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Educational Collaborations – Business Schools Working Together To Provide the Best Education Possible

July 2014

By Jessica Brown, Senior Manager, Knowledge Services, AACSB International

Everyone at AACSB International understands that business schools are professionals at networking, so the Collaborations Survey was created to help AACSB track how connected our schools are to one another through collaborations from simple student exchanges or cooperative faculty research to more complex collaborations like complete joint degree programs and franchising agreements. On this survey, schools are asked to report their official partnerships with a list of partner schools, the type of collaboration, and a contact person and, then the data are made available to al AACSB schools as part of their membership.

Existing Collaborations – what are the common types?

Looking at the five most commonly reported types of collaboration based on the number of schools reporting that type of collaboration in 2012-13, the following table compares those reported types with how common they were in prior surveys.


It's relatively easy to see that student-focused collaborations are very popular, with Study Abroad/Student Exchange, Dual Degree/Multiple Degree, and Joint Degree Programs all in the five most commonly reported collaboration types. Faculty activity is also very popular and was the second most commonly reported collaboration type in all three years.

In all of the past three years of the survey, more than 67% of participating schools stated that they have some sort of formal policy about partnerships and collaborations with more than 68% of participants reporting an official collaborations office, department, or position charged with handling the details of these kinds of agreements. With data on over 8500 collaborative efforts from the 2012-13 Collaborations Survey covering 480 schools in 53 countries around the world, it is easy to get a hint at how interconnected business schools really are today.

The data collected is not limited to only partnerships between AACSB member schools. Schools can report both partnerships with other AACSB member schools and with schools that aren't current members of AACSB. Among AACSB-accredited schools with data on the 2012-13 Collaborations Survey, 68.0% of partnerships were reported as being with other AACSB member schools. For AACSB Member schools that have not yet successfully completed the accreditation process, 49.0% of partnerships involved another AACSB member school.

Desired Collaborations

In addition to the storehouse of information on existing collaborations, AACSB also requests information about collaborations that schools may desire to build in the future. Using this data, a school can find schools that are interested in starting specific types of collaborations with schools in their world region. Looking again at the five most commonly desired collaboration types based on the 2012-13 Collaboration Survey, the three most commonly requested items are the same as the three most commonly reported existing collaborations. From this, one could infer that Study Abroad/Student Engagement, Faculty Activity, and Dual Degree/Multiple Degree collaboration types are likely to continue to grow and be popular options for schools planning on offering more opportunities through relationships with other schools.

Business schools are full of faculty, administrators, and students with their eyes on stakeholder engagement and how to turn collaborative opportunities into networking reality. With more information about the collaborations that schools are engaged in, AACSB can continue to focus on finding ways to use our data and experience as a resource that will be there for your school whenever needed.

The 2013-14 Collaborations Survey, open now for data entry, is the next opportunity for AACSB member schools to tell us about the current collaborations and future opportunities for collaborations at their school. The downloadable overview reports and benchmarking options for the Collaboration Survey are available to authorized accounts in the DataDirect system.