Peking University HSBC Business School Earns AACSB International Accreditation
2018-08-28 09:23:53
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All programs bear the hallmark of excellence for business education
Peking University HSBC Business School (PHBS) has earned accreditation from AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), one of the world’s leading business school accreditation organizations. PHBS is proud to be among an elite 5% of over 16,000 business schools and colleges in the world to hold the esteemed accreditation.
“AACSB Accreditation recognizes institutions that have demonstrated a focus on excellence in all areas, including teaching, research, curricula development, and student learning,” said Stephanie M. Bryant, executive vice president and chief accreditation officer of AACSB International. “We congratulate the Peking University HSBC Business School and dean Wen Hai on earning accreditation, and applaud the entire PHBS team—including the administration, faculty, directors, staff, and students—for their roles in earning this respected honor.”
AACSB Accreditation is the hallmark of excellence in business education and represents the highest standard of achievement for business schools worldwide. As requirements for AACSB Accreditation are stringent and schools must pass rigorous quality standards, obtaining AACSB Accreditation confirms PHBS’s commitment to quality and continuous improvement through an arduous and comprehensive peer review process.
Founded in 2004, PHBS aims to advance PKU’s involvement in economics, finance, and management research. Located in Shenzhen (just north of Hong Kong), PHBS brings Peking University’s historical presence and first-tier business education programs to the country’s south and benefits from the dynamic and entrepreneurial spirit of the thriving city. Promoting its international purview, classes in the school’s full-time master’s degree and full-time MBA programs are conducted in English. Within its MA program, international students make up 15% of the students at PHBS. The school has 70 full-time faculty members, and most of them earned their PhD from prestigious overseas universities, and nearly half of the faculty members are international.
PHBS Dean Hai introduces the development of its UK campus to AACSB peer review team at the PKU history exhibition held on the Shenzhen campus
The peer review team of AACSB paid a visit to PHBS on April 9 to 10, 2018, to evaluate on site whether PHBS’ programs bear the hallmark of excellence for business education. The team consists of the chair Eric Spenagenberg, dean of the Paul Merage School of Business at University of California, Irvine; Xiaobo Wu, director of National Institute of Innovation Management of Zhejiang University, and Boonchai Hongcharu, director of the National Institute of Development Management of Thailand. PHBS Dean Wen Hai introduced the school’s reforms and breakthroughs in recent years and emphasized the importance of international certification; and shared the strategic insights on PHBS’ future management and development. Representatives of faculty, staff, students, alumni and strategic partners from industry also participated in the peer review interviews.
 AACSB peer review team visits PHBS Financial Lab and has talks with students
“It is a privilege for our school to be accredited by this internationally authoritative accreditation community,” said PHBS dean Wen Hai. “This achievement recognizes the efforts of all stakeholders, including our faculty, staff, students, alumni, corporate partners, and university administrators. We will continue to build up a top international business school.”
A qualified institution often needs to spend years to acquire the AACSB accreditation. During the process, PHBS developed and implemented a plan to meet the AACSB accreditation standards. These require a high-quality teaching environment, cutting-edge research achievements, a commitment to continuous improvement, curricula responsive to the needs of business, and highly competitive graduates in employment market.
The group photo of the peer review team, PHBS faculty and staff
Over the past year, PHBS professors have published papers in international academic journals, such as The Journal of Financial Economics, Management Science,Strategic Management Journal,Journal of Monetary Economics,Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, European Economic Review. As Shenzhen is the cradle of China’s entrepreneurial companies, PHBS regularly invites entrepreneurs and business leaders from well-known Shenzhen-based companies such as Huawei, Vanke, and Tencent to provide special lectures and participate in international forums. Further, students also have opportunities to make company visits, where they deepen their understanding of actual business practice.
Last year, PHBS established two high-level think tanks, namely Research Institute of Maritime Silk Road (RIMS), and the Sargent Institute of Quantitative Economics and Finance. This year, the school has initiated an overseas campus in Oxfordshire, England; and started the doctoral program in western economics and master program in finance with Fintech focus. Meanwhile, PHBS has signed a strategic agreement with PinAn Technology to jointly establish a high-level research platform for macroeconomics and finance by combining AI technology, big data, classical economics and investment theories.
Before PHBS earned AACSB Accreditation, the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) conferred EPAS Accreditation to its master of economics program in September 2011. PHBS became the first higher education institution in mainland China that passed EPAS. Its master of finance program officially passed the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) University Certification Program on September 2015. The school has entered into an academic partnership with the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP), which means that the curricula of two PHBS graduate programs, the MSc in Finance and the MSc in Quantitative Finance, align well with industry-recognized standards.
Unlike EPAS, which focuses on specific programs within higher education institutions, AACSB accreditation covers all the programs offered within PHBS. Synonymous with the highest standards of excellence since 1916, AACSB provides quality assurance, business education intelligence, and professional development services to over 1,600 member organizations and more than 800 accredited business schools worldwide. All accredited schools must go through a peer review process every five years to maintain their accreditation.
“Peking University’s commitment to earning accreditation is a true reflection of their dedication—not only to their students, alumni network, and greater business community, but to the higher education industry as a whole,” said Bryant. “Today’s students are tomorrow’s business leaders, and the addition of the Peking University HSBC Business School to the network of AACSB-accredited business schools will have a lasting positive impact for their institution, both locally and globally.”
By the end of July 2018, there are only 22 AACSB-certified business schools in mainland China. AACSB-accredited schools are recognized worldwide by top employers and other universities, thus the designation is beneficial for PHBS students and its future students when preparing for a career in business or applying for further education. By providing exceptional faculty, impactful research, dedicated students, and the highest standards, PHBS strives to provide them the knowledge and skills employers and top universities require. 

By Annie Jin
Edited by Yan Feng and Priscilla Young