Department of Business Administration, SBI Graduate School, Japan

1) Comprehensive Comments

The PRT judges that general Standards and ABEST21 Accreditation Standards KAIZEN have met the criteria based on the above analysis. The remaining problems will also be evaluated and identified in accordance with acceptable plans. Efficient practicing of PDCA cycle is expected, even if the present condition is changed. However, KAIZEN can still be applied to improve the quality of education. “Educational Programs”: one of the learning goals of the MBA programs is the global participation, and curricula should be structured systematically based on the common interest as specified in the mission statement. Additional analyses or counter measures must be provided to ensure that the contact between students, SBI and staff is more efficient.
SBI should examine how the programs, such as leadership and critical thinking, build important competencies. SBI should investigate steps to enable students to use SBI’s counselling. SBI must explicitly state its profile of students. SBI should include a simple profile of the student that includes the age, sex, and background information to describe composition of the student body. To help foreign students adapt to the local culture, SBI should illustrate how SBI members interact with stakeholders in order to facilitate study and training. SBI should illustrate how the SBI members use their experience and know-how to teach. “Supporting personnel and infrastructure”: SBI should clarify its system to support its members, and determine if the system is appropriate to enhance education quality and contacts between students and SBI. SBI has begun to partner with different universities worldwide, but the lack of English skills by faculty and staff is nevertheless one of the apparent weaknesses. This will seriously affect the ambitions of SBI to go worldwide. Students would actively promote SBI if this can be achieved. SBI administration must create a dedicated unit to handle the needs and interests of the students in a special system. Institutionalization is required in partnership with alumni organizations. In order to provide rich and real-time information, SBI should have an integrated system and mechanism that connects all sub-systems. The mission highlights the standard that SBI has set for its graduates, but does not define the objectives and emphasis of the SBI mission.

Chapter 1 – Mission

  • The PRT team concluded that SBI has recently concentrated on advisory panel to help the management team and bridge the gap with new innovations and practices, while management clarified that management education quality took place.
  • SBI mission is: “Train individuals to be specialized professionals who can become leaders and create innovative businesses in the global society. These professionals will have a high level of knowledge in their specialized fields. In addition, they’ll possess proper judgment, interpersonal skills, self-control and high morals, achieved through educational and research activities that combine management theory and practice.” This mission emphasizes the quality of graduates that the SBI Graduate School (SGS) wants to achieve, but does not specifically state the target segments and focus of SGS’s strength (which is directed to finance and IT) by emphasizing entrepreneurial development in each student. In practice, apart from remaining focused on traditional segments in the financial industry, SGS has focused its strategy on several new target markets, namely Japanese companies expanding overseas (B2B), local residents, and women. Moreover, SGS desires to go global and reduces dependence on the SBI Group. SGS also operates a fully online teaching method, which makes it different from other MBA schools. These matters should be listed on SGS mission statements so that all stakeholders can conform to SGS’s mission.

Chapter 2 – Educational Program

  • Since the SBI has just improved its mission, it is also necessary for SBI to make improvements to its learning goals.

Chapter 3 – Students

  • Overall, the MBA students interviewed are happy with the MBA program by the SBI. All accepted that the beauty of the MBA program is that it emphasizes leadership and globalization. The reasons for choosing an MBA program at SBI are due to strong online experience.
  • Based on interviews with students, the students were very happy and enthusiastic about what SGS had done. They were very happy with the fast service by both faculty members and staff regarding the problems they faced even at the end of the week. They also get what they hope, namely networking, entrepreneurship, leadership, MBA knowledge, global operations, and moral philosophy. A slight problem is related to the scoring system, especially at the beginning of being a student. Students feel they don’t always understand it. A comprehensive and fair scoring system is required to satisfy the needs of a wide variety of student backgrounds.

Chapter 4 – Faculty

  • The report shows that the faculty is diverse and very experienced. For research, faculty members often use the internal funding. The overall management of the faculty is good and there are many new ideas, but the English language needs to be strengthened.
  • Based on interviews with faculty members, it can be seen that they enjoy their work, which often uses their night and weekend time. However, with the additional research burden that is the target of management, they are likely to become overloaded. This should be discussed in order to find a win-win solution.

Chapter 5 – Supporting Staff and Infrastructure

  • Overall, the supporting staff is very good, but the English language needs to be strengthened. The infrastructure is very good.

The School’s Feedback:

We deeply appreciate very valuable insights and advice of PRT members.

PRT Responses:

Thank you for good reaction with a view to having a better report by next year.

2) Good Practices in improvement

“The online MBA School that combines flexible online learning, global knowledge, moral philosophy, and entrepreneurship.”

This title fully reflects SGS’ mission and the kind of management education that the School is constantly working for.

SBI’s attempts to concentrate on creativity and technology in general. Many MBA students seemed eager in business or doing their own business.

It is a good idea to help community learning and to provide students with networking opportunities and the connection with the lecturers.

3) Matters to be noted

The management teams gave verbal explanations in all areas covered by accreditation chapters, and this helped PRT to write a report. SBI operates in conjunction with the mission to develop the MBA program. As a result, the SBI is working with industries to secure research funding, increase the number of students outside Japan by collaborating with Asian universities, and focuses on research. SBI services are only adequate for MBA students. SBI is increasing its promotion to attract more students. SBI is working closely with advisory councils to enhance the quality of education based on changes in the business climate.
So far, SGS has done many things that are in line with its objectives and strengths. However, there are some suggestions to be considered by SGS management:

  • As online-based education institution, it is very important for SBI to make sure that all the elements such as: educational goals, course contents, course plans, educational methods, class materials, faculty office hours, standards for evaluating academic performance, and syllabi are shared and understood among all the key stakeholders, especially students, faculty members, and staff members. Therefore, SGS should have an integrated system and mechanism that connects all sub-systems to provide rich and real-time information.
  • SGS’s desire to go global is a good thing. SGS has started to collaborate with various overseas universities, such as Tsing Hua University, the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, Malaysia’s Southern University College, and Korea’s Andong National University. However, one obvious weakness is the lack of English language skills of the faculty members and staff members. This will have a serious impact on SGS’s aspirations to go global.
  • The desire to increase the quantity and quality of research must be a concern of management, faculty members and staff. For this reason, SGS must strengthen its research culture in addition to the deeply rooted culture of teaching and learning. This can be done by increasing the research budget per faculty per year, helping the process of obtaining research grants and projects from industry, and preparing special staff to help researchers to be able to conduct research properly, etc.
  • NPS which is used as a tool for market development must involve a business process that includes services for the after-graduation life of the alumni. This should involve finding and meeting the needs of alumni. If this can be done, then the alumni will voluntarily promote SGS. SGS management must create a dedicated unit to run a special system for managing the needs and desires of alumni. Collaboration with alumni organizations must be institutionalized.

The School’s Feedback:

We thank you again PRT members for their very valuable opinions. NPS would help us find and meet the needs of alumni, we believe.

PRT Responses:

Thank you for your good reaction and support during interviews and report.