Japan Accreditation Board for Engineering Education
JABEE is a non-governmental organization which evaluates and accredits educational programs which foster professionals from the standpoints of “knowledge and abilities expected for professionals” and “benchmark of social requirements”. JABEE accredits education provided by a department or a course within the department of engineering, agriculture or science.
JABEE Accreditation Criteria applies the principle of international framework of program accreditation such as Washington Accord. Therefore, the education of accredited programs are internationally recognized as substantially equivalent.
Following are the characteristics of JABEE accreditation.
- JABEE supports the self-improvement on quality of education by the programs through the peer-review evaluation process by teams formed by the same fields of specialization.
- Accreditation Criteria are set to check whether the program provides students with education to acquire the international attributes such as specialized knowledge of science and technology, engineering design ability, communication skills, ability to work in a team and professional ethic which are expected for professionals.
- Graduates of JABEE accredited programs are exempted from First-Step Examination of Professional Engineer which is a national qualification.
JABEE was established in 1999 and started accreditations in 2001. Accumulative number of accredited programs as in 2016 are 501 and the total of graduates of JABEE accredited programs has reached approximately 260,000. Accreditation is valuable for both higher education institutions and students.
Message from JABEE to foreign students
The meaning of completion of JABEE accredited program
A student having completed JABEE accredited program is standing at the starting point to further path to become a Professional Engineer. He/she is recognized as having received engineering education recognized among the world. In most of the signatory countries and regions of the Washington Accord, only graduates, who have completed engineering education accredited by a signatory of the Washington Accord, are eligible to be Professional Engineers.
The different situations of the eligibility
Privileges granted to graduates of programs accredited by their country accreditation bodies or by the Washington Accord signatory organizations vary from signatory to signatory. Basically, the path to become a Professional Engineer in a country is exclusively opened to person who have completed the accredited program.
In Hong Kong, an applicant for Professional Engineer needs to be a graduate of accredited program and it is set as one of the prerequisite of registration for Professional Engineer. The Hong Kong Institute of Engineers treats graduates of JABEE accredited programs as equivalent to graduates of their own graduates.
In Australia, less workload and cost efficient process are applied for graduates of JABEE accredited programs for the assessment process of application of working visa as foreign professional engineers.
In several states of the USA, graduates of accredited programs of the Washington Accord signatory organizations, called “Washington Accord graduates” are treated as equivalent to graduates of accredited programs of ABET, engineering education accreditation body, at the time of taking FE Examination, known as “Fundamentals of Engineering” prior to taking PE, also known as “Principle and Practice of Engineering” Examination so that all the hassle required for the application procedure is largely simplified.
The different situation in Japan
In the Washington Accord signatory countries, most of engineering education programs are accredited by accreditation body within the country. However, it is not the case in Japan. Not all the engineering programs are yet accredited by JABEE. There are some unfortunate cases where without knowing this situation, students who have studied at non-JABEE programs could not be Professional Engineers in their own countries when they go back to their home after the completion of programs. In order to avoid such unfortunate cases, the Malaysian Government grants the government scholarship only to those who have been admitted to JABEE accredited programs.
The Professional Engineer title is licensed by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport, Science and Technology (MEXT). JABEE graduates are exempted from the first step examination of Professional Engineer in Japan.
Suggestion from JABEE to foreign students
JABEE strongly advises to foreign students, who plan to study in Japan with the aim to being international-level professional engineers in the future, to select JABEE accredited programs.