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ABEST21 Business Accreditation Systems

Adopted: April 10, 2009
Revised: November 4, 2011
Revised:January 15, 2012
Revised:May 16, 2013

1. Purpose of Business Accreditation

The recent globalization of the economy, which is developing at an increasing pace, requires the urgent cultivation of highly-specialized professionals who are capable of competing at the international level. Under these conditions, the ultimate goal of ABEST21 accreditation activities is to ensure that business education develops human resources with advanced professional abilities at the international level.
ABEST21 accreditation aims to guarantee the quality of education and research at business schools focused at the development of highly qualified professionals engaged in the organizational management of business enterprises, etc., including business administration, technology management, the management of information systems, finance, etc. Furthermore, ABEST21 accreditation promotes the school's proactive approach to improving and developing its educational and research activities through PDCA cycle, on the premise of its own independent self-evaluation and an objective analysis through peer review.
In the age of rapid globalization, nurturing highly skilled professionals in the area of international business is a task of pressing urgency for Asian countries in particular. Therefore, ABEST21 aims to review the quality of management education in business schools through its accreditation process.

2. Main viewpoints of accreditation

ABEST21 conducts accreditation based on the following viewpoints.

1) Positive reviews which enhance the distinctive management education of the School
ABEST21 acknowledges the uniqueness of the management education at the School and contributes to the development of its distinctive features. Therefore ABEST21 reviews the educational and research activities of the applicant with the aim of enhancing its unique and distinctive approaches to management education in accordance with its mission.
2) Active reviews which promote KAIZEN through functioning PDCA cycle
ABEST21 reviews the educational and research activities of the School with the aim of improving the quality of management education of the School through the functioning PDCA cycle.
3) Active reviews based on a global perspective
ABEST21 reviews the educational and research activities of the School in light of the global trends and the need for highly-specialized professionals who are capable of competing at an international level, as required at present due to the increased globalization of the economy.
4) Peer Review based on Self-Check / Self-Evaluations of the School
ABEST21 reviews proactive approaches and measures taken by the School in order to improve and develop its educational and research activities, on the premise of its own independent Self-Check/ Self-Evaluation.
5) Social reviews which create new value-added to the School's stakeholders
ABEST21 conducts transparent evaluations which are open to the public and publicized to the broad audience.

3. Scope of Accreditation

ABEST21's reviews are limited to the business schools which offer educational programs for management education. ABEST21 basically focuses on the educational programs which confer a degree commonly known as an MBA (Master of Business Administration). Today the term MBA program is used in a broad sense to cover areas such as Business Administration, Management of Technology, Finance, Accounting, Intellectual Property and Management Information, etc.
The period of accreditation is set as 5 years. After Initial Accreditation, the School is subject to accreditation by ABEST21 once every 5 years, in which the School is evaluated on the basis of how well it has resolved the issues affecting its Initial Accreditation and subsequent Self-Check/Self-Evaluations, as well as measures to promote further quality maintenance and the improvement of management education.

4. The Mentors

ABEST21 provides the mentor regarding potential concerns of the School, whose purpose is to act as an advisor in response to the School's needs. The role of mentors is to deepen the School's understanding of accreditation, contribute to a smooth process of Self-Check/Self-Evaluation, and provide good advice for KAIZEN on quality maintenance and the improvement of education by the School.
After finalizing the acceptance of an application from the School, ABEST21 requests the School to nominate a mentor. The mentor must be approved by the Peer Review Committee before he/she can be assigned to the School. When it is difficult for the School to nominate a mentor, the Peer Review Committee will recommend a mentor in light of the School's aims for education and research with the School's approval. In either case, any academics employed by the School, either full-time or in conjunction with other institutions, or any persons acting as board members (including members-to-be) for the School, are not qualified to act as mentors.

5.Review Committees

ABEST21 Business Accreditation is reviewed by the following committees.
1) Peer Review Committee
The Peer Review Committee consists of 40 to 45 members who are academic experts with advanced knowledge of educational research on business schools, etc., and persons with considerable experience in practical business such as corporate management. They are experts and intellectuals having advanced knowledge of educational programs who can assist the School in achieving its educational and research goals. The Peer Review Committee ratifies or remands the review report prepared by the Peer Review Team, and then the recommendation for accreditation is sent to the Peer Review Standing Committee.
2) Peer Review Team
The Peer Review Team consists of three to five members, who are appointed by the Peer Review Committee. The Peer Review Team reviews the Report submitted by the School and enforces on-site interview, and then prepares the PRT Review Report on the basis of a comprehensive evaluation on the Report and on-site interview.
3) Peer Review Standing Committee
The Peer Review Standing Committee is composed of 20 to 25 Deans of school members and Directors of affiliate members. The Peer Review Standing Committee reviews the draft of the recommendation reported by the Peer Review Committee in light of the management education in the business schools in Asia.
4) Accreditation Committee
The Accreditation Committee consists of 20 to 25 members who are Deans of business schools, Presidents of corporations and distinguished Professors. The Accreditation Committee ratifies the draft of the recommendation reported by the Peer Review Standing Committee, or remands the school's Accreditation Plan reviewed by the Peer Review Committee and ratifies the School's Self-Evaluation Report reviewed by the Peer Review Committee, based on a comprehensive review for accreditation.

