Higher Education

, Volume 41, Issue 4, pp 443–470 | Cite as

A review of higher education reform in modern Japan

  • Paul Doyon

Abstract

A number of different parties in Japan have been discussinghigher educational reform for over thirty years. Many of theseideas finally started to take form in the 1990s as the Ministryof Education's University Council began implementing many of thepropositions that had been put forth during the deliberations ofthe 1970s and 1980s. As Japan enters the 21st century, its18-year-old population has decreased by over half a million since1992. It will decrease another 300,000 by the year 2010. This has added an increased urgency to make reforms, especially atthird-tier universities, which are now starting to have troublerecruiting students. Japan's Ministry of Education would alsolike to bring the quality of its university educational standardsup to par with the rest of the advanced nations. Moreover, industryis demanding a new breed of employee – and one much different thanthe Japanese educational system has been known to produce. Finally, a new generation of Japanese is starting to reach adulthood, who – raised on consumerism, and material abundance – have acompletely different value system than their parents' generation. This paper looks at the present higher education reform movement and its history extending back approximately thirty years. It then goes on to offer some suggestions as to what more can be done to alleviate many problems still inherent in the system.

entrance examinations higher education internationalization Japan Leisure Land lifelong learning Ministry of Education reform University Council 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Doyon
    • 1
  1. 1.Asahi UniversityGifu-kenJapan

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