Higher Education

, Volume 50, Issue 4, pp 685–711 | Cite as

The Japanese University in Crisis

  • Ikuo Amano
  • Gregory S. PooleEmail author


Japanese education has been a focus of comparative studies for the past 20 years. Many scholars have attributed the economic success of this industrialized society to a highly literate and well-educated population. Recent studies, however, have tended to be more critical of, in particular, Japanese higher education (HE). Indeed, most universities in Japan are acutely aware of the need for change and a considerable effort at institutional reform is sweeping the nation. Unfortunately most of the constructive criticism of Japanese HE has not yet been published in English. One of the most vocal of the reformists, Professor Ikuo Amano, has published widely on various aspects of HE in Japan. The following paper is a translation of a chapter in his book Challenges to Japanese Universities. This translation is prefaced by both a synopsis of this book as well as a brief introduction to Amano and his work.

Key words

comparative education ethnography in education higher education policy Japan reform translation 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for National University FinanceChiyoda-kuJapan
  2. 2.Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, St Antony’s CollegeUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  3. 3.Gregory S. PooleOtaJapan

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