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Business School in Japan

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Business School in Japan

  • The Advent of the MBA in Japan

    Aside from being able to boast the most successful management practices in the history of industry, Japan is also home to a unique corporate culture known for its emphasis on traditional values of respect and harmony. While these values shaped the concepts that led to the postwar “Japanese economic miracle,” they also engendered an environment unfavorable for the academic exploration of management.

    But as growth in Japan slowed in the 1980s, the value that globally minded MBAs could bring to their companies came to light. With heavy government investment in management education, the MBA degree-granting institutions known as business schools in Japan rapidly established globally competitive degree programs in both Japanese and English, aiming to climb MBA world rankings and exceed the standards of international accreditation organizations.

    These developments have driven a significant change across Japan, as the traditional attitudes of employers in major private and public sectors have given way to widespread recognition of the MBA's value. Today, business schools in Japan are poised to lead the field of management education, offering innovative Asian perspectives primed for the global marketplace.

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  • NUCB Business School

    Nagoya University of Commerce and Business had foreseen the end of Japan's postwar economic boom and moved to establish its Graduate School of Management (NUCB Business School) in 1990, the year of the bubble's collapse. The grand ambition that guided the School's development was the education of innovative and global-minded business leaders who would usher Japanese companies toward a new era of sustainable success.

    The School quickly gained recognition for its innovative Master’s degree programs focusing on general management, tax accounting, and information technology management. It became the second AACSB accredited business school in Japan in 2006, the first AMBA accredited business school in the country in 2009 and, upon receiving EQUIS accreditation in 2021, it became the first triple-accredited business school in Japan.

    With its unveiling of the first Executive MBA program in Japan (2003), the School solidified its reputation as the premier institution for case method management education throughout the country, leading to the establishment of campuses in Tokyo (2005) and Osaka (2007), and the opening of its state-of-the-art flagship campus, the Marunouchi Tower Campus in Nagoya (2015). Today, the NUCB Business School boasts the country's largest and highest ranked program, according to both QS and FT.

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About business schools

The value of a business school

What is the essential quality of education when evaluating a business school? Participants' satisfaction level is an important factor, but whether the participant gets their return (change in income or position after completing the program) on what they pay in tuition fees, when viewing it as a self-investment, is the most significant. This is directly linked to whether the business school provides training programs developing human resources that recruiters, i.e. HR staff and managers, would like to employ. This is a common view in Europe and the U.S., the home of the business school, and it can be said that the ranking of business schools is based on how this return can be measured.

Myths about business schools

Business education with tradition and innovation

A business school must avoid both simply following trends, or committing to a traditional curriculum. Instead, the focus should be on maintaining strong educational values and achieving a good balance between tradition and innovation. The NUCB Business School has traditional management education and innovative entrepreneur education as its two major prongs, and pursues the training of human resources to navigate the divide between Asia and the rest of the world. As all the classes are conducted using case method at the School, attitude is more important than knowledge.

Space that facilitates participatory discussion

Accelerating the education of business leaders requires an environment that focuses energies and addresses physiological needs. In recent years, business schools have come to focus on participant-centered learning utilizing case method and field method, relegating the faculty-centered classroom lecture style to the past. The horseshoe-style classroom is the standout characteristic of our auditoriums on campus. Everything from the board layout, the brightness of the lights, the height and feel of the chairs, to the IT equipment serve the purpose of ensuring smooth conversation between participants. The point of cultivating this type of learning environment is to enable high levels of concentration over long and intensive course sessions.

Internationally accredited learning

The concept of the business school began to spread in Japan at the turn of the last millennium. Because of that, the core curriculum and teaching method at many Japanese business schools have yet to reach maturity, and those which have policies based on their mission and/or vision are in the minority. There are various ways to evaluate those schools, but the international standard is determined by three major international organizations which accredit schools of business through qualitative and quantitative analysis of their programs, faculty, and students: the AACSB (U.S.), AMBA (U.K.) and EQUIS (Europe). It is a harsh reality of higher education that, without international certification, no school can be recognized as a legitimate institution.

World business school ranking

The NUCB Business School has been certified as a top business school with international influence in the 2015 world business school ranking announced at the 8th Eduniversal World Convention held at Harvard University. Our school also ranked 5th in the Japan section of Eduniversal’s regional rankings the following year. This means that we are in the top 300 of the world's best 1,000 business schools. While there are over 20,000 business schools worldwide, we regard this recognition as evidence of our school’s global reputation as an institution representing Japan's finest educational practices.

Japanese Business School Accreditation Degrees offered
Waseda University AACSB, EQUIS MBA/MSc
Keio University AACSB EMBA/MBA
Hitotsubashi University AACSB MBA
Kyoto University EQUIS

World Ranking

Setting up the best educational environment

The learning environment which expresses both the history and the future of business education stimulates business elites to generate innovation. From the entrance and first floor, grounded in a mid-century gothic motif, to the top floors equipped with a suite of state-of-the-art virtual studio facilities, the flagship campus of the NUCB Business School has been built to provide both the basic and complex necessities of effective management education for today’s business school program as it evolves towards the future.

Area Main Purpose
Hall 300 Ceremonies, concerts, and academic conferences
Innovation Lab Problem solving workshops
Suite Business research
Auditorium 40 and 80 Problem-solving discussions
Auditorium 160 Academic meetings, joint sessions
Research Suite and Library Case seminars and self-study
Learning Salon Restaurant and alumni lounge
Executive Suite Executive office and various meetings 


Building connections at business school

Business school is a place for self-investment and the development of new skills. While the decision to undertake the challenge may not be easy to make, it can yield incredible rewards. A new business is born when people with common interests gather outside of the workplace or classroom. As a physical space where people with the same ideas can interact, the halls of campus provide an environment where valuable exchanges can occur spontaneously, helping those who may not have otherwise met form new relationships and positively influence one another.

Human resources training at business school

A business school is not only a place for progressing in your own career. It is also a place that companies can send employees to as a part of their human resources training. With a variety of backgrounds and viewpoints represented in any group of participants, the effective facilitation of a productive discussion utilizing different types of knowledge can be difficult to achieve in collective training sessions. At the NUCB Business School, there are various options for corporate training offered, from MBA programs, to customized courses, to single course options.

Educational environment required of business schools

It is a common goal in business school education to foster an attitude, rather than to provide knowledge. The School's participant-centered learning, guided by case method or field method, is essential to the achievement of this goal. The School provides an environment where the resources provided by faculty, participants, and materials can be synthesized effectively.

A business school has to develop human resources that can make appropriate judgements under unknown or unexpected conditions and circumstances. The NUCB Business School’s stated mission is to develop such human resources not only through its own programs, but also through the realization of a Global Campus, the first of its kind in Japan, in cooperation with prestigious partner schools throughout the world, and executive program partners such as Harvard Business School, MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and IMD Business School.

Promoting relearning among professionals

Recognized programs authorized for Practical Education and Training benefits

As a result of being accredited under the Brush Up Program for Professionals (BP) of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), participants in our courses are eligible to receive benefits from the "Benefit for Practical Education and Training for Professionals" program of the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare. As a result, a certain percentage of the education and training expenses (up to 1,120,000 yen) will be paid by government employment offices to students who meet the requirements for payment and complete the course. 

Practical Education and Training Benefits System

  • Enrollment Guidance

    A selection of entrance exams for the MBA/MiM are available. For further details, please see the admission selection, application method, scholarships and the tuition fees table.