Beginning in May 2001, an alliance of five California State University schools will offer an MBA program on weekends for working people in Japan via teleconferencing and inviting faculty members from the United States.

Speaking at a press conference in Tokyo on Wednesday, Ray Maghroori, dean of the College of Business at San Francisco State University, said CSU schools decided to bring its MBA program to Japan because of the growing importance of Asia in the globalization of the economy.

“The economy of the 21st century is going to be decided with what happens in the western part of the U.S. and in Asia,” said Maghroori. “We believe Japan will play a leading role in Asia in the evolution of the postindustrial society and information-technology era.”

Students in the new MBA program will study at Nevada-California International Consortium of universities and colleges (NIC), Japan, in Tokyo’s Shinjuku district, which offers preparatory courses to send Japanese students to CSU and the University of Nevada.

During the two-year program, students will take 15 courses worth 50 credits on such subjects as accounting, financial analysis, strategic marketing, international business, entrepreneurial management and leadership patterns. English will be the language used for all courses.

Classes are offered on Friday evenings, Saturdays and Sundays via two-way audio-video, by which professors and students will interact in real time between California and Tokyo, and students will use the Internet to submit reports and ask questions, Joseph Messina, a professor at SFSU College of Business, said at the same news conference.

In addition to those courses offered by teleconference, faulty members from San Francisco State University, California State University, Chico, and California State University, Sacramento, will come to Japan to offer face-to-face lectures and discussion classes for some of the subjects, including human-resource management and leadership practice, Messina said.

“Technological revolution is taking place so rapidly that people can no longer leave their jobs for two years to get an MBA in the way they did 10 or 15 years ago,” he said. “So we designed the program to meet the needs of the modern working professionals.”

SFSU will be the school to handle admission, grading and issuing degrees, but applications will be accepted at NIC in Tokyo between October 2000 and March 2001.

Up to 60 students will be admitted based on their university records, GMAT and TOEFL scores and other paper screenings. Admission standards will be the same as those at SFSU headquarters, Messina said.

Tuition and admission fees for the two-year program total 3.5 million yen. For more information, call NIC, Japan, at (03) 5379-5551.