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Mr. Müller, Dean of FIR, appointed to EPAS Accreditation Board

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Doc. Ing. Štěpán Müller, CSc., MBA, Dean of Faculty of International Relations at University of Economics in Prague, has been, as of 1st September 2014, appointed as a member of the EPAS Accreditation Board at the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD).

The mandate of a member of the EPAS Accreditation Board covers a period of three years. The Accreditation Board consists of 10 representatives of international academia, 4 representatives of international corporations and 4 non-voting members of the EFMD. The EFMD is an international membership organisation focusing on management development, based in Brussels, Belgium.

The Accreditation Board meets four times a year and decides on awarding of the EPAS accreditation – the currently most prestigious internationally recognized accreditation of management study programmes. The EPAS Accreditation was launched in 2005 and its main goal is to establish an international benchmark for management study programs. Currently, 85 study programmes organized at 64 universities in 28 countries have been awarded EPAS Accreditation.

The EPAS Accreditation process is highly competitive; a request for the accreditation might be submitted only by universities that fulfill specified entrance conditions, e.g. at least 5-year membership in the EFMD, their study programmes must be accredited nationally, they have to be organized for at least 3 years and to have a certain amount of graduates. The accreditation process highlights the importance of internalization, therefore, it scrutinizes the number of international students, host professors and guest speakers and proportion of courses taught in English. The Accreditation is usually awarded for three years, the best programmes can obtain the accreditation for 5 years.

The EPAS Accreditation process is initiated with a detailed Self-Evaluation Report which follows an exactly specified structure. In 5 chapters, the University is asked to evaluate its positioning in the national education system, to explain its institutional framework, to state basic information (qualification structure, number of applicants, number of accepted students …), programme objectives and intended learning outcomes, profile of its graduates, curriculum content and delivery system, possibilities to study abroad, involvement of experts etc. Afterwards, the Self-Evaluation Report is followed by a so-called Peer Review during which a team of experts visits the University in person. The team is international, usually consists of four members and includes one representative of business and one independent local expert. The evaluated university is requested to designate one room in which there are all background materials including educational materials, textbooks, and examples of diploma theses (both successful and unsuccessful ones) available. Consequently, the Board discusses the details with Rector of the University, Dean and Management of the Faculty, with Programme Supervisor, supervisors and teachers of courses, students, and graduates and might also choose any employee to verify the information provided. This expert visit covers two days. Based on the visit, the team of experts executes their written statement which is submitted to the Accreditation Board. The Board can, however, is not obliged to, follow the statement of the expert team.

The University of Economics in Prague was awarded the EPAS Accreditation in 2012 for three years as the first and, for the time being, the only university in the Czech Republic. The EPAS Accreditation was awarded to the Master’s programme International Business at the Faculty of International Relations (FIR), taught in Czech, and the Master’s programme International Business – Central European Business Realities, delivered entirely in English. In the meantime, the FIR has been intensively engaged in preparations for the reaccreditation. The expert team visit is scheduled for November 2014.

More information about the role and functioning of the EPAS Accreditation Board is available here.

Additionally, the full version of the EPAS Standards & Criteria is also available at the EFMD website.