European Quality Link (EQUAL)
EUROPEAN MBA GUIDELINES
The European Quality Link (EQUAL), the European association
of national accrediting bodies, has as its main objective the
continued improvement of quality in business schools. As part
of this activity, EQUAL aims to agree common standards for
programmes, where appropriate, and to establish benchmarks.
The Master of Business Administration (MBA) is the first widely
accepted international degree, but there are variable
interpretations of the nature of this degree. The members of
EQUAL have therefore agreed on a European MBA framework.
The following guidelines are intended to assist business schools,
inform participants and employers, and also contribute to the
European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS) process. They
reflect a common interest in creating transparency in the market
and encouraging the convergence of such degrees. In addition,
these guidelines may be used to influence governmental
1. The MBA is a postgraduate degree at the Master's level and
must correspond to minimum intellectual and academic
standards for such degrees. Admission to an MBA
programme will normally require a first degree or equivalent.
This requirement can only be lowered exceptionally in the
case of candidates with substantial and proven professional
2. The MBA is a postexperience degree seen as a career
accelerator or a means to make a career shift after a
minimum of 2 or 3 years' professional experience.
Programmes designed to help young graduates prepare for
their entry into professional life should normally carry an
3. The MBA is a generalist degree in business administration.
In line with the previous guideline it is a broadening
programme. As a result a specialised Master's degree
should not be called an MBA.
4. It is important that the MBA be clearly identified with a
certain type of content. The MBA curriculum provides broad
coverage of the main functional areas in management,