting.

    I'm not sure that this is an accurate statement. Take a look at the AMBA website:

    Seems like an official "accrediting" body to me. In fact (as an example), the article at the following link states that the MBA at the Said School of Business at Oxford only has AMBA accreditation:

    Notwithstanding, I believe that the point that the originator of this discussion is trying to make is that AMBA officials are stating that distance learning MBA's may no longer be accredited by the AMBA for reasons stated in the article.

    That said, the AMBA issue may not be a problem for some, but it may be an issue for those who may have busted their humps in order to obtain an MBA at a legitimate UK university via distance learning and now face the possibility of no accreditation by the AMBA.

    Hopefully this won't be a problem...I recall reading somewhere in this forum that legitimate UK universities such as Heriot-Watt refused to join AMBA due to politics (I believe that it was John Bear who stated this). Most here would agree that HW is a fine school, AMBA accredited or not.

    If the AMBA honestly believe that "online delivery is a poor substitute for classroom interaction and that business and management is a subject that needs to be discussed and debated face-to-face" it is most unfortunate. I wonder if this decision/rational is due to personal bias, or due to a quantifiable/qualifiable analysis (my hunch is that it’s the former).
  7. DesElms

    DesElms New Member

    It's not listed among the approved US accreditors, which, from the standpoint of those in the US, for use in the US, means it's technically not an accreditor.

    I stated it the way I did, in part, because of my frustration with several things: First, peripherally, what I consider to be the misuse of the word "accredit" and all conjugates thereof when applied to entities not approved by USDE and/or CHEA; and, second, thread-starting posts that don't make it clear precisely what entity they're talking about by making sure there's a link thereto, therein; and, third -- and most appropriate to your point -- the ease with which thread-starters and others around here talk about non-US entities and situations, in a forum that's clearly in the US, without so much as a courteous mention for the benefit of newbies that the alleged accreditor is a a non-US entity, applicable to non-US MBAs.

    I guess I was being a smart ass -- intentionally literal -- borne out of those frustrations. I suppose it's an inappropriately unclear equivalent of me being able to say, now that you've made mention of it as I fully expected someone would, with sarcasm, "Oh... you meant an accreditor in the UK? Well, then... you should have said so!"

    That said; and my having gotten that little snit out of the way...

    Yes, that would suck. I hope, for those in the UK, that that's not the case.
  8. Massalocin

    Massalocin New Member


    At the risk of digressing too far from the original discussion, and with no disrespect intended towards you, it must be stated that, like it or not, this is a global forum.

    Your statement "what I consider to be the misuse of the word "accredit" and all conjugates thereof when applied to entities not approved by USDE and/or CHEA" is quite strong.

    Having reviewed CHEA's database of Institutions Accredited by recognied US accrediting organizations, it comes up with a total of five UK universities (they're not bad universities, but clearly, they are not deemed to be the top UK universities). The point is, USDOE/CHEA recognition is important if you reside in the U.S., but from a global context, it is not the be all and end all.

    Yes, the forum physically operates out of the U.S., and while it is likely that the majority of degreeinfo posters reside in the U.S., and have "U.S. only issues" many degreeinfo posters reside elsewhere, yours truly included (from lovely Vancouver, BC).

    In fact there are likely a number of posters/lurkers here from the U.S., Canada and abroad who have distance learning MBA's from UK universities.

    I appreciate that matters relating to accreditation within the U.S. alone can be quite complicated and that we should all strive to reflect info that minimizes confusion, especially for the sake of degreeinfo newbies, specifically those from the U.S. (no sarcasm intended). However, I've always perceived this forum to have an international flare.

    Sorry about the rant, but I felt compelled to get this issue off my chest. Thanks for being the catalyst.

    kind regards (and all the best in 2006),

    p.s. I love your signature block - especially the "pop-up currency converter" Man, is that ever handy - cheers!
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 30, 2005
  9. DesElms

    DesElms New Member

    Massalocin, you've read-in to it more than I said, or meant... which I suspected was the case when you called me on it in the first place...

    It is a global forum, but it's in the US. It has a US slant. Most of its posts are US-related. Given those indisputable facts, a little labeling of non-US matters in thread-starting posts isn't a lot to ask. It's a labeling issue, more than anything else. That was my point.

    Not if the target audience is in the US. That was my point... which, actually, I thought was quite clear... and you would have, too, if you hadn't just assumed that mine was some kind of anti-UK rant, which it was not. Again, it's just a labeling issue.

    That has as much to do with what we're talking about here as fish have with flying.

    Your assumption that my point was that it is obviously had you panting for a chance to refute it before you made sure that that was even what I was saying... again, as I suspected when you first called me on it. This isn't some kind of anti-UK, pro-US thing. It's a labeling issue.

    And they -- and their issues -- are as welcome here as can be! It would just be nice, in recognition of the very factors you cite, if thread-starting posts about non-US issues could be so labeled. That's all.

    You just have to make this about what you incorrectly perceive as anti-UK, US snobbery, don't you. It's not. Never was. You just thought it was, and are commenting accordingly.

    Good! Then you won't have a problem with a little courteous labeling.

    It's a decidedly US forum, with a strong -- and welcome -- international component. There's a difference.

    And indeed you have. I hope it was as cathartic as you'd hoped.

    Glad to be of service, but since you misread/misinterpreted what I was saying, I wasn't really. Your misperceptions were. Still, you made perfectly fine points, and I'm glad it got said by hook or by crook.

    Back atcha'!

    Actually, it's got a bug in it, inflicted upon it by the vBulletin software itself by the way it improperly processes the link. But I'm working on a fix that should be in my signature soon.
  10. Dennis

    Dennis New Member

    To my knowledge, AMBA is a provincial(in EU terms) accreditor and pretty irrelevant outside of Britain. I think, EQUIS and AACSB are more known in Europe and worldwide. The German speaking countries have their own accreditor called FIBAA. To boot, many European universities don't even bother to get their MBA programs accredited by one of the agencies above; "We are accredited by the government, that's the highest accreditation available and we don't understand all this fuss about professional accreditation", the common argument goes.

  11. Tim D

    Tim D Member

    Over in Europe EQUIS is far more common than AACSB, actually AACSB is most common in the US. AMBA is accredits mostly UK programmes. There are Australian and Kiwi(New Zealand) programmes that are also AMBA and EQUIS accreditited.

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