Program Set to Launch in April
By Jill Gambon
The Manning School of Business will bring its Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) program to Japanese executives this spring.
Working with Abitus, an executive education firm based in Tokyo, the Manning School will begin offering its MBA in Japan in April. About 25 students, most of them mid-career managers and executives, are expected to be enrolled when the program launches. Plans call for a second group of 25 students to begin the program in the fall.
The program consists of two components: foundation classes, which will be conducted in Japanese by Abitus staff using UMass Lowell’s curriculum, and advanced classes, which will be offered online in English by Manning School faculty. Students will be able to watch classes videotaped on UMass Lowell’s campus via the Echo360 platform to hear the material in English. The program’s advanced classes will blend Japanese students with online MBA students based in the U.S. and elsewhere. The students, who work in such industries as manufacturing, professional services and finance, can complete the 42-credit degree in two years.
“Our MBA is designed to provide graduates with the education they need to advance their careers in a changing, global environment,” says Manning School Dean Kathryn Carter. “Both UMass Lowell and Abitus strive to continuously deliver high quality professional education.”
Manning School’s Rising Reputation
The reputation of and enrollment in UMass Lowell’s MBA program is growing. For the fifth consecutive year, the Manning School’s MBA program was named one of the best in the country by the Princeton Review. Additionally, enrollment in the MBA program shot up 17 percent in the fall.
In December, Abitus executives visited the UMass Lowell campus to hammer out scheduling and other details and signed an official agreement with Chancellor Marty Meehan. The company was drawn to UMass Lowell because of the MBA program’s strong reputation as well as the fact that the degree can be completed online, allowing students to work full time while earning their degrees, says Abitus President Toyoaki Miwa. Miwa expects healthy demand for the program as interest in U.S. business education is growing. Japanese companies are increasingly looking to expand overseas and are seeking employees familiar with English, he says.
The MBA program adds to the University’s growing list of international offerings, which include academic partnerships with more than 60 universities in 25 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, North America and Australia.
“This program will allow us to expand our international footprint,” says Frank Andrews, associate dean of the Manning School. “Our mission is to help our students to compete in a global economy. Having a presence overseas helps us to do that.”