Graduate School of Management Earns Accreditation from AMBA
In August 2020, the Graduate School of Management (GSM) at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University (APU) earned accreditation from the Association of MBAs (AMBA), a U.K.-based international accreditation agency for graduate level management education, thus recognizing APU as a provider of world-class MBA education. Only 277 business schools, or 2% of the world’s business schools, have AMBA accreditation, and GSM is just the second business school in Japan to earn accreditation from AMBA.
This accreditation demonstrates that APU's MBA program offers students an education aligned with the highest global standards and will prove beneficial to students seeking employment or further education in Japan or around the world upon graduation. Earning AMBA accreditation will invigorate APU’s interactions with other AMBA-accredited institutions in 75 countries and regions around the globe.
What is AMBA accreditation?
Established in London, England in 1967, the Association of MBAs is one of the world’s most prestigious accreditation agencies for management education. AMBA only accredits master's degree (MBA, MBM) and doctoral degree (DBA) programs in management education. To obtain accreditation, an institution must clear a strict screening of 10 criteria pertaining to educational content, faculty, students, and other factors. To maintain its accreditation, the institution must undergo a re-accreditation process within a certain period of time determined by AMBA, all the while striving to maintain and improve the quality of its programs.
Association of MBAs (Note: External link)
AACSB International Accreditation
Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University is one of only three institutions in Japan to achieve this accreditation to date. Out of these institutions, APU is the only one offering an undergraduate business curriculum in both English and Japanese as well as an AACSB-accredited MBA program conducted entirely in the English language.
APU's College of International Management and Graduate School of Management (also referred to as APM and GSM, respectively) began the AACSB accreditation process out of a recognition that international accreditation is an important part of meeting the expectations of the University's stakeholders. Accreditation was also viewed as an asset in attracting top talent to APU's faculty and student body.
As part of the accreditation process, the College of International Management is making changes to APU's undergraduate business school curriculum, introducing additional core courses and adding a comprehensive capstone course that will challenge APU's students to utilize the skills they have learned. These changes will further bring the University's undergraduate business programs in line with international standards, providing APU graduates with the skills and knowledge they need to enter the fast-changing world of international business.
Both the College of International Management and the Graduate School of Management will undergo a continuous review process to ensure that they maintain a high level of quality and a focus on continuous improvement in areas including learning and evaluation, academic and professional engagement, and strategic management and innovation.
What is AACSB?
The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) is a global membership organization of educational institutions, businesses, and other entities committed to the advancement of management education. Established in 1916, AACSB provides its members with a variety of products and services to assist them with the continuous improvement of their business schools.
AACSB accreditation is widely regarded as the highest level of accreditation for business schools. Being an AACSB-accredited business school means being part of a network of 775 institutions spanning 52 countries and territories* across the globe who have successfully met the standards set forth by the association, and who have committed to maintaining these standards. Less than 5% of the 16,000 business school programs worldwide have earned this accreditation.
AACSB conducts research, assesses trends, hosts more than 100 global professional development events annually, and brings together business school leaders from around the world to network and share experiences.
*As of August 2016.
The benefits of accreditation
Studying at an AACSB-accredited institution carries a number of benefits for students.
- Connections and partnerships
Being AACSB-accredited provides assurance to other schools that APU's faculty and programs meet established international standards. This means that the University's current existing network of 454 partner institutions will continue to expand into the future.
- Quality of instruction
As an AACSB-accredited institution, University faculty must meet and uphold standards in research and qualifications, providing a higher level of experience and expertise.
- Assurance of learning
Faculty and administrators engage in a process of continuous review and improvement, ensuring that all students in the College of International Management and the Graduate School of Management learn and grow according to the mission and learning goals of their programs, maintaining a high quality educational experience for all business students.
- Continuous improvement
The process of achieving accreditation helps the University refine its strategic direction, improve overall program and faculty quality, and provides an organized framework for tracking and supporting the University's day-to-day operations. As an accredited institution, APU is dedicated to sustaining a commitment to high quality and alignment with the spirit and intent of the accreditation standards.
- Value for graduates
- AACSB-accredited schools are recognized worldwide by top employers and other institutions. They also have more access to recruiters, and have graduates that tend to receive higher, more competitive salaries.
AACSB International (Note: External link)
The Hospitality and Tourism cluster within the College of Asia Pacific Studies has received UNWTO.TedQual Certification. United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Tourism Education Quality Certification is granted to institutions that conduct high quality tourism education, research, and training programs. In March 2018, 71 institutions around the world hold this certification. APU is the second institution in Japan and the only private university in the country to receive UNWTO.TedQual Certification.
UNWTO.TedQual and APU
The Hospitality and Tourism cluster is one of four fields in APU’s College of Asia Pacific Studies. The program has the advantage of being located within Beppu, a major destination for international tourism, and the College of Asia Pacific Studies offers a number of domestic and international study programs. The UNWTO’s Global Code of Ethics for Tourism values the promotion of world peace via tourism, non-discrimination, multiculturalism, freedom of movement, and freedom of employment. These serve as the pillars of UNWTO.TedQual Certification. Certified programs must adhere to that spirit while meeting a high standard of education and research. This certification allows the Hospitality and Tourism cluster to build on existing efforts to connect with a global network of universities, institutions, and international agreements.
What is the UNWTO?
Founded in 1975, the United Nations World Tourism Organization is the world’s largest international tourism body. In 2003, the UNWTO became a special agency within the UN. The organization supports efforts to promote tourism, reduce poverty via tourism, and create sustainability in the tourism industry. For more information, you can visit the UNTWO website: AACSB International (Note: External link).
Japan University Accreditation Association
Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University underwent a certified evaluation and accreditation by the Japan University Accreditation Association (JUAA) in 2015. The evaluation results showed that “Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University is authorized as meeting JUAA’s criteria” and APU will retain JUAA accreditation status until March 31, 2023.
Educational Quality Improvement Initiatives
APU established the Self-Assessment Committee in 2008. This is a university-wide organization that has continued to work toward the improvement of the quality of education centered around the following activities.
- Self-Assessment Committee meetings are held several times a year where discussion on university-wide policy on self-assessment is discussed.
- Composition of a Self-Assessment Report once every two years in accordance with JUAA university standards.
- The University receives an evaluation the following year based on the report contents from the University Evaluation Committee which is composed of external evaluators.
The Self-Assessment Report and a summary of the evaluation and results by the University Evaluation Committee is made public to the outside community via the University homepage. Using these reports, APU will continue to improve the quality of education and proceed with education reform initiatives.
Disclosure of Basic Institutional Data and Institutional Data Collections
APU, from a viewpoint of information disclosure and as part of self-assessment activities, collects and publishes various data each year regarding education and research using the format designated by the Japan University Accreditation Association.