Graduate School of Innovation & Technology Management, Yamaguchi University, Japan

1. Management Accreditation Review Results

Following its strategic objective, “Realize MOT education globally recognized and featured,” the School is dedicated to offering latest knowledge and skills about innovation and technology management to those who work at technology-oriented corporations and organizations in the West-Japan region. While the School has an able educational and research staff as well as other supporting resources, its education takes place in three distant locations, namely Ube, Hiroshima and Fukuoka campuses. This is one factor diverting various resources. In addition, since 2013 the School is directing its strategy more towards globalizing its education. Under this strategy, the School has admitted two students from the Asian countries in 2013 and three students in 2014 to Ube campus, and for these students all the courses are delivered in English. On the other hand, the students at Hiroshima and Fukuoka, for whom the Program was originally designed, are the experienced professionals mostly employed by the companies, and most of them are the graduates of the engineering schools. Naturally, this student body seems to be rather mono-cultural with domestic outlook. The PRT tried to see how the objective of realizing “MOT education globally recognized and featured” is applied in this context. As far as the curriculum is concerned, only a few courses have titles suggesting global features, and all the courses at Hiroshima and Fukuoka are delivered in Japanese. The SER (Self-Evaluation Report) states that overseas case studies are introduced in many courses.
A distinct feature of the School is that it has only one major of MOT (management of technology), and awards a professional degree “Master of Technology Management”. The School targets to admit only 15 home students a year, while the total capacity for students is 30. The completion of the program requires doing a “Special topical research”, an equivalent of a master’s thesis. The Program is thus focused on providing technology management education for engineering professionals. As for the strategy of globalization, the adult students at Hiroshima and Fukuoka and the young international students at Ube seem to be quite dissimilar in terms of educational and cultural background as well as language proficiency, and would require different tracks and curriculum menus. In addition, the School stipulates to admit 6 foreign students at maximum, with only two students admitted in 2013 and three in 2014. No matter how few they may be, the international students will demand extra care, in particular the career development support to provide them with working opportunities upon graduation. All these factors would present quite a challenge to making the School a unified and cohesive educational entity that is globally recognized and featured. It is, however, commendable that the School is pursuing its vision with ingenuity and entrepreneurial drive.
“ABEST21 hereby certifies that Graduate School of Innovation & Technology Management, Yamaguchi University, Japan has generally met ABEST21 Management of Technology Accreditation Standards and the quality maintenance and improvement of education and research in its Management of Technology Degree Programs are assessed as good. The School’s KAIZEN plans are good and quality maintenance and prospects for the improvement of education and research are promising. Accreditation commences April 1, 2015 for a five-year period.”

2. Good Practice in Management Education
“YUMOT Education globally recognized”

  • A fine educational program to foster human resources for innovation and technology management.
  • Focus on nurturing potential managers and professionals from technology-based corporations and organizations leading the economy of Western Japan.
  • All the courses delivered in English at Ube campus as a visionary step towards the MOT education with the global perspective.
  • Cultivating professional management skills in research and technology development for the purpose of vitalization and sustainable development of industries in the regional area.
  • Experienced, knowledgeable and highly motivated faculty in the field of innovation and technology management.

3. Matters to be noted

The globalization of the educational program is presently only in the initial stage. It remains to be seen how the program will develop in line with the global perspectives that the School’s Mission envisions.
The student bodies at Ube and at Hiroshima and Fukuoka are quite dissimilar in terms of language proficiency as well as the educational and cultural background. It is hard to imagine that these students are instructed and trained in the same class. Under these conditions, it would take ingenuity and some inventive approach to pursue the globalization of the program at Ube, Hiroshima and Fukuoka in a unified and integrated manner.
As a basic strategy for globalization, presented during the on-site interview, the School aims to provide management education as an alternative for engineering professionals who seek MBA in U.S. or Europe. In view of this, the curriculum does not provide enough basic core courses for management, and thus falls short of meeting the global standards of management education.