Case study: Banku Augstskola

BA School of Business and Finance, Riga, Latvia 

Banku Augstskola thirty years of academic excellence 

One of Latvia’s leading business schools, Banku Augstskola, celebrated its thirtieth birthday on 27th August 2022. 

“On behalf of all of Investors in Excellence (IiE), we would like to extend our congratulations to Banku Augstskola for thirty years of academic excellence and fifteen years of working in partnership with IiE to unlock the school’s potential further and continuously improve performance.”

The client – Banku Augstskola – The BA School of Business and Finance 

Originally a banking college, established by the Bank of Latvia, Riga-based BA School has grown significantly achieving higher educational institution status in 1997, providing a full range of courses in finance and business management. 

Offering various levels of study during this time, more than 12,000 students have graduated, and the college now collaborates with academic and professional industry leaders throughout Latvia and worldwide. 

The school’s leadership wanted an external evaluation providing high-quality assurance, as well as driving continuous performance improvement. 

Working with IiE since 2007, the BA School has been reassessed and recertificated every two years to the Investors in Excellence Standard, using this performance improvement framework to maintain quality and develop high performance in all areas. 

Enhancing a culture of excellence 

Since 2007, the school has used the practical framework of the IiE Standard to successfully develop its quality culture, performance and reputation and has employed its principles as a measure and guide for organisational strength ever since. 

The holistic framework of the IiE Standard has enabled the school to systematically develop and strengthen its performance in all areas, building capacity for sustainable growth, helping it to significantly raise its student capacity and double the campus footprint.

It has continued its drive for continuous improvement by being reassessed every two years. 

The school’s excellence journey has always been led from the top through the active involvement of the then Dean, Professor Andris Sarnovics and now his successor Professor Liga Peiseniece. 

Professor Peiseneice has thanked the IiE team for their support and the recognition through the IiE Standard during their thirty-year anniversary celebrations. 

Professor Peiseneice said: “My predecessor, Professor Sarnovics and I both agree the IiE Standard has proved significant for our performance and reputation, especially in enhancing our quality culture. Our great experience with the Standard has been shared with many other partner universities in Latvia.”  

Achieving Academic Excellence 

The Senior Leadership Team from BA School went on to complete IiE’s Achieving Excellence programme, a four-day executive course which drives improvements in areas such as strategic thinking, effective decision-making, and organisational culture, as well as overall organisational performance and results. 

Moving forward, Riga-based Banku Augstskola’s main strategic requirement was to develop leaders at all levels who can enhance both the well-being and performance of their employees and, as a result, of the organisation as a whole. The team turned to IiE for training. 

Achieving Excellence consists of eight modules, all of which were tailored to meet Banku Augstskola’s needs. Delivery combined a mix of interactive lectures, exercises and discussions, to help build a complete picture of individual potential and understand how they could become excellent leaders. 

Drawing on content from IiE’s Excellence Performance Toolkit, the programme for Banku Augstskola’s was developed and delivered by IiE’s MD Kevin Hart in conjunction with team members from Latvia Excellence, IiE’s partner organisation.  

Programme output drives improvements in: 

  • Strategic thinking 
  • Effective decision-making 
  • Fostering employee commitment and growth 
  • Organisational culture 
  • Organisational performance and results 

Participants each developed a Personal Excellence Plan designed to help them become the best leader they can be in the workplace and begin to transform their organisation to become an excellent organisation delivering more excellent outcomes. 

An “inspirational” way of building knowledge and understanding of excellence approaches. 

Prof Sarnovics, who was one of those to attend the Achieving Excellence programme, described it as an “inspirational” way of building knowledge and understanding of excellence approaches. 

 “New knowledge and approaches acquired in the training seminar will be applied in further developing of our quality assurance system and leadership,” he added. 

Kevin Hart said: “The response was absolutely fantastic. Attendees loved the content and the way it was delivered through a mix of lectures, exercises, discussions and practical excellence planning. 

“It enabled them to build a complete picture of their potential and develop a clear understanding of how they could become excellent leaders.” 

Kevin was able to conclude this successful week by giving the keynote address at a conference on ‘The Importance of Quality Management in Higher Education’. The event was attended by the Minster for Higher Education and Science and leaders from other HE institutions across Latvia 

We wish BA School every success for the future and their continuing journey to excellence with IiE to unlock the school’s potential further and continuously improve performance.