Swiss School of Business and Management

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by Alistair Hofert, Feb 8, 2020.

  1. Alistair Hofert

    Alistair Hofert New Member

    Hi everyone,

    I’m new here and looking for helpful information about the Swiss School of Business and Management.

    I can’t seem to find any graduates on LinkedIn and they seem to be new. I’ve mailed them with many questions and they have a partnership with Deloitte in Croatia to offer an MBA programme. I’ve contacted Deloitte and they have 4 senior managers lecturing in Croatia, where it seems most activity takes place - they have about 20 lecturers and offer both online and campus classes.

    Does anyone know if they are accredited and reputable? They have written to me indicating they are registered in the Canton of Geneva, Switzerland under registration number CHE-131.073.981. I’m concerned that their office address in Geneva is a rented co-working space, rather than a campus. I’ve contacted some students that are busy with the MBA, who work for KPMG, PwC and Novo Nordisk - all of them seem to be happy with the programme.

    I’m considering taking their online, supervised DBA over a 2 year period.

    Any insights would be sincerely appreciated.
  2. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    Hmmmmmm . . . Most people with a LinkedIn page would immediately list their graduation. If none are listed, perhaps there are none.
    A registration number means nothing – it is merely a registration number. The fact that their office address is a “rented co-working space” is most definitely a red flag – after all, this is an alleged school that purports to grant master’s and doctoral credentials. They should certainly have more of a physical presence than a rent-a-desk.

    Finally, never assume that because students “seem to be happy” with a program that it is a good or credible program. Most students have no basis on which to compare their program with one that is better or more credible. They may be happy because the program is easy, and the program itself may be so easy that it is worthless.
    Croatia, huh? According to their accreditation page, “In Croatia, SSBM does not have the accreditation from the Ministry of Education but delivers private MBA or DBA diplomas. Our students are encouraged to verify with SSBM the accreditation status for each particular country.”

    Notice the wording. Seriously. Open your eyes WIDE and look at the specific wording that exposes them as a downright fraud: They deliver private MBA or DBA diplomas. Not degrees, but diplomas. Here at DegreeInfo, we have recently run into more than one European country that purports to issue DBA’s, but they are not in fact, DBA degrees. If they’re not calling their DBA a degree, perhaps it is not one. Again, notice not only what is written, but what is not written – nowhere to they call their DBA a degree. They are, in short, not authorized to award degrees.

    The accreditation page also states:
    A notary stamp or seal is meaningless – notaries attest to the identity of a person who signs a document, they do not attest to the validity of the document itself. At least that’s the way it is in the U.S., and this alleged school is purporting to operated under American standards.

    As for their online platform, I can start a school and have them serve Oscar Meyer hot dogs (a popular brand in the U.S.). Then I can advertise that our school serves the same hot dogs as Harvard and MIT. It’s meaningless.
    Are you sure that you want to waste two years for a worthless credential?

    I’ll give this so-called school my gold standard rating: In my opinion, it is a degree mill. I haven’t even begun to critique other aspects of the school, such as incomplete and deceptive faculty listings and lack of specific program information. This so-called school is a sham.
  3. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Active Member

    I'd be wary of a school that spells curriculum as "Curicculum."
  4. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Active Member

    I believe you have already found your answers. Sometimes it's hard to accept what we find, when the prospects of the opportunity seem to align so well with our plans. You found an organization that claims to be Swiss, yet by your own investigation they appear to be Croatian. By your own investigation, they claim a partnership with a private consulting agency... not a government accreditation agency. By your own investigation... they are working out of a co-working space, which means there is a strong chance that is simply a mail drop or registered address and that there is likely no one "really" working at that location. That's not to mention the info that Steve was able to pull, with some actual digging - and he's pretty good at that... just don't tell him.
  5. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    That's okay, Vonnegut - if anyone says I'm good at that, I'll categorically deny it as a vicious rumor. :rolleyes:
  6. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    Having just reviewed his LinkedIn profile at, I take back everything that I wrote - Alistair should feel right at home with SSBM.

