The Association of MBA Schools
January 1998 saw the first meeting of the "Association of the Czech MBA Schools" (CAMBAS). The founding members of this non-profit making association are: the University of Economics, Prague (UEP), represented by the Prague International Business School (PIBS); the Czech Technical University in Prague represented by the Masaryk Institute of Advanced Studies; and the Technical University of Brno represented by its Brno Business School. The Association is housed within the Centre for Doctoral and Managerial Studies of UEP, Prague. All of the founding members of the Association have their MBA programmes accredited by partner institutions in Great Britain: Manchester Metropolitan University, Sheffield Hallam University and Nottingham Trent University respectively.
Since its foundation a number of new schools have been gradually admitted as members of CAMBAS: The Brno International Business School (B.I.B.S.); the Faculty of Economics at the Technical University of Ostrava; the Czech Management Institute Praha, Faculty of Management; Escuela Superior de Marketing y Administración Barcelona; and CMC Graduate School of Business o.p.s. Čelákovice. Thus, currently seven members make up the Association. Membership in CAMBAS is opened to other schools in the Czech Republic that meet the conditions of accreditation with at least one of their programmes.
According to the Association's Statutes, the primary aim of the Association is: "to ensure, maintain and further develop the highest level of MBA provision in the Czech Republic" and more practically to institute an effective process of accreditation of MBA programmes being delivered within the Czech Republic. The Association has the approval of the Ministry of Education and is a member of the European Foundation of Management Development (EFMD).
The long-term aim of the members is to ensure that all programmes bearing the title MBA meet certain minimum standards, and their view is that there is no better way to do this than to institute a process of regular accreditation for all providers. In the Czech Republic, MBA studies are not a substitute for University studies but a post-experience degree seen as a career accelerator or a means to make a career shift after a minimum of 2 or 3 years professional experience and as such, it is seen to be appropriate that they be regulated by a Professional Association.
The MBA is viewed as a qualification for graduates from any discipline who have at least three years managerial experience and who must have aspirations to reach senior management positions. From the point of view of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports in the Czech Republic (MŠMT) MBA studies form part of the systém of life-long education and continuous professional development.
The founding members of the Association have been impressed by the pattern that is emerging in other countries, particularly countries where this type of study has enjoyed a long and successful tradition. These countries have all established an association of MBA schools to regulate the standards of the award in their country just as CAMBAS proposes to do in the Czech Republic.
The US body is the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The body in Great Britain is the Association of MBAs (AMBA). The Spanish body is called “La Asociación Española de Representantes de Escuelas de Direccion de Empresas (AEEDE)”. The Polish one is known as FORUM –Association of Management Education. In Germany it is the Foundation for International Business Administration Accreditation (FIBAA) and in Russia it is the Russian Association of Business Education (RABE). Accreditation by these bodies represents a guarantee to students and prospective employers of the quality of the programme and the resources of the School.
The Accreditation criteria CAMBAS has put in place, focuses on such things as the curricula, the qualifications of the Faculty, the entrance requirements for students and the physical environment, e.g. The standard of teaching facilities, the provision of textbooks and other teaching aids. Attention is also given to student’s placements and career guidance. Ensuring that these aspects are in place gives valuable information to students and assists in their decision making process as they look for a suitable School in which to study and make choices. The information is also useful to future employers when employing graduates.
Prof. Milan Maly
Chairman of the Association of Czech MBA Schools