The University of the Free State (UFS) Business School has received International Qualifications Assessment accreditation by the Central and East European Management Development Association (Ceeman). This was officially confirmed on Tuesday, 4 December.Ceeman is an international management-development association with the aim of accelerating the growth in quality of management development in Central and Eastern Europe. The association has more than 220 members from over 55 countries in Europe, North America, Latin America, Africa and Asia. “This is an endorsement for the level of quality and relevance of the Business School. I’ve been inundated with good wishes via phone and emails from current and former students,” says Prof. Helena van Zyl, director of the UFS Business School. “They all realise the tremendous benefits this holds for everyone affiliated with our business school, as the quality of our qualifications are now recognised globally.” The accreditation is the culmination of two years of hard work by the university. First to apply by submitting an overview of operations, then drawing up a self-assessment report with appendices of over 1 000 pages. Finally, a peer-review team with panel members from Latvia, Poland and Mauritius came to the Bloemfontein Campus for an on-site assessment. In two and a half days, the panel conducted detailed, thorough interviews with 85 different people – from staff and students, to industry partners, the dean, and members of the rectorate. “On behalf of the executive management, I would like to congratulate Prof. van Zyl and her team on this fine achievement. The accreditation is a feather in the cap of the university and it is indeed an accomplishment to be proud of,” said Prof. Francis Petersen, rector and vice-chancellor of the UFS. Team members were particularly impressed by the overwhelmingly positive experiences recorded by students, as well as the state-of-the-art facilities.Van Zyl attributes success to passionate people. “We think of ourselves as a ‘boutique business school’. We are focused on quality and are extremely structured and disciplined, which ultimately creates a safety net for students and staff. We’re also small enough to build personal relationships with our students,” she said.She believes this to be the secret of the business school’s success record over the 20 years of its existence.