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IMD enhances its academic stature with accreditation as a Swiss university institute


17 April 2023

The Swiss Accreditation Council has granted the prestigious IMD Business School institutional accreditation as a university institute.

Based in Lausanne (canton of Vaud), IMD is a world-renowned business school that focuses on providing executive education and conducting cutting-edge research in management, leadership, and strategy. Known for its top-ranked MBA, executive MBA, and other executive programs, IMD has a strong commitment to developing global leaders and fostering innovation.

In their accreditation report, the experts from the Swiss Accreditation Council (SAC) commended IMD for its agility, participatory quality culture, investment in human resources and infrastructure, development of the E4S Master in Sustainable Management and Technology in partnership with UNIL and EPFL, responsiveness to students and participants, and support for faculty.

After assessing the institute as fulfilling all 18 accreditation standards, the accreditation agency stated: “IMD has a quality assurance system that covers all areas and processes of the higher education institution.” The group of experts, therefore, recommended that IMD be accredited as a university institute without conditions – a noteworthy achievement for a first accreditation process.

IMD President Jean-François Manzoni expressed his appreciation for the recognition and official inclusion in the Swiss higher education landscape, looking forward to the opportunities it will create. Manzoni also thanked the SAC, the Swiss Accreditation and Quality Assurance Agency (AAQ), reviewers, partners, alumni, and colleagues who have helped IMD reach this milestone.

IMD, which celebrated its 75th anniversary at the end of 2021, has long been part of the select group of academic institutions holding all three premier business school accreditations (AACSB, EFMD EQUIS, and AMBA). These international labels enable IMD to maintain excellence in teaching and research, develop a strong international image, and attract students. National accreditation may also simplify administrative procedures (visas, grants, loans, scholarships, etc.) and enhance the recognition of degrees in certain countries.

The uniqueness of Western Switzerland’s education system

The Swiss Federal Act on the Funding and Coordination of the Swiss Higher Education Sector (HEdA) was enacted in 2015. Among other provisions, it harmonized study structures according to controlled designations (universities, universities of applied sciences, and universities of teacher education). Private institutions are not required to obtain accreditation, but IMD, a Swiss foundation, chose to pursue Swiss institutional accreditation to achieve this recognition in line with its strategy.

Western Switzerland’s education system stands out globally due to its emphasis on collaboration and innovation, as exemplified by IMD’s partnership with UNIL and EPFL in developing the E4S Master in Sustainable Management and Technology. The region’s strong focus on quality, research, and practical application of knowledge, combined with a commitment to fostering a sustainable world, make it a unique and attractive destination for students and researchers alike.