Only the University of Stavanger has previously had a programme of study accredited by EFMD (MSc in Business Administration in 2021). In addition, NHH and BI Norwegian Business School have accreditation at institutional level (EQUIS).
Stubberud and Opstad describe the accreditation as recognition of the bachelor in economics and management and the quality of the programme of study.
“We have worked purposefully to achieve this and we actually chose the most difficult path, namely a programme that is offered at all the USN School of Business campuses and which is taught in Norwegian, but with English mobility windows on all campuses.
Inclusive application process
Stubberud and Opstad point out that the work on accreditation should be inclusive and should include large parts of the activities at the faculty.
“A programme of study in such a multi-campus-oriented institution has never previously been accredited.
In September 2020, the USN School of Business was assessed as qualified as an applicant to EFMD after an assessment of the study programme and the institution.
Since then, there has been an application process involving the entire faculty, including the students. Our own resources and staff were allocated to work on the project.
Quality development has been an important part of the application process in order to reach international standards for this type of programme.
Rector: – Important for all of USN
Rector Petter Aasen says the EFMD accreditation is important for all of USN.
“This accreditation will also help us to achieve several of USN's strategic objectives. The USN School of Business has ambitions to develop into an internationally recognised business school during the next strategy period. In order to achieve this, it is important that the faculty develops study programmes and delivers research that is on a par with other institutions with similar ambitions and positions. The accreditation process and membership of EFMD are important elements in this development. I would like to congratulate the faculty on a brilliant result, which required a lot of hard work from many different people.”
The application process was completed in September 2022. The evaluation committee from EFMD then conducted a series of interviews with people associated with the bachelor's degree in economics and management.
A total of 62 people came in for interviews, including representatives from USN’s central administration, the faculty (including students and former students), and representatives from both sides of industry.
The USN School of Business received a lot of praise for its work with sustainability, relevance to working life, programme structure, course offerings and the quality assurance system. The mentoring programme was also highlighted by the committee.
“We hope that the accreditation contributes to further branding, attractiveness for students and staff, and that it provides inspiration for further development. Thank you for all the great work by students and staff, as well as our partners”, say Hans Anton Stubberud and Birger Opstad.