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.
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.
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 United Nations World Tourism Organization's UNWTO Academy has recognized the Hospitality and Tourism cluster within the College of Asia Pacific Studies at APU by renewing the university's UNWTO.TedQual (Tourism Education Quality) Certification. With the expiration of the initial certification, obtained in March 2018, APU underwent the evaluation process once more and was granted re-certification for the longest possible period of four years (April 2021–April 2025) as a result of the high evaluation of the university's efforts.
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).