    Turns out that he has his Executive Master's from HEC in Paris, which is a similar set-up to some of the alleged schools we've been discussing recently. The kind of school that never uses the word degree to describe their programs.

    I think I'm at the point at which it's not worth checking into so-called European business schools - unless a school is directly part of a major university, it's a sham. And if it offers an MBA or DBA and doesn't call it a degree (because it can't do so, obviously), ditto. And if the inquiring party uses the word entrepreneur in any context, ditto.
  7. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

  8. mbwa shenzi

    mbwa shenzi Member

    As far as management and location goes, this school is a lot more Croatian than Swiss. Unaccredited/unrecognised in Croatia, registered in Switzerland since 5 March 2019. I'm not entirely convinced...
  9. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    I guess that with this thread Al has added another gem to his internet footprint.

  10. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    A degree is a title, a rank, a designation awarded by an institution of higher learning recognized for that purpose.

    A diploma indicates one has been awarded the degree. It is not a degree, and diplomas can be awarded for many, many things that are not degrees. (I have a diploma indicating I am a Master in the now-defunct International Frisbee Association. And no, Regents did not give me credits for it.)

    Whether or not a degree (or a purported one) is "legit" is in the eye of the beholder. Even among accredited schools there is plenty of jockeying.

    As far as I know, an institute of higher learning with a canton approval, yet not listed by the Swiss government as a university, is not recognized generally as a university. But I'm sure such a credential IS accepted as a degree in many situations. But those are likely due to ignorance, as opposed to some level of knowing recognition.

    So, accredited? Accreditation is unique to the United States. This school's recognition (or lack thereof) in Switzerland likely means degrees from it would not normally be accepted as equivalent to those coming from accredited schools in the U.S. But a positive evaluation from a foreign credentials evaluation agency would go a long way to altering that.

    Reputable? I'm sure you can determine that through a thorough search.
  11. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    They seem to offer a Russian dual degree of licensed but unaccredited by the Ministry of Education, EMAS a private provider of complementary or additional professional education.

    Double degree DBA (Doctor of Business Administration program) program was designed in collaboration with Russia's EMAS Business School (Eurasian Management and Administration School).

    While EMAS claims to be accredited in Russia.
    They claim - Russian State national accreditation (license of the Ministry of Education Series 52Л01 № 0001683)

    Critics on line stated that this is not accreditation is simply a license issued by the ministry of education of the city of Nizhniy Novgorod area to conduct complementary professional education.

    Not listed as an accredited school on the Russian NARIC site.

    They do claim to be highly ranked MBA programs in Eastern Europe.
  12. Alistair Hofert

    Alistair Hofert New Member

    HEC Paris have been around for 140 years, odd, hold triple accreditation of AMBA, AACSB and EQUIS and have consistently been voted as the top business school in Europe. There are +- 60 000 alumni. The MSc is a degree which is issued, that information can be found here:
  13. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    I didn't check in to HEC Paris. Far from being an expert.
    I see top reviews for MBA's from HEC. AMBA and AACSB both are recognized accreditors.
    I do know people including a classmate of my wife that had to retake the entire degree program in the US because her Master's from French Ecole didn't
    qualify her to work toward MFCC license. That lady had to shop around seriously among foreign degree evaluation services that would evaluate her foreign degree.
    There are problems reported with the private non-government national standard diplomas recognition from France. Maybe it's due to the nonstandard nature of the diplomas.
    Again I'm far from being an expert on this mater of French education.
  14. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Active Member

    Quick question Steve, if you don't mind elaborating upon. What issues do you find with HEC? Their Executive Master's is listed as a degree program. Their 3 year post-MBA salary average is respectable at $142k. Their business program is regularly listed in the top ten of Europe, by respectable publications such as the Economist. Only negative I've ever heard is that their admission test score averages are not as high as INSEAD.
  15. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    I know that the question was addressed to Steve.