6. Accreditation Standards

For accrediting business schools, ABEST21 offers a basic perspective for each of the 18 items of accreditation standards, as well as a detailed perspective for each item, in order to evaluate the School's quality maintenance and its improvement of education and research activities. The basic perspectives for each of the accreditation standards are fundamental criteria which serve to guarantee the quality of School's educational and research activities. They also function as evaluation items for the Accreditation Plan. The detailed perspectives serve as evaluation items in order to guarantee the quality of applicant's educational activities from an individual and specific perspective.
Chapters Standards
Chapter 1: Mission Statement Standard 1: Mission Statement
Standard 2: Mission Imperatives
Standard 3: Objectives for Continuous Improvement
Standard 4: Financial Strategies
Chapter 2: Educational Programs Standard 5: Learning Goals
Standard 6: Management of Curricula
Standard 7: Educational Level
Standard 8: Measures to Improve Educational Quality
Chapter 3: Students Standard 9: Student Profile
Standard 10: Student Admission
Standard11:Student Support
Standard12:Student Incentive
Chapter 4: Faculty standard 13:Faculty Sufficiency
Standard 14:Faculty Qualifications
Standard 15:Faculty Support
Standard 16:Responsibilities of Faculty Members
Chapter 5:
Staff and Infrastructure
Standard 17:Educational Responsibilities of Staff
Standard 18:Infrastructure Support

7. Review Frequency

The School is subject to accreditation by ABEST21 once every 5 years, in which the School is evaluated on the basis of how well it has resolved any issues affecting its initial accreditation and subsequent Self-Evaluations, as well as measures to promote further quality maintenance and the improvement of management education.

8.Disclosure, publicity, etc.

The Accreditation Committee informally announces the Draft Accreditation Result to the School. The School wishing to state an opinion opposing to Draft Accreditation Result must specify it in a written form and submit it by the date prescribed. The Accreditation Committee examines the statement of opinion and responds to the School, and then finalizes the Draft Accreditation Result. The Board of Trustees reviews the Draft Accreditation Result prepared by the Accreditation Committee and finalizes the Accreditation Result.
After obtaining approval by the Board of Trustees, ABEST21 announces the Accreditation Result to the School, and simultaneously to the stakeholders. The School's Self-evaluation report and Result of Accreditation by ABEST21 are both announced to the public through publication in the ABEST21 Annual Report, which reports on yearly activities of ABEST21 and also posted on the ABEST21 website(http://www.abest21.org/

9. Compliance rules for committee members

For neutral and fair evaluation, ABEST21 prohibits members of the Accreditation Committee and the Peer Review Committee from being involved in any documentary and on-site evaluations conducted by the Peer Review Team which are directly related to the accreditation process of the applicant in the following cases:
1) Elimination of interested parties, etc.
Committee members having a direct interest in the case do not make documentary or on-site evaluations. They are not allowed to vote on the evaluations or accreditation results of the committees. However, they are entitled to attend meetings and state opinions on topics not related to any actions which are taken. Members are qualified as having direct interest in the process in the following cases:
  1. The member is employed as an academic of the professional graduate school, full-time or in conjunction with other institutions
  2. The member serves as a member of the board of the university, and
  3. In other cases in which it is difficult for the member to make a fair and correct evaluation.
2) Confidentiality
Members are prohibited from leaking information obtained through the process of accreditation and the contents of evaluations for schools which are being evaluated. Any information obtained as a committee member must be kept separate from other information and under strict control. Moreover, during the process of accreditation the names of the members of the Accreditation Committee and the Peer Review Committee are not disclosed, so that fair and appropriate evaluations can be conducted. The names are disclosed only after the accreditation result is finalized.

10. Accreditation Fees
Business Accreditation Fees

1) The Initial Accreditation Review Fees
  1. Professional Graduate Schools of Japan
    The total review fee of the Initial Accreditation is JY 3,000,000 yen per MBA program.
    “Accreditation Plan” Review Fee・・・JY 1,000,000 yen
    “Self-Evaluation Report” Review Fee・・・JY 2,000,000 yen
  2. Non- Professional Graduate Schools of Japan
    The total review fee of the Initial Accreditation is JY 2,000,000 yen per MBA program.
    “Accreditation Plan” Review Fee・・・JY 500,000 yen
    “Self-Evaluation Report” Review Fee・・・JY 1,500,000 yen
  3. When to pay
    The Initial Accreditation Fees have to be paid in 2 installments as follows:
    “Accreditation Plan” Review Fee・・・by the end of October, 2013
    “Self-Evaluation Report” Review Fee・・・by the end of May, 2014
2) The Maintenance Accreditation Review Fees
  1. Professional Graduate Schools of Japan
    The Maintenance Accreditation Fee is JY 3,000,000 yen per MBA program.
    “Maintenance Report”-the first payment ・・・JY 1,000,000 yen
    “Maintenance Report”-the second payment・・・JY 2,000,000 yen
  2. Non- Professional Graduate Schools of Japan
    The Maintenance Accreditation Fee is JY 2,000,000 yen per MBA program.
    “Maintenance Report”-the first payment ・・・JY 500,000 yen
    “Maintenance Report”-the second payment・・・JY 1,500,000 yen
  3. When to pay
    The Maintenance Accreditation Fees have to be paid in 2 installments as follows:
    The first payment・・・by the end of October, 2013
    The second payment ・・・by the end of May, 2014

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