After the BBA, the MBA is compulsory

MBA practice guide

Editorial

Education is no longer the exclusive domain of the state. In the future, three or six different jobs and tasks will be normal in professional life. Those who do not adapt to this change in good time and gain further qualifications through lifelong learning will sooner or later find themselves on the sidelines.

What do companies expect from managers in the future and thus from MBA graduates? Ingo Schneevoigt, board member of Allianz-Versicherungs-AG, sets the level of the mefilatte with his demand for "real leadership competence instead of management", according to journalist Dieter Kaltwasser in HANDELSBLATT. In Schneevoigt's opinion, “the primary task of managers is increasingly the coordination of internal and external resources, the organization of task forces in projects and the integration of new technologies”. The personality profiles of managers are becoming more and more important compared to specialist know-how. Personnel decision-makers are primarily looking for young executives who are characterized by independence, sharp thinking, teamwork, creativity and strong communication skills and who have a profile that fits the company. According to Schneevoigt, essential characteristics of a business leader are "the ability for lifelong learning, self-commitment and competence, ethical and political thinking as well as the will to change."

The only question is, where can I find such managers?

John Clarkeson, CEO of the Boston Consulting Group and a graduate of Harvard Business School, gives an answer. The MBA graduates, he says, had a qualification that comparable applicants only achieved after many years in the profession. “You have learned to solve problems; know how processes work and what happens to the people in them; they have specific specialist knowledge and broad management know-how - and all of this makes them experts and generalists alike. ”The real value of the MBA is not just a career. "Not every MBA graduate is a candidate for a board of directors, but his qualifications have given him solid general management training that qualifies him for the top third of executives," says Adolf Korschges, management consultant for TotalQualityManagement and previously General Manager Corporate Quality at 3M Germany GmbH.

This book should provide you with almost 10 years of MBA consulting know-how. In six sections and in a 17-part practical guide, you will find all the important information you need to choose the “right” MBA for you. Which MBA program you finally choose as part of your career planning will always be your personal decision.

The MBA bazaar

The market for MBA programs in Germany and worldwide is of bizarre diversity and organically grown obscurity. A market with an oriental jumble of offers, something for everyone somewhere and at a high price, without objective evaluation criteria or authority, with great growth potential, for which all levels are interested in business / sociological terms: title dealers and very mundane profiteers, established businesses Schools, technical colleges and universities, consulting agencies and large companies and, last but not least, private educational institutions of all sizes and professional stripes were and are represented here.

The confusion begins with the legal situation in Germany and similarly in Austria and Switzerland. It states that the MBA training is only possible in conjunction with a foreign institution that has awarded the title and should last at least three years. In some German federal states, four years are also required, whereby in individual cases the authorization to use titles1 is also made dependent on a separate examination. At the same time, exceptions are tolerated, such as in the case of the University of Saarbrucken or the universities of applied sciences in Pforzheim and Kiel. With the amendment of the University Framework Act, part of this legal uncertainty will disappear. The example of Austria is the inspiration: With the new Universitats-Studiengesetz in March 1997, Austria formally raised the MBA to the level of recognized academic degrees. It is gratifying that the federal minister responsible for science and transport in this field will in future be required to take into account quality standards of international institutions in order to ensure comparability and quality. In Switzerland, however, the title of MBA is not protected.

The confusion continues even in the area of ​​offers.

There are internationally operating MBA and BBA programs with partly recognized, partly dubious accreditations in their country of origin, regardless of the question of whether and how the graduates can utilize the acquired title.

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Judgment of the 13th Chamber of the Administrative Court of Karlsruhe from July 26, 1996, Az .: 13K3042 / 94

There are all kinds of partnerships between German educational institutions and foreign business schools, which regulate the training in terms of content, duration and selection of lecturers at their own discretion. As part of internal personnel development, the big business groups can afford their own company MBAs, or several companies come together to finance a consortium MBA through a specific institution for their team - in both cases with clear consequences for the development and the range of the course content. In addition, private German colleges and academies compete with partially outstanding, compact, three-year business administration courses for the favor of self-payers. They see their degrees as equivalent to BBA and meet the handicap of being respected in business, but not recognized by the state, with the option of refining the whole thing academically with a subsequent MBA course at a veritable business school .

