Responsible education from the best business schools

Triple crown business schools accredited by AACSB AMBA EQUIS as global responsible citizens

Business schools as global citizens

After the financial crisis of 2008 and major corporate disasters such as Enron, Global Crossing and WorldCom, organisations have been pressured to commit to more rigorous corporate governance and values. The European accrediting body EQUIS views business schools as ‘globally responsible citizens’ who should lead ethical and sustainable behaviour in business and society. In other words, they have a responsibility to change lives for the better. The best business schools also sign up to the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) and pledge to equip today's business students with the understanding and ability to deliver change tomorrow.

Examples of ethics & responsibility in action at the best business schools

Sustainable education & research

Recognising the link between ethics, corporate governance and corporate practice, many business schools have adjusted their programmes and research foci to address sustainability issues such as global warming, labour conditions or unethical behaviour of managers. 


  • The University of Exeter Business School's trailblazing MBA was ranked 1st in the world for sustainability by Corporate Knights’ Better World Rankings 2017, 2nd in 2018. The Exeter MBA equips participants with tools and skills in purposeful leadership, innovation and technology to transform themselves and the world around them.
  • Cranfield School of Management offers an Management and Corporate Sustainability MSc, which teaches the practicalities of how businesses successfully embed sustainability into their core business purpose and strategy.
  • The Open University Business School is a member of the Global Business School Network (GBSN) of 71 business schools from 35 countries working to strengthen management education in the developing world. Each year, it funds International Fellowships to support faculty from GBSN institutions in other countries to visit the UK to learn about its approach to distance and online learning.
  • London Business School's Centre for Corporate Governance uses research - in areas including executive pay, investor rights, investor stewardship, boards and short-termism - to influence the practice of corporate governance, encouraging two-way debate and the sharing of ideas between academics and practitioners. 
  • Cass Business School's Centre for Charity Effectiveness - the leading non-profit and philanthropy centre in the UK - has provided support and guidance to hundreds of organisations and thousands of individuals across the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector.


Student action

In democratic societies, universities have always encouraged students to participate in debate, express their thoughts and take action - today's student, for example, have adopted a leading role in the worldwide Extinction Rebellion to protest against climate change. With sustainability high on the business agenda, it's essential they enter the workplace with their own experiences of sustainability and ideas to implement it. 


  • Imperial College Business School's student-led Social Impact and Responsible Business Club brings changemakers together via networking events, workshops and buddy-up programmes to learn to drive social impact. Past speakers have included the founder of a social enterprise and an impact investment consultant.
  • A past winner of the QS Reimagine Education Award for Sustainability, the University of Exeter's Green Consultants project features a brief internship, here in the UK or as far flung as Africa, to look at sustainability problems, find solutions and present findings to the partner company. Previous internships have included waste and travel audits, environmental performance monitoring and community engagement. 
  • Hult International Business School's Hult Prize is a worldwide student challenge to solve the most pressing global issues. Run in partnership with the UN, university teams pitch viable business ideas for the chance to win $1 million USD. In 2018, of over 100,000 entries, the winning idea to harness the power of energy to transform the lives of 10 million people by 2023 came from University College London (UCL). Rice Inc buys rice directly from farmers in Southeast Asia, then dries it using renewable energy, avoiding the 30% spoilage rate farmers would normally incur treating the rice themselves.

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