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Accreditations and rankings

USB has the triple crown of international accreditations: AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA.

AACSB accreditation

In November 2012, the USB became the first business school of African origin to achieve international AACSB accreditation for its MBA and other programmes. AACSB accreditation represents the highest achievement for an educational institution that awards business degrees. Less than 5% of the world's business programmes are AACSB accredited.

  • Year of AACSB accreditation: 2012. Most recent reaccreditation: 2018 (for 5 years).

EQUIS accreditation

USB was the first business school in Africa to receive EQUIS accreditation, awarded by the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD). EQUIS assesses business schools as a whole, including their programmes, internationalisation activities, research, executive education provision, corporate connections and community outreach.

  • Year of EQUIS accreditation: 2000. Most recent reaccreditation: 2014 (for 5 years).

AMBA accreditation

USB was the first South African business school to achieve the international AMBA accreditation from the UK-based Association of MBAs. AMBA's accreditation criteria focus on every aspect of MBA provision, including the institution, faculty, curriculum and assessments.

  • Year of AMBA accreditation: 2002. Most recent reaccreditation: 2017 (for 5 years).​

Membership of two doctoral associations – EDAMBA and the GRLI’s GDA

USB is a member of the European Doctoral Programmes Association in Management and Business Administration (EDAMBA). In 2006, USB’s PhD was the first PhD outside Europe audited and approved by EDAMBA. EDAMBA promotes and facilitates cooperation among doctoral programmes in Management and Business Administration by providing a network to exchange information and PhD candidates, and to promote research cooperation.

USB is also a member of the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative’s Global Doctoral Alliance. As a signatory to the GRLI’s Global Doctoral Alliance, USB is committed to incorporating the societal dimension of business and sustainability in its PhD research.

International acknowledgement

USB is one of only three African business schools with an A-rating (5 Palmes, or highest ranking) for "universal business schools with major international influence" from the French ranking agency Eduniversal. USB has achieved this accolade in every
year since 2008 (2008 – 2016).

In 2016, USB was ranked the Nr 2 business school in Africa by Eduniversal.

International and local memberships

USB is a member of leading bodies in the international and African business school community: the USA-based Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the Belgian-based European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD), the UK-based Association of MBAs (AMBA), the Brussels-based Academy of Business in Society (ABIS), the South African Business Schools Association (SABSA), the Association of African Business Schools (AABS), Global Business School Network (GBSN), and the Central and East European Management Development Association (CEEMAN).

USB is also a member EFMD's Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative (GRLI), which focuses on reframing the purpose of management education among others, and of the Global Business School Network (GBSN), which promotes management education as a critical component in successful international development strategies.

In addition, USB is one of the first 100 signatories of the UN’s Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) promoting corporate responsibility and sustainability in business education. Click here for USB’s latest PRME Sharing Information on Progress Report.

South African accreditation

USB is fully accredited by the Council on Higher Education in South Africa.

USB rankings USB was ranked as the No 1 school in South Africa by in 2016. This means USB stayed in the top position for the fifth consecutive year (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016). USB was placed first eight times since 2005, always featuring among the top three business schools in South Africa. is a survey conducted among employers of MBA graduates in South Africa. 

Eduniversal: In 2016, for the ninth consecutive year since 2008, USB has been ranked as one of the Top 3 business schools in Africa. For each ranking, USB has received Eduniversal’s Five Palmes award, placing the school among the top 100 business schools in the world. This award is based on the Eduniversal global survey. The rankings are the result of voting by deans of business schools around the world, based on a list of criteria.

Financial Mail: In 2016, USB and its MBA programme have been ranked among the Top 3 in Financial Mail's annual ranking of business schools by both employers and USB graduates (2015: Top 4). This ranking is based on the overall reputation that a school enjoys among employers. According to the 2016 Financial Mail ranking, "Stellenbosch is a model of consistency" in terms of the school with the best overall reputation.


USB-ED rankings

In the 2017 Financial Times Executive Education ranking, USB-ED featured in the Top 100 schools internationally.

USB-ED has been ranked by (Professional Management Review) as South Africa's top executive education institution and received the Diamond Arrow Award for six consecutive years (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017).

USB-ED has also been ranked by (Professional Management Review) as top provider of Executive Education by a Foreign Business School in Botswana (2014, 2015 and 2016) and Namibia (2014, 2015 and 2016).