HOSEI University, Business School of Innovation Management

HOSEI University

Global MBA Program

Global MBA is an English language program enabling primarily non-native English/Japanese speakers from throughout Asia and the world to earn innovation-focused MBAs in Japan, building bridges back home and forward to the future.

Call to Action 

The Global MBA (GMBA) Program was launched in 2015 as an English-language MBA degree program within the Business School of Innovation Management at HOSEI University, one of Japan’s oldest institutions of higher education.  

The impetus for the program was twofold: First, although Japan is a leading economy, its leadership in innovation has been in decline, due in part to a lack of diversity. Opening up Japanese education to English-speaking students is seen as a way to prime the pump of diversity, not only in Japanese education, but in Japan as a whole. Second, the Japanese economic development experience has a lot to offer to future drivers of innovation in the world, especially here in Asia. By focusing on primarily non-native English/Japanese speakers from throughout Asia and the world, the program aims to create bridges of interaction between our students and faculty, which will serve to benefit all of us in the years to come.  

These motivations stem from Hosei University’s Vision, which states: “By 2030, Hosei University will serve both as a global center for citizens’ education, training citizens capable of living in freedom and of actively, autonomously pursuing their ideals, and as a wellspring of knowledge and ideas for the development of a strong, democratic, sustainable society through applied research oriented to practical solutions, along with serious basic research in each field.” 


This milestone sixth year of the GMBA Program is an opportunity for recommitment to educational innovation, which began with its establishment. In a country infamous for the fiscal challenges of a declining population and decades-long recession, the Business School of Innovation Management managed to raise funds by leveraging the university’s vision of being a global center for education supporting the development of a sustainable society, and gaining acceptance into the Japanese government’s Top Global University Project. The project provides competitive grants to support “universities that are leading the internationalization of Japanese society by launching innovative programs based on their track records.”  

While the track record in question was that of the business school’s standard Japanese language MBA program, the development of the GMBA Program was quite innovative. Starting with English as the language of instruction, the program next instituted an autumn student intake period to eliminate the barrier posed to international students by the April start of Japan’s academic year. The program then planned course structure to enable students to take night and weekend classes in case they chose or needed to work for financial or professional reasons.  

The Japanese MBA program’s capstone project course was developed into two internship-focused active learning modules—the first in regional government agencies, and the second in private enterprises. The university enabled tuition reductions and limited scholarships, and the program created a flexible application process utilizing a variety of assessment protocols and employed Zoom interviews for overseas students years in advance of the platform’s recent ascendance. 


In six short years, the GMBA Program has accepted over 70 students from China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Mongolia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, USA, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Ireland, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Ghana, Pakistan, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Japan with near equal gender balance. As research supports the effectiveness of diversity in stimulating innovation, these demographics are significant.  

By the end of their tenure, most graduates are at least trilingual, speaking English, Japanese, and their native language. Students took classes with the regular faculty of the business school and shared office space with nearly 100 Japanese language MBA students also in residence. The GMBA students may take Japanese-language MBA courses, and the Japanese-language MBA students may take GMBA courses as well, leading to cross-fertilization of the learning experience. Graduates of the program have returned to their home countries, stayed in Japan, or gone to other countries to work in companies, government, or their own startups. The connections thus forged will provide a nexus for communication of ideas for a generation to come.  

Although it is too soon to know the exact impact of this experience long term, based on our own professional experiences, we know it is often the relationships you develop—as much, if not more than the courses you took—that lead to unique and beneficial outcomes in life. We look forward to witnessing these societal impacts as we continue to build our program. 

Reference Links: 

HOSEI Business School of Innovation Management Global MBA Program 
Top Global University Project 
HOSEI Business School of Innovation Management


Back to 2022 Innovations That Inspire