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Hult Gains AACSB Approval

Hult International Business School

Nearly three years after announcing a merger with Britain’s Ashridge Business School, Hult International Business School today (June 20) said it had gained accreditation from AACSB (The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business). The AACSB accreditation applies to all Hult’s programs globally.

The stamp of approval from the world’s largest accreditor of business education is a major victory for Hult which described the two-year-plus process as “an incredibly intensive period.” When the merger occurred with Ashridge, Hult leadership expected the deal to help the school gain accreditation because Ashridge would provide ingredients that Hult had lacked, namely business research and more PhD-qualified professors. Ashridge, largely a player in executive education, had already held both AACSB and Equis accreditation.

“The planned merger will not only give us a higher profile with employers around the world, it will also significantly increase our full-time faculty with PhDs and, for the first time, give us research output,” explained Hult President Stephen Hodges at the time. “The combination of all this will allow us to pursue additional accreditations and help our FT ranking.”

Hult President Stephen Hodges


Hult had also fallen out of the Financial Times ranking in 2015 and hasn’t been back since, largely because the FT changed its methodology to require that all participating schools be accredited by either Equis or the AACSB. Before that change, Hult had consistently made the highly influential FT list. In fact, Hult’s first big rankings break occurred in 2009 when it cracked the FT global MBA ranking, coming in 97th out of 100 schools. Hult’s best showing in the FT survey occurred in 2013 when it finished 57th in the world.

Presumbly, the accreditation approval will pave the way for a re-entry into the Financial Times ranking as early as next year. The promotional value of being on the FT list is significant and typically translates into a higher volume of applicants and more approval from alumni.

“This recognition is testament not just to the tireless work of faculty and staff within the school, but of course to our passionate and talented students and alumni,” said Hodges in a statement. “We received some exceptional feedback from the AACSB review team and it is encouraging to hear something we believe so passionately in at Hult from external organizations, especially one as respected as AACSB.”

Johan Roos, Hult’s chief academic officer, says that the accreditation process was an intense but gratifying experience. “This has been an incredibly intensive period for everyone involved, and a lot of colleagues contributed in telling reviewers how great faculty and professional staff offer great education to an amazingly diverse group of fantastic students, while we also transform business education. We set an audacious goal, we worked hard, and together we did it. It’s affirming to know we are able deliver the highest international academic standards while staying true to our roots as a disruptive innovator in the field of business education.”