In June 2017 prestigious accreditation EPAS by European Foundation for Management (EFMD) was once again awarded for three years to professional undergraduate programme „European Business” and professional postgraduate programme "International Business". EPAS recognition in the Baltic States was granted to only one more school – Lithuania’s Baltic Institute of Management.

EPAS is an international programme accreditation system operated by EFMD. It aims to evaluate the quality of any business and/or management programme that has an international perspective and, where high quality is noted, grant accreditation. The process involves a review in depth of individual programmes through international comparison and benchmarking.

105 undergraduate programmes, or majors, at 77 schools of higher learning in 36 countries have received EPAS accreditation, among them: University of  Economics (Czech Republic), Jönköping International Business School (Sweden), Oxford Brookes University (United Kingdom), Nottingham Business School (United Kingdom), Sheffield Business School (United Kingdom), DCU – Dublin City University Business School (Ireland), Porto Business School (Portugal), Universite Jean Moulin (France).

"The evaluation process for EPAS is a lot tougher than the accreditation for undergraduate programmes conducted by the Ministry of Education. Documents had to be submitted on the faculty’s qualifications, research conducted, the number of students, etc., to see whether the school is even eligible for consideration. If deemed eligible, the school then must hand in a „self-evaluation.” Here at RISEBA, having cleared the first hurdles, we welcomed the arrival of an international commission, made up of educators and academicians, and one member of the business community. The commission rated whether the self-evaluation was justified and whether the school’s performance, keeping in mind the finest in Europe, meets international standards,” RISEBA Rector, Professor of Management Irina Sennikova, explained, adding that the entire process had taken about five years.

Here in Latvia, in rating universities, their „international” status is commonly looked upon as those with signed cooperation agreements with foreign schools, but for EPAS accreditation, this is not enough. „Of course, RISEBA has cooperation agreements with over 90 foreign counterparts, but EPAS strictly looks at whether students are in fact guaranteed international experience during their studies, internships abroad, harmonised international standards, the notoriety of professors and lecturers, and the inclusion of educators from other countries. Just as important is the number of foreign students, who are enrolled for the full undergraduate programme,” said Sennikova, and underlined, that RISEBA successfully met all of the above criteria.

EFMD experts have high praise of the positions on the job market subsequently taken by the graduates of „European Business Studies”. EPAS accreditation means that RISEBA graduates are suitably prepared for international-level work.

A key aspect here is that the EPAS accreditation will boost RISEBA’s efforts in international cooperation because the most prestigious world business colleges cooperate only with those whose major programmes have received the highest acknowledgement and accreditation. Professor Sennikova is convinced that the EPAS stamp of approval will be a boon to an attraction of more foreign students; at this time, they are 10%, but RISEBAs goal for the future is 25%.

“We are working hard and are spending a lot of energy and financial resources to provide great environment for studies, high quality education process in order to give our students great knowledge, to use innovative teaching methods with the main goal prepare true professionals who meet requirements of the job market and to further develop our academic personnel. Accreditation by EPAS is proof of our international recognition,” says associate professor Ilmars Kreituss.

For more about EPAS

Find out more about RISEBA programme „European Business”:

Find out more about RISEBA programme „International Business”: