Ms Renee Pak’s decision to enroll in the Bachelor of Business Studies (Honours) in Finance at University College Dublin (UCD), which is offered in Singapore by Kaplan, can best be summarised by a two-word phrase: Triple Crown.

In the world o business academia, this refers to schools that have attained accreditation association: The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the Association of MBAs (AMBA) and the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS).

As of September 2016, 75 business schools globally have achieved triple crown accreditation, with UCD’s College of Business being one of them. Attaining this is no mean feat as each accrediting body has different criteria, all of which are stringent.

Said Dr Orna O’Brien, director, Centre for Distance Learning Programme Office and school manager UCD: “A Triple Crown credential would imply that the education the students are receiving is if a very high standard, and enhances their marketability after they graduate. Employers would appreciate the value of these accreditations and what the graduates could potentially bring to their organisations.”

This was a key consideration for Ms Pak, who is a business development manager in a bank, Said the 27-year-old: “It provided the assurance that the UCD provides first-class training at an international level.”

Ms Pak graduates in the second quarter of next year and has already attended the UCD Summer School, an optiona programme where students study at UCD in Ireland for 10 days.

Students attend lectures for two core units. They do not pay additional tuition fees but pay for their own expenses, including airfare, meals and accomodation. “Summer School was a very good experience for me. Studying at the UCD campus felt good and helped me make friends with people from other culture,” Ms Pak said.

UCD and Kaplan pride themselves on applying local perspectives to global scenarios. Lectures are delivered by a joint team of UCD faculty lecturers and local lecturers that have been approved by the university. Where relevant, the latter team adds local context to the global scenarios mentioned by UCD lecturers.

To help students like Ms Pak who work full-time, lessons for each module are scheduled in blocks and are held over several consecutive days within a one- to two-week window. Dr O’Brien said this helps students better manage work, social and study commitments, resulting in improved performance.

According to Ms Pak, this helped allay some of her family’s initial concerns over whether she would be able to balance academic and work commitments. “With the flexible timetable, I had ample time to arrange my schedule before lesson blocks commenced.”

She added that this flexibility also meant that she was able to plan travel arrangements for work where needed.

Recognising that all students have unique abilities, UCD doesn’t focus solely on an applicant’s grades. It also considers the applicant’s work experience and employers’ recomendations. “We believe this allows us to open doors to students who have displayed exemplary professional conduct and achievements,” said Dr O’Brien.

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Article by Scott Marsh
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