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ISM to go for the prestigious EQUIS accreditation

ISM University of Management and Economics is starting an improvement project for its quality management system with a view to receiving EQUIS, the world’s leading accreditation of business schools. The new quality management system will be launched with the help of support from the EU Structural Funds in the amount of LTL 1.5 million. The project will be completed in January 2013

“The EQUIS accreditation is our strategic goal; it is the highest quality label for business schools, a demonstration of international recognition. The path to the accreditation is long and will require continuous effort and much investment,” the ISM Rector Dr. Nerijus Pačėsa says. According to the Rector, a quality assurance system meeting global standards and the best practices will allow attracting more Lithuanian and foreign students and will contribute to the development of high profile higher education in Lithuania.
The quality management system will cover all levels of the University: institutional, study programmes, and study subjects. To reform its quality management system, the University will analyse its internal processes, study the experience of other universities and explore ways to upgrade the internal quality assurance system in line with the University’s mission, vision and strategy. The project’s final stage will be dedicated to revising and updating the University’s quality policies and developing, in line with the EQUIS standard, a quality assurance manual to document critical quality assurance processes, tools and instruments.
According to Ms Jolita Butkienė, ISM Director for Quality, the ongoing improvement of the quality system goes in parallel with transformations in higher education: universities are increasingly shifting over to the European Credit Transfer System, refocusing their study programs on the development of competences, integrating study results into quality assurance systems. “Quality assurance is impossible without quality-driven culture fostering the University’s values, ability to change and excel, be socially responsible and accountable before social partners,” Ms Butkienė says.
The University will involve all stakeholders into its quality improvement effort: lecturers, administrative staff, students, alumni, and employers.
The assessment for the EQUIS accreditation will be conducted by EFMD, an international association based in Brussels which unites over 730 members from 82 states. The assessment will look into performance of the institution as a whole and of its individual units: study programs, scientific and applied research, executive studies, services to the community, internationality, students’ and the faculty’s competencies, resources, and relations with business community. At present, the EQUIS accreditation has been awarded to 130 research and study institutions worldwide, forming the elite of higher schools in management and business administration.
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