Master's Programme ‘Finance’ Receives EPAS Accreditation
Accreditation for a period of three years was awarded by the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD), one of the world's largest professional associations in the field of business and management. ‘Finance’ is the first Master's programme in Russia that received such accreditation.
Experts of EFMD evaluate programmes according to five key indicators. They include programme design, which has to meet market requirements, programme delivery (including level of teaching and student body), programme outcomes and career opportunities for graduates as well as mechanisms available for ensuring the quality of a programme. In addition, programmes are evaluated by institutional context – to what extent a programme corresponds the development strategy of a university, and to what extent it is provided with resources.
‘EPAS is one of the most prestigious international accreditations in the field of business education. Such accreditations, along with university rankings, mark recognition of a university in international higher education market. They also give rise to inclusion in the leading rankings of business education, such as the Financial Times,’ says Sergey Kadochnikov, Director of HSE University – St Petersburg.
October 2018, during the visit of a group of international experts, assessment of the quality of the programme was carried out through the analysis of documents and interviews with all the participants in learning process – from the university management to graduates to corporate partners. As a result of the visit, EFMD experts decided to grant EPAS accreditation to the Master's programme ‘Finance’ for a three-year period.
In Russia, a Master's programme obtained such accreditation for the first time ever. Previously, EPAS accreditations were given to the Bachelor’s programmes of Moscow State University and Ural Federal University, and St Petersburg State University received institutional accreditation EQUIS.
‘Obtaining of an international accreditation is a very important milestone of the permanent development of the programme. Accreditation itself is a kind of a ‘high quality mark’ that proofs compatibility of the programme with international requirements. This is important for establishing partnerships with the best universities and business schools, and attracting Russian and foreign students. Receiving the accreditation is a part of the big job that needs to be done to ensure that the programme, as well as the St Petersburg School of Economics and Management (SEM), meet international standards. During the accreditation process, we identified ‘areas for improvement’ to put a special emphasis on. In the future this work will be continued not only in terms of the programme but also in terms of the SEM for which we are making efforts to receive institutional international accreditations,’ comments Elena Rogova, Dean of the St Petersburg School of Economics and Management.
The EPAS accreditation (EFMD Program Accreditation System) was launched in 2005 by the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD). Today, little over 100 programmes around the globe have EPAS accreditations.
The European Foundation for Management Development is one of the leading international associations of business schools. It brings together more than 900 organizations from 88 countries. Among the EFMD members are Wharton, INSEAD, IMD and other leading business schools along with major corporations, including IBM, Microsoft, ArcelorMittal, L’Oréal.
EFMD aims at delivering high-quality exchanges of the best practitioners in the field of education, science, as well as granting of international accreditations to the best business schools and management faculties.
‘Finance’, a Master's programme delivered by the St Petersburg School of Economics and Management, is fully taught in English. In its current form, the programme has existed since 2013. Among academic partners of the programme are ESSCA School of Management (France), IMESS consortium led by University College London and the QTEM network. Previously, the programme has been accredited by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) in the field of ‘Financial Management’.
‘The programmes are being implemented in close connection with universities, therefore, EPAS accreditation is important for the development strategy of the HSE campus in St Petersburg and the university as a whole. As part of the accreditation process, a thorough examination is carried out not only regarding the content of the programme but also the institutional processes, the system of ensuring the quality of education in terms of international standards. Compliance with the EPAS criteria means that students of the Master’s programme ‘Finance’ have opportunities to obtain competencies that are in demand in the international market, take part in exchange programme with world’s universities and business schools, complete internships in major companies. It is important to emphasize that a subject of evaluation is real practice, including experience of students and alumni of different years. In order to maintain high status, we should regularly report to EFMD on continuous improvement of the programme. In addition, HSE SEM has started preparation for institutional accreditations EQUIS and AACSB, so we can say that EPAS is the first step toward even bigger goals!’ adds Olga Okulova, Head of the Centre for International Accreditations and Network Programmes.
Sergey M. Kadochnikov