    The AMBA currently accredits 257 schools around the world, but the clue’s in the name—they only credit MBA, DBA, and Master of Management programs.

    If I'm not mistaken the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), accredits business schools as a whole, both graduate and undergraduate programs? Majority schools accredited by AACSB are in the US.

    EQUIS accreditation? I never heard of this organization, there are 3 colleges accredited in the US. Maybe this is the reason I didn't hear about this institution.

    It appears some 90 business schools hold triple accreditation
  16. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Right. A school is commonly said to be in the top 1% if it has "Triple Crown" AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS accreditations. It applies mostly to overseas schools, because, as Lerner says, very few over here have AMBA or EQUIS. I say "said to be" because I'm not sure. OK, that's around 1% of business schools, if they say so - but are they really all in the top 1%? I guess they are - if you make having the 3 accreditations the sole definition of "top." There are schools with all three accreditations that can legally award degrees, but do not have mainstream degree-granting authority in their own country. An example is IMD in Switzerland. All 3 accreditations, very exclusive, very expensive and grads earn great money on average - but the school has Cantonal, not Swiss Federation, degree-granting permission, therefore its degrees do not have the standing of mainstream Swiss Universities - as Dr. Rich Douglas pointed out in a previous post. That hasn't stopped IMD - or stopped it being a school with a great rep. , the grads of which get super mileage from their degrees -- and it probably never will.

    Present arguments notwithstanding, I don't really think there's any point in declaring any school suspect, if it has these three bodies vouching for it. That, of course, includes IMD (Switzerland) and HEC (France).
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2020
  17. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    It may be pointless to declare it suspect, but there's nothing wrong with pointing out limitations - e.g. your IMD degree may help get you a great job in Europe, but it may not get you an RA-equivalent credential evaluation here.
  18. Alistair Hofert

    Alistair Hofert New Member

    Steve, it would be good to learn what your issues are with HEC Paris, specifically.
  19. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    Johann, The Swiss school offers dual degrees with EMAS Russia.

    EMAS claim to be highly ranked MBA programs in Eastern Europe. And #1 in that category in Russia.
    They state they are accredited in Rusia.
    But it appears all they have is a license, not accreditation. Even do they call it Russian National Accreditation.
    Maybe I'm missing something or EMAS statement is misleading?

    As to EQUIS they claim to provide Institutional Accreditation of business schools. This statement is interesting to me.
    AACSB accredits business schools as a whole, can it be considered Institutional Accreditation?

    So this is a type of Professional Institutional Accreditation?

    I'm curious how would NACES member services will evaluate EQUIS institutional accreditation as equivalent to?

    Many NACES services use RA as their standard, so they may state not equivalent to US RA?
  20. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    (1) If all EMAS has is a licence, their statement would definitely appear misleading. Sorry,, I was late to the table here - on a side issue and I didn't look at the Swiss school's page closely enough. I have a fear of these dual awards, as so many have turned out to be not worth much - sometimes not worth anything.

    (2) I would doubt that EQUIS accreditation -by itself - would sway a NACES-member evaluator (any of them). Among other things, they look to the degree-granting ability granted by the country of origin. If it's non-mainstream and/or the oversight is less-than rigorous, e.g. a license situation, then it likely doesn't meet their standards for RA equivalency. As I mentioned earlier, there are schools that have 2 Euro-accreditations and AACSB - excellent schools but they don't meet the RA equivalency bar if they lack the highest standard of degree-granting permission in their country of origin.

    As we've discovered previously, established Swiss Federation Universities have a lock on the best type of accreditation. It is pretty well impossible for a distance school to have the buildings, library resources, at least 100 highly qualified full-time professors etc. etc that the Federal level of accreditation requires. So - the distance schools all apply for Cantonal licences. From the best of them to the worst, the degrees are 100% legal but the recognition of them - well, that's something else.

    Having numerous programmatic accreditations is great, but it doesn't alter the situation if the school does not have ability to grant degrees of the same standing as the country's mainstream universities.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2020

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