Graduate School of Management, Kyoto University, Japan

1. The Peer Review Results

The School meets all or most standards. However, there seems to be a space for improvement, specifically concerning the Mission statement and Strategies, as well as the interconnection between the “Improvement Issues”, “Improvement Initiatives” and “Action Plans”.

“ABEST21 hereby certifies that Graduate School of Management, Kyoto University, Japan has met all or most ABEST21 Management Accreditation Standards and the quality maintenance and improvement of education and research in the School qualify for quality assurance. The School’s Quality Improvement plans and quality maintenance and prospects for the improvement of education and research are promising and excellent. Accreditation commences April 1, 2016 for a five-year period.”

There are a few deficiencies in the areas of faculty diversity and international education. Currently the School’s resources may be adequate, but if its international educational activities expand, then careful consideration needs to be given not only to the number of staff members required but also to how the resources will be used.
“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.”
The School meets most standards. However, there seems to be a space or things for improvement, specifically concerning enhancing faculty diversity and developing an administrative system, which can reduce the administrative burden for the faculty members.
Following Kyoto University’s intellectual tradition, theoretical research has been more highly valued than practical research. However, GSM, given the business-oriented nature of the educational program, needs more practical research. The establishment of the PhD course, where the students with business career are expected to enroll, is one of the ways to expand the practice-oriented research. This effect should be reflected into the Mission Statement.
Currently the School doesn’t have the permanent advisory committee, but it is going to be established in near future. According to the GSM, the School is young organization and does not have a large number of graduates. Therefore the activities of alumni are still limited. The School will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2016, and plans to use this opportunity to enhance the alumni relations.
(Management of Curricula)
IPROMAC course may be a challenge for the School since it requires English language resources that are sometimes in short supply. The School will be employing a new full-time tenured international faculty member as of April 2016.
According to the additional explanations from the faculty, the School received about 70 applications in total for the 10 places, and ended up selecting 17 students. They consider the number relatively large rather than small.
On the other hand, given the fact that only one student signed up for a three-year double degree program, the School agrees that it should make more extensive efforts to promote the value of this program to the prospective students. Currently the School considers using special targeted seminars for this purpose.
The School provides academic assistance to students in choosing the courses in line with their learning objectives. As to a possible problem concerning the “hand-off” of students going from the SV guidance to the WS advisor, the School considers this issue as almost negligible since all information on student academic progress is continuously shared amongst all faculty members.
About educational level, a limit of 24 credit hours per semester does not appear as much of a limit. However, after on-site interview, it appears that the first year (especially the first semester) is very intense. According to the additional information from the School, due to the concentration of the basic subjects the spring semester of the first year is indeed very intensive, but this is unavoidable for two reasons. First, the students need to master the educational and research level that GSM requires as quickly and systematically as possible. Second, the School needs to create room for the students to undertake internships or study abroad in the fall semester or the second year.

2. The Period of Quality Assurance

Accreditation commences from April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2021 for a five-year period.

3. Good Practices in Management Education


A unique feature of GSM is that it carries out management research and education that combine both the humanities and sciences. To shed light on modern complex management phenomena, students must not only be knowledgeable in economics and management science; they must also have a background in engineering and informatics. Therefore, in addition to lectures on economics and management science, GSM also supplements its programs with lectures on engineering and informatics. This unique feature of GSM is also its advantage over other professional graduate schools in the management field. In addition to lectures on theory, it also offers many lecturers on business practices. As such, apart from recruiting instructors with practical experience, it is also cooperating with practitioners from outside of GSM who are currently active on the frontline of the business world.
In terms of the teaching staff organization, GSM employs 20 full-time instructors, of whom nearly half have practical work experience. In addition to the full-time instructor, special professors, adjunct professors, part-time instructors, and instructors from research courses, most of whom have practical work experience, also provide lectures. This focus on instructors with practical work experience creates a structure for training students to be equipped with not only knowledge biased toward abstract theories but also theory-based practical skills.
The subjects in the curriculum are arranged in a gradually progressing manner. In the first semester in the first year, students mainly study basic subjects, and then specialized subjects in the subsequent semesters. In their second year, students study business practice subjects and advanced subjects, in which they learn how to apply and develop the theories learned in the basic and specialized subjects. The subjects that students must take to complete their respective educational program are separately categorized as basic, specialized, business practice, and advanced subjects.
To provide students with guidance for completing their course and to support their studies, each freshman student is assigned to a supervising instructor. Supervisors provide students with one-on-one guidance, which enables GSM to realize a detailed system of guidance to help students complete their courses. In the second year, students must attend workshops in both of the semesters, and instructors provide them with practical advice either in small groups or on a one-on-one basis. Through the guidance provided over the course of two years, GSM provides every student with a customized education in accordance with the fields they prefer and in which they excel.
In addition, GSM has concluded a number of exchange agreements with the faculties and departments of overseas universities.
Asian Institute of Technology (Thailand), the National Taiwan University, the National Chengchi University (Taiwan), the University of Transport and Communications Hanoi (Vietnam), the International Islamic University, Malaysia, Koc University (Turkey), KAIST College of Business (South Korea), Konkuk University (South Korea). the Asian Institute of Management (the Philippines), the Indian Institute of Management (Kolkata and Ahmedabad, India), the Ewha Woman’s University (South Korea), the Technical University of Munich (Germany), Vietnam National University (Vietnam), Ryerson University (Canada), the University of New South Wales (Australia), Ateneo de Manila University (the Philippines), Institute Technology Bandung (Indonesia), Chulalongkorn University (Thailand), Sungkyunkwan University and Pusan National University (South Korea), the Izmir University of Economics (Turkey), the Foreign Trade University (Vietnam), the Development Academy of the Philippines (the Philippines), EMLyon(France), IFSTTAR(France) .
The mutual dispatch of students between GSM and its collaborating universities occurs in conjunction with the exchange programs and credit transfers. GSM actively encourages students to participate in international internships and similar programs.
Currently, around half of the student body has work experience, and there are also students who study while continuing to work. For these students, lectures are held on Saturdays. All classes are provided at Kyoto University’s Yoshida Campus (Sakyo-ku, Kyoto City). For the convenience of students, a full range of facilities are also provided in addition to lecture rooms and study rooms, such as free-study rooms, group work rooms, and information materials practical study rooms.

Good Practice:
“Internationalization through overseas cooperation and IPROMAC”

For a relatively young school (established in 2006), GSM has made and continues to make a very good practice in terms of all the accreditation standards. The number of applicants and enrolled students shows that the School’s programs are indeed in demand. The School’s internationalization –especially a range of overseas agreements and the introduction of the IPROMAC course which attracts foreign students –is highly commendable and definitely qualifies as a very good practice.

4. Matters to be noted

As it appears from the SER, the School relies extensively on the faculty to carry out its administrative operations. Of course, looking at the other aspects, it is commendable that the faculty plays a very active role in the school’s administration. However, the faculty educational workload (teaching and student guidance) appears to be quite high. The School might consider enhancing its administrative structure to perform the functions and realize the improvement initiatives. If possible, the international relations or the alumni relations can be considered as functions, and thus be assigned to the specific departments or staff members who do not have teaching responsibilities.