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AMBA launches BGA to widen membership

The Association of MBAs has launched a sister brand that aims to become the “leading global movement” in business education, while opening up membership to business schools who may not qualify for AMBA accreditation.

BGA will provide undergraduate, post-graduates and graduates from member schools networking opportunities. Photo: AMBA

The new association will open in conjunction with a limit to AMBA membership

The Business Graduates Association, which is a renewal of the name under which AMBA originally launched in 1967, is to “champion the crucial importance of lifelong learning”, while also focusing on missions to promote responsible management and online learning.

BGA is distinctly different to AMBA accreditation, and it is not a lesser accreditation, according to leaders. Membership to the new association is open to both AMBA-accredited schools and non-AMBA schools.

“BGA will focus on providing educational membership, validation and accreditation”

Whereas AMBA is only open to providers offering master’s degrees in business and management, BGA will be open for schools offering business programs from undergraduate courses upwards.

Business schools which “clearly demonstrate a passion for practical, entrepreneurial business education with a proven commitment to social responsibility and sustainability” across all program modules will be welcome members to BGA, according to Andrew Main Wilson, CEO of AMBA BGA.

“BGA will focus on providing educational membership, validation and accreditation across the entire program portfolios of high-quality business schools. We will also offer free individual BGA membership to the students and alumni of our BGA Schools,” Main Wilson said.

“Geographically, we will encourage membership from some of the world’s most sophisticated business schools through to inspirational business schools in some of the world’s poorest countries, who can demonstrate evidence that they are making a real difference to the future of their countries’ economies.”

BGA will open up membership to schools unable to achieve AMBA-accreditation, as well as AMBA-accredited schools. The number of schools applicable for AMBA accreditation is around 300 – a strategy echoing Main Wilson‘s statements when he spoke to The PIE News in 2017.

AMBA currently accredits 264 schools, with continental Europe making up the vast majority, with 105. North America is a little less represented with only six schools.

The association expects to hit this number of accredited schools in two to three years, continuing the growth it has seen since 2013 when it had 199 accredited schools. Fluctuations in school numbers occur when existing schools are not reaccredited. For example in 2016/17, four schools were not reaccredited – those reaccreditations are carried out every three to five years.

In 2017, AMBA saw an increase of 10,291 student and graduate members, with 34% from Asia and 24% from continental Europe, bringing the total number of student and graduate members to 42,000. Association bosses expect BGA’s membership growth to follow the expansion trends that AMBA has experienced.

AMBA-accredited business schools that are already members of BGA include:

  • Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, the Netherlands
  • Rennes School of Business, France
  • Politecnico di Milano, School of Management, Italy
  • Central University of Finance and Economics, Beijing, China
  • Aston Business School, Birmingham, UK

Schools that are not AMBA-accredited but are BGA members include:

  • City University of Macau
  • Universidad Nebrija, Madrid, Spain
  • American University in Bulgaria, Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria
  • Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences, Apeldoorn, the Netherlands


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