UTAR MBA programmes receive accreditation from ABEST21
UTAR Faculty of Accountancy and Management (FAM) and Faculty of Business and Finance (FBF) marked yet another significant milestone by having their Masters programmes accredited by The Alliance on Business Education and Scholarship for Tomorrow (ABEST21), a 21st-century organisation certified by the Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) as an accreditation institution for professional graduate schools of business (Business Management, Management of Technology, Finance and Business Information). ABEST21 was certified as an accrediting agency for Professional Graduate School of Intellectual Property by the Minister of MEXT of Japan. It aims to establish a system to manage quality management education to nurture management professionals in Asian Business Schools.
A total of three UTAR Master of Business Administration (MBA) programmes, namely FAM’s Master of Business Administration, and Master of Business Administration (Corporate Governance); and FBF’s Master of Business Administration (Corporate Management) programmes were accredited by the ABEST21 Program-based Accreditation System during the ABEST21 International Online Accreditation certificate granting-ceremony held on 9 June 2021 via ZOOM.
Hosted by ABEST21, the ABEST21 International Online Accreditation certificate granting-ceremony was attended by ABEST21 President and CEO Prof Emeritus Dr Itoh Fumio, ABEST21 Vice President Prof Dr Robert Sullivan, First Secretary (Education Attaché) Embassy of Japan in Malaysia Yukiyoshi Saito, ABEST21 Managing Director Nakagawa Yuka and MBA programmes Peer Review Team members Prof Dr Sudarso Kaderi Wiryono, Prof Shigeta Takao and Dr Ida Yasin. On behalf of UTAR, the ceremony was attended by UTAR President Ir Prof Dr Ewe Hong Tat, UTAR Institute of Postgraduate Studies and Research (IPSR) Director Assoc Prof Dr Yong Thian Khok, Deputy Director of IPSR and Head of Centre for MBA Studies Dr Chong Yee Lee, Dean of FAM Dr Sia Bee Chuan, Deputy Dean for R&D and Postgraduate Programmes of FAM Dr Pok Wei Fong, Head of Programme for MBA/MBA (Corporate Governance) of FAM Dr Ng Kar Yee, Dean of FBF Assoc Prof Dr Au Yong Hui Nee, Deputy Dean for R&D and Postgraduate Programmes of FBF Dr Choong Yuen Onn, and Head of Programme for MBA (Corporate Management) of FBF Dr Ng Chee Pung.
The online ceremony kick-started with an opening remark by Prof Itoh. Congratulating UTAR’s success in implementing and managing quality MBA programmes, Prof Itoh in his speech said, “I would like to extend my congratulations to UTAR and specifically to Faculty of Accountancy and Management and Faculty of Business and Finance for your success in getting accredited for a total of three MBA programmes by ABEST21. We are indeed glad to confirm that the MBA programmes of UTAR, namely Master of Business Administration, Master of Business Administration (Corporate Governance) and Master of Business Administration (Corporate Management) programmes had made efforts to create global impacts to develop and maintain their first-class education qualities.” The Faculties’ educational and research activities generally satisfy accreditation standards and their Kaizen plans are good and quality maintenance and prospects for the improvement of education and research are promising and good too. He added, “We from ABEST21 believe that there are many areas where we can explore and interact in the interest of international cooperation in the 21st century. We will advance business school education on a global basis by encouraging mutually beneficial collaboration among member institutions.”
The ceremony then continued with a congratulatory message from the First Secretary (Education Attaché) Embassy of Japan in Malaysia Saito. He enthused, “Congratulations to UTAR for being recognised and accredited for your MBA programmes by ABEST21. ABEST21 was certified by the Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology as an accreditation institution for a professional graduate school of business. The process of getting accredited by ABEST21 will definitely increase and enhance the performance of the University’s educational and research activities.” He added, “UTAR stands out for its achievements in comprehensive strength, discipline construction, academic reputation and international influence, and cultivated talents in various fields since its establishment. UTAR has made positive contributions to the Japan-Malaysia educational cooperation and has close ties with higher learning institutions in Japan. Thank you UTAR for the consistent support and I hope our relationship with each other will continue to strengthen through cooperation for the betterment of the two countries.”