All variants are also represented in the modality of the program implementation: the Internet MBA, distance learning from home and abroad, which feeds the participants with partially anonymous learning packages, the full-time version, which is annual, two-year or occasional as a three-year program. The evening part-time version and the block MBA that extends over a long weekend up to the modular MBA where a change between all variants is possible and the course of which lies somewhere between the shower of part-time and the downpour of full-time studies.

So the whole thing is a network of possibilities and combinations that cannot be understood by the fact that one can ultimately steer towards the same title goal with and without a high school diploma, with and without a university degree, and with and without professional experience. So much for the structure of the market, which currently includes 98 MBA and 36 BBA programs in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and is constantly growing. 2/3 all programs offered in Germany are not older than one year.

Of course, none of this says anything about the actual quality of the offers, but this is exactly the point. For the "double clientele" of business schools, the companies with their need for decision-making security and competent further education partners and the prospective students who only want to invest money and willingness to learn in recognizable verlafiliches, the perspective is missing. Out of this situation, FIBAA emerged as a business-related institution for quality management in management qualification.

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Possible forms of offering the Master of Business Administration2

Models of the MBA

The MBA originally comes from the USA. The European form of this training is sometimes integrated into the regular higher education system, but usually outside the state guidelines. The MBA is regarded as the only truly international training and because of this status, business schools can hardly be restricted in their activities.

Four basic models of the MBA can be identified in Europe:

- the American original MBA
- the European-English model
- the European-international model
- the subject-specific MBA

The original MBA

The American original MBA is based on two years of full-time training or three to four years of part-time training. The courses consist of compulsory modules to which optional courses, internships and projects are added. The course modules are often taught independently and without any connecting brackets. The programs focus on practical content. In recent years, the CASE STUDIES have come to the fore in the USA. More and more schools are turning away from this one-sided orientation of training. You begin to orientate yourself towards European, holistic concepts. The role of research only has a special focus in some schools. Many schools do not require a dissertation at the end of the program. Around 60 different Masters with a focus on agriculture, human resources, marketing, auditing and water management are offered. The admission requirements in the USA usually include the GMAT test. Schools with over 500 points are good programs. Schools with over 550 points have to do with very good programs. Over 600 points are reserved for absolute top programs. Many US programs do not require a thesis or diploma thesis.

The European / British model

The European / British model resulted from the idea of ​​aligning the MBA with the traditional British Master's degree. This training initially developed independently of the university courses. The target group are managers who have no business education, but who need it. Many of the contents of an undergraduate degree are dealt with in the programs. The British MBA usually lasts 12 months full-time or 2-3 years part-time. It is based on a main course supplemented by elective subjects and completed with a dissertation. In recent years, however, many variations of the MBA have emerged, which are offered in parallel by the schools. The model of the approx. 10 special MBAs is thus similar to the American original, also with regard to the selection of students with the help of the GMAT test. In Europe, an average of 550 points are required for extremely good programs.

The European / International model

is characterized by very high quality and an innovative approach. The composition of the students is made up of an international elite made up of young executives. The programs last around 12 to 18 months as part-time or full-time programs and require intensive work and self-study. In terms of their conception, they are holistic and internationally oriented. In terms of content, the focus is on topics at the main diploma level. In addition, the goal is to acquire problem-solving skills in the context of group work, in-company projects and consulting assignments. The admission requirements usually include the GMAT test. The international model is not embedded in any specific culture and is taught in English throughout. The basic idea is the assumption that there is a generally valid international form of prefessional behavior, which can therefore be transferred to any culture.

Ideally, the MBA offers the participant an opportunity to develop and learn on an international platform. In the worst case, it is a national program with limited content and without international links.

Schools have to assert and assert themselves in a highly competitive market. Accordingly, a large number of variations and program options are offered. Diuplom and practical work completed the course.

The specialized MBA

The programs just mentioned are designed as broad-based management training, with electives that allow a certain mafi of specialization. However, a new generation of MBA programs offers a direct subject-specific reference, such as B. an MBA in business auditing (MBA in accounting), MBA in marketing or communication.

The models presented can be seen in the previous overview. As can also be seen in the overview, the models are offered in various program forms. Possible forms are briefly outlined below.

