Yoshito Hori speaks about leadership lessons with enthusiasm in a suit and tie

A few simple words, and it was done:

1. Incorporating entity shall be changed from GLOBIS Corporation to Educational Corporation of GLOBIS University
2. Date of change: April 1, 2008

With that, we were certified by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) as an educational corporation. This approval will change the status of our Graduate School of Management from a school established by a business corporation to one established by an educational corporation. Meaning, our institution will be reborn April 1 as a private university.

As this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, I rearranged my schedule and went to MEXT myself to receive the approval certification.

The waiting room in the Marunouchi office, where MEXT has relocated while their office in Kasumigaseki is being renovated, was spilling over with people from universities and graduate schools. I had been there the year before last to receive approval and establish a corporate-run graduate business school under the Special Zones for Structural Reform designation. Now, as I sat in the corner of the waiting room, a flood of memories rushed through my mind.

I recalled the days when I started the school on my own fifteen years ago, just a single room of an apartment and a rented classroom in Shibuya to our name. A few years later, in 1996, GLOBIS launched a joint MBA program with the University of Leicester in England (which will end with the January 2008 semester). I thought about April 2003, when we began offering an original program developed at GLOBIS: the Graduate Diploma in Business Administration (GDBA). Three years later, in April, 2006, we became a corporate-run graduate business school under the Plans for Special Zones for Structural Reform.

Over the years, we’ve discussed the direction for GLOBIS with employees, students and faculty members. Some students voiced their objections to becoming a graduate school under the approval of MEXT. They feared it might diminish the advantages of a GLOBIS education.

I have always valued my discussions with students throughout these reforms. Last week, on the day MEXT announced its approval to give GLOBIS the authority to establish an educational corporation, I sent out a message to all GDBA and MBA students (collectively, GMBA students), both past and present, explaining the reasons for taking this step, which is summarized below.


To all GMBA students,

GLOBIS is setting a course to become an educational corporation.

This is certainly a major shift. I had always known, however, that when GLOBIS applied to MEXT to establish a graduate school under the Plans for Special Zones for Structural Reform in 2005, we had already, in a sense, “crossed the Rubicon,” since GLOBIS had chosen the path toward becoming a MEXT-approved graduate school while upholding the spirit of being a society-recognized business school.

When you understand what is customary across the globe, you see that none of the top-ranking universities or graduate schools is operated by a business corporation. If we are to indeed become Asia’s No. 1 business school, it is vital that we build up our internal reserves and create a fund supported by donations.

In addition, GLOBIS lags far behind other universities in terms of hardware. This is inevitable to some extent, considering that our school began with 800,000 yen in seed money with a focus on providing quality education without any government subsidies or private donations at all. From now on, however, I hope to further develop the educational environment, such as improving the campus infrastructure. I believe this transformation into an educational corporation is a necessary step.

On the other hand, the disadvantages of becoming an educational corporation include the inability to offer dividends and the loss of ownership. That is, we concluded that we would lose the advantages of a stock corporation.

GLOBIS was not founded to make a profit; we never considered publicly listing shares. Should we go public, shareholders would naturally receive a considerable capital gain. However, we would lose something more significant. We would have to maximize shareholder value and earnings per share, as you have learned in your finance courses.

Therefore, we had to decide whether to proceed in that direction or maximize educational value, turning out leaders of change and creativity in the interest of becoming Asia’s No.1 business school.

Strategy means making choices. We must turn away from one direction to concentrate on the other. Once we established our priorities, we did not hesitate to choose the latter course. In short, we decided to produce leaders of change and creativity, aiming to become Asia’s No.1 business school.

Instead of enjoying capital gains today, we are placing priority on what we will leave behind for tomorrow. We hope to establish a foundation for the future of the Graduate School of Management, GLOBIS University, that will endure for the next two to three hundred years, to leave behind outstanding educational opportunities for future generations.

Our graduate school will become an educational corporation. From now on, we will consistently strive to maintain a virtuous cycle of accumulating capital, creating an ideal educational environment, and attracting excellent students. The DNA of leaders of change and creativity that originated with GDBA is being passed on to MBA students, and will continue to evolve along with the Educational Corporation of GLOBIS University.

We expect our students to study all they can at GLOBIS and take flight as leaders of change and creativity to develop new value for society.

Let us press on together toward our goal of becoming Asia’s No.1 business school.

I look forward to your continued support.

Yoshito Hori


While I was waiting in the MEXT office, an official called out: “Graduate School of Management, GLOBIS University.” I proceeded to the Director General’s room on the eighth floor, where the Director General firmly handed me the approval with both hands.

There was no particular outburst of joy, no “Yes! I did it!” Instead, I felt a certain tension, like the tremor of excitement experienced by a samurai. This marked a genuinely new beginning. It was indeed a sobering sense of renewal.

At long last, the Graduate School of Management, GLOBIS University, will set off on a new path as an educational corporation from April 2008. In the space of 15 years, a school that began in one room in an apartment and a single rented classroom will have made a huge leap. On the other hand, we have just started on our way toward becoming Asia’s No.1 business school. Hence, the sober feeling.

Julius Caesar reportedly uttered the following words before crossing the Rubicon: “Hell awaits if I go, ruin awaits if I don’t. Let us then go, where the gods await. The die is cast.”

I would like to modify these words somewhat: “The challenges of creativity and change await if we go, ruin awaits if we don’t. Let us then go, where society expects us to go. The die is cast.”

On April 1, 2008, we give birth to the Educational Corporation of GLOBIS University.

Get monthly Insights

Sign up for our newsletter! Privacy Policy