In June 2016, NVAO accredited 18 programmes (see below) within the discipline of business administration, economics, and econometrics at the University of Amsterdam. The programmes have been assessed on the basis of the agreement NVAO signed in 2015 with AACSB International (AACSB), the sector association and accreditation organisation for business schools across the globe. This is the first accreditation awarded under this collaborative agreement. This year, the Dutch universities of Groningen, Maastricht and Tilburg also commenced their preparations for a joint accreditation by NVAO and AACSB.
NVAO Board Member Paul Zevenbergen: ‘The collaboration between our organisations enabled the business and economics programmes provided by the University of Amsterdam to undergo the accreditation procedures of both NVAO and AACSB in one go. The UvA programmes involved have now been accredited by both NVAO and AACSB. This promotes efficiency, cuts time and reduces the administrative burden. NVAO has also signed an agreement to this effect with the European management development network EFMD, which also accredits a large number of business schools. We have entered into a dialogue with the international Association of MBAs (AMBA) in order to reach a similar agreement.’
NVAO intends to expand this collaboration with professional organisations in other disciplines subject to international accreditations, such as public administration, development studies, tourism, and (veterinary) medicine. Zevenbergen: ‘This ties in with the considerable internationalisation in higher education and enhances the opportunities for higher education institutions to reinforce the international nature of assessments. This benefits higher education, and, consequently, the students. In addition, NVAO thus makes a concrete and substantial contribution to reducing the accreditation burden.’
Prof. Dr Han van Dissel, Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Business of the University of Amsterdam: ‘We are pleased that we were able to have the programmes provided by our economics and business faculty (re)accredited concurrently by AACSB and NVAO. Otherwise, we would have had to double everything. This saves us an enormous amount of time, effort, and money. We can now devote that energy to our teaching and research, which benefits our students.’
The collaborative agreements between accreditation organisations are in line with the European Bologna process and the international agreements between the European education ministers regarding the internationalisation of higher education.