The full-time MBA

The full-time MBA is divided into one-, two-year and three-year programs in the US. The full-time two-year MBA is the most common program structure in the US cooperate with academic institutions, they are organized according to semester. A two-year MBA does not necessarily last twelve months, but four to six semesters, each of which lasts 10 to 14 weeks. Many European business schools offer the two-year full-time MBA as a postgraduate course, which is completed following the German university degree. The participants are therefore often university graduates who do not have any professional experience, but who hope that participation will be an advantage for their later career entry.

Which professional fields are MBA students recruiting from?

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The one-year MBA takes around 10 to 16 months, depending on the program structure. The short duration of the program means a large amount of time for the student and is usually associated with a high level of stress on the nerves. On the other hand, this structure offers an opportunity to complete an MBA program in a very short time. In terms of time and financial burden, the one-year MBA is the most economical program structure. Due to the intensive use, combined with many hours of project work and preparation, it usually proves to be beneficial to relocate accordingly.

One example of a full-time MBA in Germany is the Esslingen University of Applied Sciences. From the 1998 winter semester, the FHTE intends to offer a corresponding program in Esslingen. The course comprises a one-year MBA course organized in trimesters, the content of which is taught exclusively in English. In a three-month practical phase, the students work in an industrial company in the region, such as Mercedes Benz, Deutsche Bank, IBM, etc. The MBA course is carried out by the business administration department, which was certified according to DIN / ISO 9002 in April 1998. There are 30 study places for foreign students and 10 study places for German applicants. Admission requirements for the course are a university degree, the GMAT and Toefl test and two letters of recommendation.

The part-time / extra-occupational MBA program

Most part-time programs last two to three years, but they can be completed over a time frame of up to eight years. The basic teaching content is essentially identical to the full-time programs and only extends over a longer period of time. The number of additional offers or electives, on the other hand, is often reduced.

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The majority of students taking part-time programs remain in employment. one to two years of professional experience is required. The courses take place in the evening or on the weekends. Some schools require regular attendance at the weekends, while other providers increasingly require students to study independently. The total number of hours of the programs varies between 300 and 1000 hours with an average of around 450 hours.

There is no curicular difference between full-time and part-time MBA. However, the average age of part-time students is usually 33 to 35 years. 5 years higher than that of full-time students. The requirements profile of the program is aimed at young professionals who, after a few years of professional experience, are looking for new perspectives in order to receive adequate training for top positions.

A part-time program offers z. B. from the FH Ludwigshafen in cooperation with the University of Humberside / Hull in Great Britain. The part-time course lasts 4 semesters and the language of instruction is German and English. The admission requirements are a university degree, at least 3 years of professional experience and sufficient knowledge of the English language. The school may still want to conclude a cooperation agreement with the respective employer to ensure that the student is released on the study days. The degree is awarded by the University of Humberside / Hull on behalf of the Ludwigshafen University of Applied Sciences.

Open learning MBA / distance learning

This form of MBA is becoming increasingly popular. The target group for open learning MBA’s are professionals for whom the regular presence phases of the part-time programs are out of the question for reasons of time. This structure originally developed in Great Britain, but is now offered more and more frequently around the world. The courses of the open learning MBA hardly require any presence phases, but are essentially based on modern communication and media options. With specially developed literature, video tapes or floppy disks, the student is able to conduct the course predominantly on his own. The program is primarily aimed at students who have the necessary motivation and discipline to complete the MBA on their own initiative. The courses take about three years to complete, as most of the work takes place in the evening or on the weekends. The student is supported by tutors via telephone, fax, internet, weekend or summer schools and locally trained MBA group activities.

As an example of a distance learning course, Henley Management College in cooperation with the Society for Continuing Education at the University of the Federal Armed Forces in Munich can be cited. The English-language program has a modular structure and allows participants to determine the study intensity and thus also the duration of the study themselves. The main components of the program are made up of face-to-face study modules at home and abroad, parts of self-study and practical projects in your own company.Overall, the MBA requires approximately 1,500 working hours, over 50 case studies, more than 20 assessed study projects, 2 large case study exams and a company-related consulting project.

Modular MBA

This option enables the student to try out the academic teaching content on the market as part of the training. Intensive studies and company internships alternate. During the internship, students work on projects that are directly related to the academic content of the MBA program. On the other hand, company-specific issues are included in the projects. In this way the theory is put into practice and enables vivid learning. This program structure has received a large response in Europe and particularly in Great Britain, while less interest is shown by students in the United States. Although it is a full-time program, work and training are combined in a meaningful way. The duration of the programs varies considerably.

