Today, AACSB International (AACSB)—the world’s largest business education alliance has announced that the UNSW Business School is among the top 25 business schools highlighted in its Innovations That Inspire member spotlight program.

This annual program recognises institutions from around the world that serve as champions of change in the business education landscape.

In 2023, the highlights feature efforts to innovate the business school in ways that enhance value for all stakeholders, including students, businesses, and society. These schools are defining new realities for the future of learning, leading, and connecting, paving the way to a re-energized value proposition for business education.  

“New demands from stakeholders require reimagined business school initiatives, and the UNSW Business School’s Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) Integrated First Year program demonstrates a fresh way forward for business education,” said Caryn Beck-Dudley, AACSB president and CEO.

The Integrated First Year (IFY) is a unique first year business curriculum that introduces students to the interdisciplinary business content, transferable business skills, and personalised career development learning they need for tomorrow’s careers. By thematically re-imagining and integrating the fundamentals from each core business disciplines, the IFY begins the degree’s task of equipping students with future-focused business knowledge and skills.

The IFY comprises 8 new transdisciplinary courses with comprehensive curriculum integration both within and across courses via thematic and pedagogical integration. The IFY replaces the traditional discipline-specific foundation courses in Accounting, Finance, Economics, Marketing, etc. It is the horizontal bar in a T-shaped curriculum, preparing students for more in-depth and accelerated specialisations in up to two majors in their upper years.

Professor Christine Mathies, Associate Dean (Undergraduate Programs), UNSW Business School, states, “this fundamental rethink of business education has seen enhanced student learning outcomes and satisfaction. We can report significantly better performance in critical domains such as teamwork, global and cultural competence, and responsible and sustainable business practices.”

“We are reshaping how we educate the next generation of business professionals with our redesigned Bachelor of Commerce that fundamentally challenges the traditional structure of undergraduate business degrees,” said Professor Mathies.

With this latest AACSB award for the Integrated First Year, both signature elements of the degree are now internationally recognised as a pioneering innovation: the myBCom, a gamified online platform for students to plan and track their development of key employability skills received a QS-Wharton Reimagine Education award in 2021.

Now in its eighth year, the Innovations That Inspire initiative has highlighted 214 business school efforts that exemplify forward-looking approaches to education, research, community engagement, entrepreneurship, leadership, and diversity and inclusion.

“By leveraging innovation for knowledge co-creation, new methods of learning, and expanded educational access, business schools are meeting market expectations and increasing value for businesses, learners, and society,” Caryn Beck-Dudley.

Support for the 2023 Innovations That Inspire member spotlight program is provided by Illinois Institute of Technology’s Stuart School of Business.

More insights and examples are available at


About AACSB International

Established in 1916, AACSB International (AACSB) is the world’s largest business education alliance, connecting educators, learners, and business to create the next generation of great leaders. With a presence in more than 100 countries and territories, AACSB fosters engagement, accelerates innovation, and amplifies impact in business education. Learn how AACSB is transforming business education for a better society at

Contact: AACSB International