Department of International Management Graduate School of International Management Aoyama Gakuin University, Japan

I. Accreditation Comprehensive Review Result

1. Accreditation Review Result

ABEST21 International Accreditation Result of Department of International Management, Graduate School of International Management, Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo, Japan is as follows:

“ABEST21 International certifies that the School’s educational and research activities satisfy all or most accreditation standards. The School’s Kaizen plans are excellent, and quality maintenance and improvement of education and research are very promising and excellent.
Accreditation commences April 1, 2024 for a five-year period.”

2. Comprehensive Review

In the effort to internationalize its management education, the School may consider to offer more courses in English besides the Japanese in order to recruit more non-Japanese speaking students and faculty members. The School may tap into its vibrant alumni networks and leverage its strength in the curriculum development and program promotion. The School needs to define clearly the concept of “world-class research” for its faculty and students.

We are of the view that ABS has prepared an excellent review report and online PRT visit. Most of the questions that we had were addressed in their written reply and during the online interview(s).

3. Compatibility with the ABEST21 Standards

Chapter One: Internal Quality Assurance and Management

  • Standard 1: Academic Unit Management
  • Standard 2: Governance System
  • Standard 3: Self-Check/Self-Evaluation
  • Standard 4: Staff-Development

The School has a proper management system and decision making process in place. The School has identified difficulties in hiring professional staff to develop and carry out its internationalization plan and activities. The School has an appropriate governance system in place to audit, review and verify its management decisions periodically. Based on the reports and online interviews, the School needs to prepare its staff for promoting internationalization and conducting classes in English.

ABS’ Internal Quality Assurance and Management system is compatible with the ABEST21 Standards.

Chapter Two: Mission Statement

  • Standard 5: Mission Statement
  • Standard 6: Financial Strategies

The School’s current mission statement was last developed in 2009. The mission statement was reviewed during the curriculum advisory committee meeting every year. Based on the feedback, the committee and the School decided that the mission statement remains as it is at the moment.

ABS’ mission statement is compatible with the ABEST21 Standards. We encourage ABS to continue reviewing it every year.

Chapter Three: Curriculum

  • Standard 7: Learning Goals
  • Standard 8: Curriculum Policy and Management of Curriculum
  • Standard 9: Quality Improvement of Curriculum
  • Standard 10: Online Education
  • Standard 11: Diploma Policy and Learning Outcomes
  • Standard 12: Globalization of Curriculum

There is a gap between the daytime and evening classes, especially in terms of students’ performance. Various actions have been taken to reduce this gap. The School needs to monitor and analyze if the steps taken are effective in bridging this gap. The School has just implemented Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) to measure the quality of the modules offered and students’ performance. The collected data will be analyzed and discussed during the relevant meetings related to curriculum development. Currently the School conducts 13% of its modules in English, and plans to increase this percentage in the future.

ABS’ Curriculum is compatible with ABEST21 Standards.

Chapter Four: Students

  • Standard 13: Admission Policy and Student Selection
  • Standard 14: Student Encouragement and Support
  • Standard 15: Student Body Diversity

The School has a clear admission policy which has been practiced and the information is being disseminated via various admission documents. The School may consider recruiting more non-Japanese speaking students in view of its globalization initiatives.

ABS’ procedures for handling student issues are compatible with ABEST21 Standards. Yet, ABS should continue to monitor and finetune their teaching methods for handling the FT and PT MBA students to provide them with the best education experiences.

Chapter Five: Faculty

  • Standard 16: Faculty Structure
  • Standard 17: Faculty Qualifications
  • Standard 18: Maintenance of Education and Research Environment
  • Standard 19: Faculty Development
  • Standard 20: Faculty Diversity

The School needs to start preparing the succession plan as several of the current staff members are reaching the retirement age soon. Some of the data are not tally in the report, which has been highlighted during the online interview. The School needs to define the meaning of “world-class research” as a benchmark for its staff. The School is planning to recruit female faculty members and foreign faculty members as part of its diversity plan.

ABS’ procedures for handling faculty issues are compatible with ABEST21 Standards. The ABS should consider recruiting more faculty who can deliver classes in English.

Chapter Six : Educational Infrastructure

  • Standard 21: Maintenance of Educational Infrastructure
  • Standard 22: Globalization of Educational Infrastructure

There are no major issues with the standard with the latest infrastructure and online databases being in place. ABS’ investment in educational infrastructure is compatible with ABEST 21 Standards. Yet, ABS should consider subscribing to more electronic databases to strengthen their teaching and research resources.

4. Good Practice in the School’s/Faculty’s Programs

Title: “Advancing Towards Globalization”

Reason: Going International is one of the objectives set by the School in the coming five years. Many initiatives have been developed to achieve this goal including global networking, joint research and teaching with overseas universities and global mobility programs.

5. Matters to be improved

To create more interactions among students from the day-time and evening classes as well as with the Alumni. The ABS should further expand its English courses.

6. Peer Review Schedule

ABEST21 assessed the School’s ABEST21 Management Accreditation by conducting substantial assessment on “Self-Check/Self-Evaluation Report (SCR)” by the Desk Review and the online Peer Review Visit according to the Review Schedule below.

  • Jul. 1, 2022 : Acceptance of the “QIS”
  • Aug.30, 2022 : Online Interview
  • Nov.24, 2022 : Ratification of the “QIS” by the Peer Review Committee
  • Jun.29, 2023 : Acceptance of the “SCR”
  • Sep.20 and 21, 2023 : Online Peer Review Visit
  • Oct.19, 2023 : Informal Announcement of the Draft of the PRT Review Report
  • Oct.19-Nov.15, 2023 : Coordination of opinions between the PRT and the School
  • Nov.28-29, 2023 : Ratification of the “PRT Review Report”
  • Jan.16, 2024 : Recommendation of the Accreditation Committee
  • Feb.21, 2024 : Ratification of the ABEST21 Accreditation by the Board of Trustees