The Consortium or Corporate MBA

The corporate MBA is organized by a university and various companies, usually from different fields. The aim is to complement each other with ideas and experiences, while business knowledge and project work find concrete application. Here, too, there is a higher level of acceptance in Great Britain and Europe than in the USA. As with the modular MBA, the programs vary in terms of content and duration. The aim is to develop a program that is specially tailored to the company. The participants in the programs come from the respective companies and are financed by the companies.

Examples of an in-house MBA program are Ford, Lufthansa, Daimler Benz or Provadis. Provadis runs an in-service program, the title of which is awarded by the Aston University Business School. The program is divided into two years with a total of 12 compulsory modules. Evidence of performance in the individual modules must be provided in the form of exams, presentations, term papers, etc.

The Executive MBA

These are part-time programs, the target groups of which are professionals with 5 to 10 years of professional experience. The participants are often in management positions and the master’s training is financed by the company. Since the students remain employed, the courses are primarily held on the weekend as part-time. However, executives can also structure their studies as distance learning or as a mixed form, in the sense of distance learning with attendance phases. Since the participants are usually heavily involved in their work, the schools are flexible in their offers and also allow a change between the corresponding program types. So z. B. makes it possible to dedicate oneself intensively to the MBA course in a longer presence phase and then to only be active in the profession for a longer period of time. Good Executive MBA programs are at the main diploma and doctoral level.For example, the International Business School (IMADEC) has been offering an Executive MBA program in Vienna together with California State University (USA) since September 1995. Likewise the WHU in Koblenz, or the USW in Erftstadt. The aim of the extra-occupational, usually two-year, part-time course is to prepare managers for new and demanding tasks in companies. The program is intended to convey the "tools of the trade" of modern management as well as the ability to work together in interdisciplinary teams. Another focus is to develop a deeper understanding of the strategic management of companies in global competition.

Single Company MBA / Consortium MBA

The difference between the Single Company MBA and the Consortium MBA is that the program is tailored to a company and only employees of that company take part. These are part-time MBAs whose target groups are company employees with several years of professional experience. The content is comparable to that of a part-time MBA.

Summary

In summary, it can be stated that the MBA is seen as an opportunity to improve career opportunities in general. Rigorous selection when recruiting MBA candidates is expected, but not always fulfilled in reality. The Handelsblatt, for example, reports on an Ernest and Young study that confirms that the French Grand Ecoles are increasingly suffering from a decline in applicants. The competition between the providers and the pressure to recruit interested parties then sometimes leads to a relaxation of the admission criteria.

The traditional one-year full-time MBA program is increasingly being replaced by part-time or executive programs. Those in employment can seldom afford to take a one-year or multi-year break in favor of training. The actual time hours that must be spent on the program (classroom contact hours) range between 250 and 1000 hours in Great Britain and the USA, but averages around 400 hours. A basic distinction must be made between classroom teaching and self-study. This is particularly evident in distance learning, as almost no presence is required here.

The curriculum of the MBA usually consists of main courses that cover the essential components of management, such as economics (micro and macro), information technology, developing problem-free strategies, etc. The courses are carried out through compulsory modules, projects or optional offers. The introduction of the specialized MBA programs will naturally change this type of broad subject coverage. There should be an approximate balance between soft skills (e.g. the ability to present, reason, etc.) and hard skills (business administration).

The classic MBA focuses on evaluating students through tests, exams, etc. Newer program forms are sometimes perceived as being too “user-friendly” when a regular performance review becomes less important as an evaluation tool. How do you choose the right MBA?

The Master of Business Administration is considered a qualification that prepares for tasks in the field of business management. This met with great interest among students and entrepreneurs, as shown by the number of visitors to the relevant events. In 1998 the range of programs continued to expand. In the following article, experts for MBA and BBA programs will discuss the steps to be taken when choosing the “right” MBA.

In the age of data-supported information, this crucial question of every MBA consultation is often expected that three clicks of the mouse are enough and one already has the answer via tables, checklists and rankings. That is only partly true. The word "right" has a double bottom. The question is about the good, trustworthy, recognized program and should at the same time be understood in the sense of a self-assessment, the consideration of whether the MBA is actually the right instrument for one's own career goals. Not least for financial reasons: The study means - quite apart from the time and personal expenditure - even in the comparatively inexpensive part-time variant, a real investment that deserves careful clarification in advance.