Thanking ABEST21 for granting accreditation for UTAR MBA programmes, Prof Ewe in his speech enthused, “On behalf of UTAR, I would like to thank the Alliance on Business Education and Scholarship for Tomorrow (ABEST21) for organising this individual Accreditation Certificate-granting Ceremony.”
He added, “We are indeed thankful to have a total of three MBA programmes from our Faculty of Accountancy and Management, and Faculty of Business and Finance which are accredited by ABEST21. We are proud to receive this accreditation and be part of ABEST21’s global knowledge network to enhance the quality of business and management education in business schools. UTAR has always focused on quality and excellence in education to ensure that our MBA graduates are well received by the industry. We believe in engagement with key industry partners to keep ourselves updated and collaborate with universities and corporations on joint research and knowledge exchange to ensure that our MBA students are well trained to meet the changing industry demands for employment skills and knowledge. I look forward to collaborative opportunities with ABEST21 and its member institutions to promote international exchanges and joint ventures for more diversified and enhanced business education.”
Echoing the sentiment of Prof Ewe, FAM Dean Dr Sia commented, “With ABEST21’s mission to advance education in business school on a global basis by encouraging the mutual cooperation among its member institutions, we are certain that we will benefit from this sharing of information, promoting joint research projects/activities and the facilitating of continuous improvement of business education via accreditation. These are also in line with UTAR vision, mission and educational goal as well as the Faculty’s (Faculty of Accountancy and Management) that is “Be an outstanding business and management faculty of educational and professional excellence with transformative societal impact nationally and internationally”. Once again thank you ABEST21 (Prof Itoh, Ms Yuka Nakagwa) and the panel from the Peer Review Team who have worked closely with us late last year even during this Covid-19 pandemic to facilitate us successfully in achieving this accreditation for both of our programmes. We will continue to ensure the Kaizen plans (Change for the better) are reviewed always for continuous quality improvement.”
Meanwhile, FBF Dean Dr Au Yong added, “We are grateful for the favourable feedback from the Peer Review Team and subsequently the Board of Trustee's recommendation for the accreditation of the Master of Business Management (Corporate Management) offered at Faculty of Business and Finance, Kampar Campus. With the recognition, the Faculty is highly motivated to continuously strengthen our team to implement educational and research activities satisfying the ABEST21 accreditation standards, to further enhance quality maintenance and improvement in education and research and assure the stakeholders of the quality of our educational services. We shall review the Kaizen Report to monitor the plans and the progress, to assure that the quality of education is improved through the implementation of the plan.” She added, “Joining the international community of accredited ABEST21 business schools is a step closer to reaching our goals to educate and inspire business professionals with quality education and global perspective to serve business, society and nation, and to build networks and collaborate with institutions, industries and communities to serve the needs of various stakeholders.”
The ceremony came to an end with ABEST21 Vice President Prof Robert delivering his closing remarks. He concluded, “I would like to congratulate UTAR for being recognised and receiving the certificates from ABEST21. ABEST21’s recognition is good and better than any other certification in the world where any universities which have been accredited should be proud of their earned achievement and accomplishment. With that, I would like to join with Prof Itoh and everyone from ABEST21 to once again congratulate UTAR for receiving good recognition. Well done to UTAR for the quality programmes that you have been providing to the students.”
When asked about the importance of ABEST 21 accreditation to UTAR, Deputy Director of IPSR and Head of Centre for MBA Studies Dr Chong said, “ABEST21’s accreditation standard is important for UTAR in auditing and improving our educational and research quality policies that can meet the rapid changes of the business environment.”
ABEST21 was founded in 2005, but its origins go back to 1994. The first Global Classroom Conference was organised by Prof Itoh on 28 October 1994. The mission of ABEST21 is to advance education in business schools on a global basis by encouraging the mutual cooperation among its member institutions. The accreditation commences 1 April 2021 for a five-year period.