Dean Müller appointed as a new member of the EPAS Accreditation Board

24 Jul

Doc. Ing. Štěpán Müller, CSc., MBA – The Dean of the Faculty of International Relations at the University of Economics, Prague –– was appointed as a new member of the EPAS Accreditation Board operated by EFMD (European Foundation for Management Development) based in Brussels. This appointment will take effect from September 1st; the mandate of a member of the EPAS Accreditation Board is three years. The EPAS Accreditation Board is composed of 10 International Academic Members, four International Corporate Members and four Non-voting Members from EFMD.

The EPAS Accreditation Board meets four times a year and it aims to evaluate the quality of any business and/or management program that has an international perspective and, where of an appropriately high quality, to accredit it. The accreditations have been awarded since 2005. The main objective of the accreditations was to create an international accreditation standard for quality management study. Currently, there are 85 branches of study conducted at 64 universities in 28 countries that hold EPAS accreditation.

The accreditation process is very demanding and only universities that meet demanding input conditions such as at least five years of membership in EFMD, national accreditation, at least three years existence of the branch of study, etc. are accepted. The level of internationalization is also a very important aspect, e.g. the number of international students, visiting professors and the proportion of English taught courses. The accreditation is usually granted for three years; an exceptional branch of study with the highest evaluation could get a five-year accreditation.

In the evaluation process, the institution firstly submits a Self-Evaluation Report prepared in accordance with the standards and criteria of EPAS. In five chapters, the university evaluates its position within the national education system, defines the institutional scope and presents basic information (qualification structure, the number of application forms, the number of accepted students etc.), the objectives of the branch of study, the profile of graduates, the pedagogical methods, the possibilities of study abroad etc. Secondly, there is a team visit for a two-day Peer Review. This team of experts is composed of one corporate representative, one representative from the local educational environment and at least one member with specialist knowledge of the specific subject matter of the reviewed program. The university has to provide a special room where it concentrates all the materials including textbooks and theses, and the members of the Peer Review go through interviews with the rector, deans, professors, students, etc. The visit should take place at least two months before the Accreditation Board meeting at which the program will be presented. Then the Accreditation Board decides about the Accreditation.

The University of Economics, Prague was awarded EPAS accreditation in 2012 for three years, i.e. the International Trade Master’s Program, taught in Czech, and International Business – Central European Business Realities, taught in English at the Faculty of International Relations. The University of Economics, Prague is still the only university in the Czech Republic that has EPAS accreditation; the reaccreditation process has just started. The team of experts visits the school in November 2014.

The participation of Dean Müller in the EPAS Accreditation Board means the recognition of his professional qualities and the confirmation of the good name of the University of Economics, Prague at the international level as well. It is very important for our university to have its representatives in the prestigious international structures that influence the strategy of the higher education at the international level,“ said Prof. Hana Machková, the rector of VŠE.