From the choice of a distance learning MBA, a part-time MBA or a full-time training that burdens the private health insurance threefold with fees, loss of earnings and living expenses, the critical look should be inward: Is the MBA right for me? Am I suitable as a person? Is the step from the previously familiar specialist activity into the cold wind of corporate responsibility with its hardship, the excessive time commitment, the compulsion to succeed, etc. also manageable? Does this correspond to my lifestyle and work style?

The GMAT, the Graduate Management Admission Test, can provide some information here. It is an aptitude test, not a knowledge test, whereby it is not neglected that excellent knowledge of English and confidence in quantitative thinking are the decisive factors. The GMAT, for which a maximum of 800 points are possible, is the globally introduced admission threshold for MBA programs. It is designed as a mental exercise lasting three and a half hours, in which analytical, written, “quantitative” and “verbal” parts of the test alternate on the PC at controlled intervals. The candidates are required to understand and analyze complex relationships quickly, imagination with figures and diagrams, and command of the language as evidence of intellectual ability. But at the same time their behavior is tested. The structure and the procedural rules of the test allow the evaluators to assess the resilience and nerve strength of the test subjects, their self-control when using their strengths including the ability to "delegate" in the right place, ie not to give an answer Not to jeopardize the progress of the large whole by cramping a part ... just like in real board room life. Since autumn 1997, the test has been taken by computer in the four German test centers. The German GMAT graduates are among the best in the world on average. In a global comparison (average 500 points) they are in 18th place with 531 GMAT points, far ahead of the USA and Japan with 511 GMAT points. In comparison to the European countries, the Germans are lagging behind in the lower third. Information material about the GMAT at: CITO / GMAT, P.O.BOX 1109, 6801 BC Arnhem, The Netherlands, Tel :. 0031/26 352 14 80

Most of those interested in an MBA are not aware of the GMAT's "hidden agenda". They are already firmly convinced of their suitability. But the business schools attach great importance to this objective confirmation. The entire selection process with its tests, interviews, references and the endless detailed questions in the application documents ultimately serves one purpose cumulatively: to get to the bottom of the all-round suitability of the candidates and the rigor of their decision to study. Because promising students and successful graduates are the be-all and end-all of good business schools in terms of business policy. As decorative advertising media and ambassadors, they increase their reputation, the number of applicants and, ultimately, sales. The hardship of the selection process thus becomes a visible quality indicator of the educational institutions themselves - which at the same time legitimizes the often demonized GMAT. It serves for self-knowledge and as a mafi stick for admission and good assessment, it provides an insight into the requirements of the upcoming course and in any case gives a rigorous impetus to learn the lingua franca of global business life intensively. The first evaluations of the PC-supported test show that many have problems with the medium and that the GMAT points of the German students have dropped.

The second set of questions concerns the specific goals that the MBA would like to achieve. Which career concept is the basis, which gaps in knowledge should be closed, which insecurities should be reduced and which strong ones should be boosted to the highest level? Far from the daily potemkin for the outside world, a thorough goal and deficit analysis is recommended here. But not only for the functional side. The same applies to the increasingly important field of soft skills. The quality and modernity of an MBA program are measured, among other things, by the extent to which international experience, multi-cultural understanding and leadership skills are imparted. And as a small survey of German MBA alumni showed, it was the aspects of personality development (team skills, argumentative assertiveness, communication, etc.) that were stated as the most important and valuable aspects of the MBA training. The honest result of such personal competence considerations leads a considerable step forward. It helps with the basic decision as to whether the MBA at all or some other further training is indicated and if so, then it provides, in addition to the key words for the later written application process, the personal selection criteria with regard to the main focus of the study and the general orientation that one should follow keep an eye out for the future state-of-the-art program.

Thirdly, the aspect of linguistic, geographical / economic preferences should be clarified, which should also be taken into account when choosing the place of study. Good programs are now offered worldwide in the USA, Europe and Asia. Anyone who is able to study abroad in accordance with the spirit of the MBA has the lifelong advantage of having a network of personal relationships in the previous host country. The old-boy networks of the large management teams are proverbial. Maintaining solidarity among the alumni is very important in schools and is more of a business requirement for the alumni themselves. But this additional benefit can be increased. For example, if you study at a good Spanish school, you will acquire another world language in addition to English and you can also expect to find a high proportion of young Latin American students among your fellow students. Which means in the above context: if you study in Madrid, you will also build your personal network of contacts in the Ibero-American continent. A useful plus point for your career.

