ABEST21 Accreditation Standards

ABEST21 Accreditation Standards consist of six areas:

  • “Internal Quality Assurance”
  • “Mission Statement”
  • “Educational Programs”
  • “Students”
  • “Faculty”
  • “Educational Infrastructure”

Each area consists of standards, and under these standards there are Criteria which are detailed standards for the self-check. In analysis of the SCR, the School has to conduct Self-Check on education and research activities based on all the 26 Standards and 142 Criteria. The Self-Check must be self-critical, and analytical as well as descriptive. The data indicated in the analysis should be as of May of the year when the SCR is being submitted.

Chapter 1: “Internal Quality Assurance”

The School shall have an administrative system to operate the organization in an appropriate manner. Faculty meeting and other committees shall communicate well and work together to enhance the performance of the School’s educational and research activities. Building of the governance system is required. The School must institute appropriate administrative systems in proportion to its size and status and reasonable decision-making process, and a systematic self-check/self-evaluation is required to spot the issues for improvement. The issues spotted in the analysis of self-check/self-evaluation shall be improved based on PDCA cycle. The School should clarify the issues, plan measures to solve them, develop an action plan, implement the measures, and review the results of how the educational quality was improved.

  • “Administration and Governance”
  • “Self-Check/Self-Evaluation”
  • “Improvement of Education and Research Environment”

Chapter 2: Mission Statement

Stating the School’s “Mission Statement” presents a certain problem. From an accreditation viewpoint, the “Mission Statement” is a key factor for quality assurance and enhancement of educational and research activities. A university must maintain its educational environment to achieve the “Mission Statement”. To realize it, factors such as “Educational Programs”, “Students”, “Faculty”, and “Staff and Infrastructure” must be combined organically. The “Mission Statement” needs to be developed in line with the changes in the environment. Universities must survive in an environment, and not in a vacuum. Thus the “Mission Statement” must correspond to the needs of the society.
In reality, however, the “Mission Statement” is often stipulated in an abstract manner. Many universities treat the “Educational and Research Objectives” in the same way as their mission, philosophy, or educational policy. There is no clear process for regular review. Once the “Mission Statement” is set, it is treated as a permanent rule which will never be changed, or as an eternal memorial charter. In such case, “Mission Statement” is not functioning properly. In a proper sense, it should be used as decision-making criteria to spot and solve the issues which require improvement under the changing educational environment.

  • “Mission Statement”
  • “Mission Imperatives”
  • “Financial Strategies”

Chapter 3: “Educational Programs”

Educational Programs are important evaluation items because they are the key to assuring that the students gain the necessary expertise to acquire the qualities as outlined in the School’s mission statement. In order to ensure the effectiveness of the Educational Programs, we need to assess the effectiveness of several factors including “Learning Goals”, “Curriculum Policy”, “Management of Curriculum”, “Improvement of Educational Quality”, “Diploma policy”,
“Learning Outcome Review”, and “Globalization of Educational Programs.”

  • “Learning Goals”
  • “Curriculum Policy”
  • “Management of Curriculum”
  • “Improvement of Educational Quality”
  • “Diploma Policy”
  • “Learning Outcomes’ Review”
  • “Globalization of Educational Programs”

Chapter 4: “Students”

Students are is the major players in achieving the mission statement. For the educational institutions aiming to nurture human resources, the students are the human resources. The institutions need to make sure that their students are equipped with the abilities required to achieve the mission statement. Following are the guidelines to achieve this goal.

  • “Student Profile”
  • “Admission Policy”
  • “Student Selection”
  • “Student Support”
  • “Student Incentive”
  • “Student Diversity”

Chapter 5: “Faculty”

Faculty is a factor which has a direct impact on developing the students into the ideal professionals with the characteristics described in the Mission Statement. Thus the quality of faculty is a key assessment item. In assessment of faculty, two perspectives are required: assessment of faculty as an organization based on qualitative and quantitative viewpoint, and assessment of the educational and research abilities of the individual faculty members. In addition, dynamic assessment is necessary to assess the organizational abilities to respond to the changes of the educational and research environment.

  • “Faculty Structure”
  • “Faculty Qualifications”
  • “Maintenance of Education and Research Environment”
  • “Responsibilities of Faculty Members”
  • “Faculty Diversity”

Chapter 6: “Educational Infrastructure”

The School is required to maintain a good infrastructure to achieve the Mission Statement. Infrastructure is one of the important contributors to the quality of the educational services provided by the School. Business schools aiming to nurture management professionals must provide educational services to meet the expectations of students. Therefore the schools need to clarify the content of their value-added services which should match the costs borne by the students. So far we have discussed the following factors of the educational services: educational and research performance by the faculty, the content of the educational program, student capabilities, etc. The final factor is “infrastructure” which supports the stakeholders’ educational and research activities by providing sufficient administrative support, facilities and equipment.
The issue of infrastructure can become a bottleneck in creating educational environment which responds to globalization, especially when accepting foreign students. Here are some examples of problem cases: a school accepts Muslim students but does not provide prayer rooms for them; a school accepts part-time students but the administrative systems are instituted for full-time students; a school accepts foreign students but the administrative body cannot provide good support for them, and the campus guide information is given only in the local language. The university’s management systems and administrative systems may be the Dark Continent in globalizing the educational and research environment.

  • “Educational Infrastructure”
  • “Globalization of Educational Infrastructure”

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