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High and internationally recognised quality is of crucial significance for the University of St.Gallen. In the past year, the HSG was pleased to receive two accolades. After the renewal of the EQUIS label (European Quality Improvement System) in July 2018, the HSG was notified of the positive decision regarding reaccreditation by the AACSB (The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) in January 2019.
"Guarantee that degree course programmes satisfy international standards."
“At the level of programmes, prominent rankings like that of the Financial Times may well be more important for the decision to study at the HSG,” says Karen Tinsner-Fuchs, Head of Quality Development. “However, the accreditations are equally important since we provide students with the guarantee that our degree courses satisfy international standards.” At present, the HSG is applying for a third accreditation by AMBA (Association of MBAs), which exclusively certifies the field of executive education – specifically, the MBA and EMBA programmes.
Ultimately, however, it is not only the seal that counts in the accreditation processes. “We receive direct feedback from our peers, and that is extremely valuable,” says Tinsner-Fuchs. Increasing target transparency in university teaching provides a quality boost at all universities without putting their individually unique characteristics into jeopardy. “Despite prescribed standards, the accreditation institutions encourage us to proceed in the direction that is right for us.”
The HSG also receives important feedback from students. Between 430 and 740 courses are evaluated every semester. In Spring Semester 2019, the teaching evaluation was conducted entirely online for the first time. In a next step, the questionnaires should be more flexible, and an interface to the new learning management system Canvas should be implemented. Also, evaluations are intended to be developed in future in cooperation with the Institute of Business Education and Educational Management (IWP-HSG) and the Competence Center for Educational Development and Research in Higher Education (CEDAR). “In this way, we’ll be able to assist in degree course reforms, for example,” says Tinsner-Fuchs, “for even if a course is configured very well with regard to contents and didactics, this provides little general information about studying conditions or studiability, for instance.”
Quality Development also receives important input from joint research with the IWP-HSG and CEDAR. “The University profits from this in several respects,” explains Karen Tinsner-Fuchs. “The data gathered by us serve as a basis for research projects. And we are able to use the findings of this research immediately for our quality assurance instruments and the development of teaching.”