As part of the realistic preliminary examination of the MBA wish for efficiency, personal suitability, needs and subsequent areas of application, the practical decision should also be made as to which type of implementation (for financial, family or professional considerations) can be considered. The full-time study of one to two years, the part-time while working according to different variants of the block system, or studying in the style of the cyber generation via distance learning with multimedia support. According to the predictions of the promoters, the latter is the way of the future. That will prove to be the case. It is already certain, however, that the process of learning is being immensely expanded and differentiated by the explosive development of digital technology - studies via online, PC conferences, virtual class rooms, etc., and that the interactive options are abundantly available Possibilities do not let the old reservation of the "impersonal" hold on any longer. It should also be noted that with all of this, the search for and the composition of the individually "right" MBA is significantly facilitated. But back to the present. We live in a period of rapid expansion in MBA education offerings. The number of MBA / BBA programs and their equivalences has risen to 86 in German-speaking countries and continues to grow at a rate of around one program per month. Every increase in options reduces the transparency of the offers, in any case for outsiders such as companies and individuals interested in qualifying.

Despite the growing lack of clarity, however, there are still voices to be taken seriously who track down the "right", suitable and qualitatively valuable program as a quasi first preservation act of the future MBA ("everyone is their luck"), a time-consuming self-research and the Want to abandon the principle of trial and error, and who at the same time consider the recording of the flood of programs and their sifting and evaluation with the means of a clearing house and program accreditation to be of little use. An old-fashioned point of view that no longer corresponds to the imperative of effective decision-making in the age of information and service providers. With FIBAA, the Foundation for International Business Administration Accreditation, there has been an institution since autumn 1994 that looks after precisely this field of activity: It offers information and advice in the entire field of MBA programs (worldwide) and opens up the providers of such courses the possibility of having these evaluated on the basis of a comprehensive reference system of quality standards.

The following, more practical advice comes from this experience, as a normal prospect should proceed with the actual program selection - taking into account the factors discussed at the beginning, which have sharpened the view and restricted the scope of the option anyway - and trimmed solely to marketable ones , available sources of information.

It is assumed that the interested party has already obtained some documents in the form of brochures etc. and has gained a first impression of the type of study and the offer. The addresses are no longer a secret. Newspapers and magazines are constantly in the process of printing and commenting on entire lists, there are "experts" books, the academic international offices at universities, and last but not least, the cultural branches of the various countries (e.g. British Council, Amerikahauser etc.) that are relevant Provide information. When looking through the brilliant material and the inviting letters, the first curiosity will be directed towards the curriculum, the question of the extent to which the presentation of the courses / activities corresponds to the defined educational needs. Once this has been clarified, the visible quality criteria should be examined carefully.

- Who is the program accredited by - if any? The range of accreditors spans, for example, from the USA with the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) founded in 1913, via the Asociacion Espanola de Escuelas de Direccion de Empresas (AEEDE) in Spain, via the English accreditation association of MBAs (AMBA) and Association of Business Schools (ABS), the Chapitre from France, the Foundation for International Business Administration Accreditation (FIBAA) for the German-speaking area to the foundations in Central and Eastern Europe such as RABE, CEEMAN, FORUM.

In the USA, around 330 business schools bear the seal of approval from the AACSB, the senior among the assessment institutions. In Europe, accreditation is handled nationally / regionally and includes around 1/4 to 1/3 of the programs offered. Almost all well-known providers are included.

In German-speaking countries, three MBA programs and one BBA program currently meet the minimum requirements for business. The short descriptions of the programs can be found at the end of this book.

The accreditation of a program is to be seen as a viable statement of quality, since it offers the assurance of a practiced quality awareness and compliance with minimum requirements.

- How is the "Faculty" composed? The distinction between regular and guest lecturers is of less importance than the clear indication of the special qualification - both in academic terms and in relation to professional experience with the subject matter of the course. Good programs have nothing to hide here.
- What are the admission requirements? Are they definite and unambiguously formulated or are they vague? Are exemptions clearly described? As already mentioned above, the recognizable care and rigor in the selection of participants is a first-order quality signal.

Status: November 1997