Accreditations, Surveys & Rankings
At HSBA, quality management and a true openness to suggestions for improvement and feedback are assured. We see quality control as a strategic development task that does not serve an end in itself, but is directly linked to the university's strategy and development plan, which is updated continuously.
Accordingly, quality management is a complementary management tool that best supports the process of decision-making, policy development and implementation. We, who work or study at HSBA or are active as cooperation partners, are the protagonists of quality improvement: We negotiate quality in dialogue with each other and, from a multi-perspective, find the best solutions for our challenges.
In order to ensure the indispensable continuous improvement process, we use various instruments of information gathering and action development. Regular evaluations are just as important as the participation in external rankings and the feedback from the various accreditation procedures. Anonymous surveys and personal exchanges complement each other, small and large teams work together in solid and in free constellations.
HSBA Quality Control Loop for Study Programmes (Excerpt from the Quality Management Manual, Picture by Prof. Dr. Inga Schmidt-Ross, former Vice-president for Teaching, Quality Assurance and Executive Education, 2021)
In July 2018, HSBA was systemically accredited by the Foundation of International Business Administration Accreditation (FIBAA). The process included two on-site assessments by a specialist expert team, which assessed the quality management system as a whole and randomly reviewed relevant features of the study design, study programmes and quality assurance (random sampling). In the core, it was examined whether the quality assurance system of HSBA systematically ensures that the study programmes meet the requirements of the Accreditation Council.
"Hamburg School of Business Administration has established a comprehensive and convincing quality management system and proven its effectiveness. [...] The quality management system is supported by a cooperative and quality-enhancing culture at the university and involves all relevant stakeholders." (Excerpt from the report on system accreditation)
The successful system accreditation enables HSBA to arrange its quality processes more independently and more precisely to the strategically developed (quality) objectives and their specific framework conditions. The right of self-accreditation that is acquired with it also leads to greater flexibility and personal responsibility: HSBA can independently design and implement new study programmes and developments in existing degree programmes, while at the same time ensuring systematic compliance with and binding implementation of national requirements. This is done through internal accreditation procedures that replace the programme accreditations previously carried out by the FIBAA. In addition to students, HSBA professors, lecturers and company representatives are also involved as reviewers in these internal procedures. A specially established accreditation committee awards the quality seal of the Accreditation Council in case of a positive resolution.
Certificate of the System Accreditation
Prior to obtaining system accreditation, all HSBA degree programmes were regularly programme-accredited by the FIBAA. The FIBAA even awarded two Master's programmes with a premium seal. At that time, only two percent of all programmes in Germany had received such a seal of approval. Later, a third premium seal was awarded to MBA Shipping. The master's programs MSc Global Management & Governance, MBA Shipping and Executive MBA were discontinued on October 1, 2020.
Premium seals represent the FIBAA's own quality seal and show that a degree programme fulfills special requirements in five core areas defined by the FIBAA (objectives, admission, content, structure and didactics, scientific environment and basic conditions, quality assurance and further development).
Within the framework of institutional accreditation, the Accreditation Committee of the “Wissenschaftsrat” examines whether a private university meets the recognised scientific standards with regard to teaching and research achievements and whether the constitutive requirements for university formality are fulfilled. In 2019, HSBA has, again, successfully passed this procedure guaranteeing a transnational quality assurance of non-state universities. As such, the institution has been reaccredited by the “Wissenschaftsrat” for a further five years.
"Since the institutional re-accreditation in 2013, HSBA has developed positively. Student numbers and staffing levels have increased. With its extensive network of cooperation companies, the university strengthens its position in the educational sector of the Hamburg metropolitan region. The dual education system is implemented in various facets of the university's profile. [...] The university's quality management is professionally structured and managed." (quote from the statement, translated by Esther Stracke)
The statement on the re-accreditation of HSBA Hamburg School of Business Administration, Drs. 7661-19 of 10.05.2019 can be found here.
At HSBA, there are various internal evaluation tools that are implemented in all study programmes and are based on the Student Life Cycle. They generate information about various aspects of the study courses and systematically improve the quality. The focus of the data collection are the students, who are asked for feedback with the majority of the internal evaluations: After the beginner survey, all courses are evaluated and reflections and short interviews are carried out until the students are asked for an overall feedback shortly after completing their studies. As alumni, they are again asked for their assessment a few years after leaving university. Additionally, companies and lecturers also systematically record and exploit feedback.
In addition to the formalised procedures, informal feedback from the various stakeholders (applicants, students, graduates, alumni, companies, politics, etc.), the HSBA staff receives in committees, at events, at trade fairs, etc. will also be shared. In addition, there are various opportunities for employees to exchange views and contribute their feedback.
HSBA regularly participates in the rankings of the Center for Higher Education Development (CHE). The CHE University Ranking is the most comprehensive and detailed ranking system for German-speaking higher education institutions. It is geared primarily to new and existing students, but has also become established at universities as a fair, informative and qualified source of information. In addition to facts on the course of studies, teaching, facilities and research, the ranking includes ratings by more than 250,000 students regarding the study conditions at their university. All of the results are available free of charge on the internet.
Once a year, the "HSBA Evaluation and Progress Report" is prepared by the quality management department in cooperation with the employees of the various departments and committees. It looks back on the previous academic year and presents the quality improvement needs and actions taken to the interested public. It also informs about the committees and instruments used and makes the quality improvement process visible.
In order to document the organisational anchoring and operational implementation of quality management and to give an overview of our quality objectives, our organisational structures and our quality management processes, we have developed a quality management manual. It is primarily aimed at the HSBA team and selected external partners. Here you will get an insight into the content and structure of the manual.
In particular, the core processes in the area of study and teaching are uniformly documented according to the Business Process Modell and Notation (BPMN). Internal processes are represented graphically in BPMN in a standardized way in order to ensure a common understanding of performance cooperation in the organization and, if necessary, to be able to adapt quickly to new internal and external conditions.
When designing processes, HSBA consciously pursues a very pragmatic approach, which leaves all persons involved a certain amount of freedom for an individual design of the processes in order to prevent overregulation and increase the acceptance and motivation to contribute to quality.
The degree programme reflection (“Studiengangsreflexion”) tool is a newly developed quality assurance instrument. It systematically processes data from all areas of the university in order to look at key figures and enable data-based decisions.
After the first planning stage, development of prototypes and several feedback rounds, this instrument has been available for general usage since 2021. The programme directors, programme management and the university management use the tool, benefitting from up to date data due to regular updates.
The tool displays key figures and threshold values from surveys and the student registry offices, as well as sales and economic key figures. The data is compiled in dynamic dashboards using Power BI and can be adapted and visualised according to the information need using specific filter functions.