Comparative Analysis

Japan Accreditation Board for Engineering Education

What are the mission statement, goals, and objectives of your accreditation agency? Please share a short statement of how objectivity and integrity are assured in your accreditation system.

JABEE’s mission is to support fostering internationally validated professionals and to contribute to the development of the society and industry through the accreditation of educational programs, assisting the reform of education, in multiple professional fields in higher education institutions.
JABEE requests educational programs seeking for accreditation to integrate the knowledge and abilities as defined in the Accreditation Criteria into their learning outcomes as objectives of the program which all the graduates are required to acquire at the time of completion of the program. Nine items of knowledge and abilities which JABEE requires for the program to reflect in their program are based on benchmark defined by respective educational Accords to meet international substantial equivalency in terms of level of education. JABEE determines adequate accreditation criteria and accreditation system to meet the Washington Accord for Engineering, the Seoul Accord for ICT programs and the Canberra Accord for Architectural Education. In terms of Architectural education programs, the respective discipline meets 16 objectives referred in the UNESCO-UIA charter for Architectural Education.

How do you achieve effectiveness in accreditation without unduly burdening the institution under review (issues of costs, time, and complexity)?

Evaluation and accreditation costs are covered by application fee for evaluation and accreditation paid by educational programs. Covered expenses include accommodation, travelling and daily allowance. Honorarium is not paid to evaluators as they accept the services as voluntary basis. The actual formation of evaluation team is designated to the member academic societies corresponding to the discipline. The applicable discipline nominates candidate of evaluators and JABEE approves and appoints the team. 3 days are the general length of the on-site visit ,however, the team led by a chair may shorten the length of visit.

How do you respect diversity of culture and mission of institutions under review while maintaining minimum standards for the profession?

JABEE accredits educational programs which meet JABEE Accreditation Criteria that aligns benchmark as required by respective educational Accords. JABEE accredits architectural education programs if they meets program criteria additionally defined by discipline appropriate to the category of accreditation. Architectural education program shall be formed combination of 4-year bachelor and 2-year master as consecutive single program without exception. As defined in the category-dependent criteria, the program shall fulfill the educational requirements set to take examination of “class-1 architects”, which is the most advanced official qualification of the architects in Japan.

JABEE respects the autonomy of educational program including diversity between the regions and cultural background by being not too descriptive in our accreditation criteria so that the program could fully take their own needs reflected into their learning outcomes to be achieved while taking core requirements to meet the international standard.

How does your agency inform itself about the needs of the profession, worldwide developments in the discipline of accreditation, and developments in education?

JABEE Accreditation Affairs Committee has sub-committees corresponding to various Accords including Canberra Accord. The Canberra Accord sub-committee is responsible for proposing revision to the Accreditation Criteria, Rules and Procedures and any necessary documents related to architectural education. The sub-committee is also responsible to determine any counter measures to be taken to meet requirements as set by the Accords. The sub-committee is consisted of members with academic and/ or industry background in architectural profession to reflect societal needs and international trends in the field of architectural design and planning. The sub-committee that is responsible for architectural accreditation organizes yearly seminars and provides adequate information. Therefore, the evaluators and/or educators in the program who are involved in the peer review process can obtain information on the needs of the profession and recent developments in accreditation and education.

In addition to the assessment of institutional resources and how they are allocated with respect to the institutional mission, how does your agency assess student performance criteria?

In order to assure the achievement of learning outcomes as defined in the criterion including the “Highly Recommended Items by Discipline”, JABEE requires educational programs to rationally demonstrate its conformity with evidence in the combination of the Self-review Report which describes the degree of accordance with the Criteria based upon accurate evidences and the on-site visit which is an essential part of accreditation. JABEE also requires educational programs to provide and display essential evidences (including student design works) in three levels, high, average and bottom line, which are used to verify the benchmark achieved by the graduates. The program is expected to prepare and display student works at the on-site visit which cannot be confirmed by reviewing the self-review report. In addition, JABEE requests the evaluation team to secure sufficient time for reviewing the demonstration of evidences at the on-site visit in order to confirm that all the graduates of the program have achieved all the learning outcomes in appropriate levels at the time of completion of the program.

How are your governance and secretariat functions organized to assure integrity and professionalism in the conduct of their operations?

Flow of the formation of evaluation team is as follows:

  1. JABEE receives voluntarily submitted application from architectural programs and requests evaluation team dispatching organization (discipline) to nominate five individuals eligible to be candidates. The evaluation team dispatching organization has to nominate candidates who meets prerequisite of “JABEE Standard for Formation of Evaluation Team” to be evaluator for architectural education program (e.g., prior experience as an observer, practical experience especially chair and at least two evaluators shall be educator or practitioner of architectural design & planning) and need to additionally nominate two observers; one of them should be a graduate student.
  2. Amongst five nominated individual, one shall be appointed by JABEE to serve as a chair of the team. The chair shall have experience of on-site evaluator or chair in past 6 years. JABEE sets the code of conflict of interest to appoint appropriate and eligible evaluators and also required candidates to take evaluator training seminars including e-leaning either held by JABEE or by member academic society approved by JABEE.
  3. In order to harmonize evaluation results after on-site visits, the discipline assess if the evaluation results are produced fairly amongst all the programs visited followed by harmonization process by JABEE Evaluation and Accreditation Coordination committee where focuses on harmonization among disciplines and confirm fairness in judgment in accordance with interpretation of JABEE Accreditation Criteria and Rules and Procedures.

What are your mechanisms to insure that expertise and experience in the applications of standards, procedures, and values are present in members of visiting teams, commissions, and staff (please supply and organization chart)?

JABEE annually holds evaluator training seminars for those who have been appointed as evaluators of the educational programs applied for accreditation in that year, making sure to deliver any updates in accreditation criteria and its interpretation as well as rules and procedures for evaluation and accreditation so that evaluators could brush up their understanding align to most up-to-date understanding, confirm changes made and educate themselves what is expected to serve as evaluators as of today. JABEE’s member academic societies separately hold evaluator training seminars specific to the discipline to cover any specific expectations in that particular discipline.

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