The College of Economics & Political Science (CEPS) at Sultan Qaboos University is undergoing accreditation assessment by the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS). EQUIS is the leading international system of quality assessment, improvement and accreditation of higher education institutions in management and business administration. EQUIS has established its prestige and recognition worldwide and has accredited the top 1% – 174 institutions in 41 countries – since its launch in 1997. CEPS at SQU decided to go for EQUIS accreditation and got the membership in 2015. The eligibility for accreditation was granted in 2016. So far, the College fulfilled implementation of EQUIS standards and completed preparation of self-study reports.
Dr. Rafi Asharafi, EQUIS Project Leader at the College of Economics & Political Science at SQU, said that the final phase of the accreditation process is the Peer Review Team’s visit to the College for the final peer review meeting, which is being held from 25 to 27 September 2018. “As part of the review program, the EQUIS Peer Review Team members will meet and interview a wide variety of staff and students from including SQU top management, the college executive team, faculty group members, staff from support service units and student representatives. In addition, they will meet a variety of stakeholders including representatives from the corporate sectors, advisory board members and the alumni”, he said. On the first day of the review program, the team interviewed the top officials of the university administration including the Vice Chancellor, the Deputy Vice Chancellors and the Assistant Vice Chancellor.
Dr. Rafi Asharafi further said that the college decided to undergo EQUIS accreditation to ensure a rigorous quality control, benchmarking the college against international standards in terms of governance, programs, students, faculty, research, and internationalization. “Accreditation by a reputed international agency like EQIS ensures responsibility and sustainability, as well as corporate engagement of the institution. EQUIS covers all academic programs offered by a college”, he noted.
EQUIS looks for a balance between high academic quality and the professional relevance provided by interaction with the corporate world. A strong interface with the world of business is, therefore, as much a requirement as strong research potential. EQUIS attaches particular importance to the creation of an effective learning environment that favours the development of students’ managerial and entrepreneurial skills and fosters their personal development and sense of global responsibility. Dr. Rafi noted that EQUIS accreditation has had a positive influence on the quality assessment and improvement of business schools. The former management education editor of the Financial Times in the UK recently stated that EQUIS is now regarded as “the gold standard” for international business school accreditation.