Advertisement

Feasibility and Challenges on a National Qualifications Framework and Permeability in Education and Training System in Japan

  • Keiichi Yoshimoto
Reference work entry
Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE)

Abstract

A National Qualifications framework (NQF) is an important policy tool needed to achieve higher levels of transparency and permeability between academic and vocational pillars in education and training system. The NQF helps to guarantee the quality of education and training programs based on learning outcomes approaches. In this chapter, the feasibility and challenges of a NQF in Japan is explored based on the comparisons of NQF development in Anglophone countries as early starters of domestic interests, in second generation of Continental European countries that required international currency with European Qualifications Framework (EQF), and in East Asian countries with culturally unique traditions. The following elements related to NQF are considered: the societal contexts, the policy development, and the future challenges. The level descriptors have become more common in many NQFs as influenced by EQF approaches, covering both vocational and academic tracks vertically and horizontally. Thus, the NQF approach may have a powerful influence toward a globalization of education and training. It is questioned what are the current challenges and how countries are reforming the education and training system. In Japan, at the initial education phase, there are diversified qualifications and sectors in tertiary education system. As like the other East Asian countries, under the “academic credentialism,” education programs tend to be more diversified and hierarchically recognized, rather than transparent with certain standardization. At the further training phase, labor policies have been stimulating a shift from firm-specific certifications to those more standardized by industries. The further challenge is how to tune such the occupational certifications toward education and training programs by the field of industries and by the field of education.

Keywords

Qualifications framework Descriptors Competencies Leaning outcomes Academic credentialism 

References

  1. Allais, Stephanie, David Raffe, Rob Strathdee, Leesa Wheelahan and Michael Young. 2009. Learning from the first qualifications. Employment working paper no. 45. http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---ed_emp/---ifp_skills/documents/publication/wcm_041902.pdf. Accessed 10 Apr 2017.
  2. Bateman, Andrea. 2016. Qualifications framework: National and regional with a focus on Australia and ASEAN. In Dual-track development of tertiary education and relevance of national qualifications frameworks, Report on global consortium for the development of core specialist human resources (EQGC report series) no. 12, ed. Keiichi Yoshimoto, 137–145. Fukuoka: Kyushu University.Google Scholar
  3. Brown, Phillip, and Hugh Lauder. 1991. Education, economy and social change. International Studies in Sociology of Education 1:1–2, 3–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cabinet Office. 2016. Jissennteki kyaria senryaku; Kyaria dan-i seido (Career Grade System, under the Practical Career Support Policy measures). http://www5.cao.go.jp/keizai1/jissen-cu/jissen-cu.html. Accessed 10 Apr 2017. (in Japanese).
  5. CEDEFOP. 2015. National qualifications frameworks development in Europe. https://www.cedefop.europa.eu/files/4137_en.pdf. Accessed 10 Apr 2017.
  6. Doolette, Anne. 2014. Credibility of Australian qualifications framework. In Non-university higher education and qualifications framework – Report on the international workshop, EQ working paper series no.1, ed. Keiichi Yoshimoto, 90–99. Fukuoka: Kyushu University. (in English and Japanese).Google Scholar
  7. Dore, Ronald. 1976. The diploma disease. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  8. Dunkel, Torsten and Isabelle le Mouillour. 2013. Berufsausbildung auf dem höchsten Niveau – europäische Erfahrungen (Vocational training on the highest level – European experiences). In Akademisierung der Berufswelt? (Academization of the world of occupations?), ed. Eckart Seveline and Ulrich Teichler, 143–167. Bielefeld: W. Bertelsmann Verlag. (in German).Google Scholar
  9. ETF. 2013. Global national qualifications frameworks inventory. http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/publications/2211. Accessed 10 Apr 2017.
  10. Goda, Takafumi. 2014. Nihon no Seichou bunya niokeru chuukakuteki sennmon jinnzai yousei (Japanese vocational education of middle-level professionals in targeted growth fields). In Non-university higher education and qualifications framework – Report on the international workshop, EQ working paper series no.1, ed. Keiichi Yoshimoto, 45–49. Fukuoka: Kyushu University. (in English and Japanese).Google Scholar
  11. Gonzalez, Julia, and Robert Wagenaar, eds. 2008. Tuning educational structures in Europe universities’ contribution to the Bologna Process: An introduction. 2nd ed. University of Deusto. Trans. Satoko Fukahori and Toru Takenaka. 2012. Tokyo: Akashi Shoten. (in Japanese).Google Scholar
  12. ILO. 2007. An introductory guide to national qualifications frameworks: Conceptual and practical issues for policy makers. http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/@ed_emp/@ifp_skills/documents/instructionalmaterial/wcms_103623.pdf. Accessed 10 Apr 2017.
  13. Japan Federation of Employers’ Associations. 1995. Shinjidai no Nihonnteki Keiei (The new age of Japanese management). Tokyo: Japan Federation of Employers’ Association. (in Japanese).Google Scholar
  14. Japan Vocational Ability Development Association (JAVADA). 2016. Shokugyou nouryoku hyouka kijun (Vocational capability evaluation standard.) https://www.hyouka.javada.or.jp/. Accessed 10 Apr 2017.
  15. Koike, Kazuo. 1997. Human resource management. Tokyo: Japan Institute of Labour.Google Scholar
  16. Le Mouillour, Isabelle. 2014. German qualification framework, a specific approach to permeability?. In Non-university higher education and qualifications framework – Report on the international workshop, EQ working paper series no.1, ed. Keiichi Yoshimoto, 107–117. Fukuoka: Kyushu University. (in English and Japanese).Google Scholar
  17. Lee, Dong-Im. 2016. The NQF establishing progress and key issues in Korea. In Dual-track development of tertiary education and relevance of national qualifications frameworks, Report on global consortium for the development of core specialist human resources (EQGC report series) no. 12, ed. Keeichi Yoshimoto, 169–197. Fukuoka: Kyushu University.Google Scholar
  18. Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. 2014. Report on significance of vocational ability evaluation and policy directions for labour market policy. Tokyo: MHLW. (In Japanese).Google Scholar
  19. OECD. 2000. From initial education to working Life – making transitions work. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  20. OECD. 2004. The role of national qualifications systems in promoting lifelong learning. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  21. OECD. 2007. Qualifications systems: Bridges to lifelong learning. Paris: OECD.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Quality and Qualifications Ireland. 2017. National framework for qualifications. http://www.qqi.ie/Articles/Pages/National-Framework-of-Qualifications-(NFQ).aspx. Accessed 10 Apr 2017.
  23. Raffe, David. 2013. What is the evidence for the impact of national qualifications frameworks? Comparative Education 49 (2): 143–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Raffe, David. 2014. Introducing a national qualifications framework: Concepts and issues arising from the international experience. In Higher education and qualifications framework – Report on the international workshop, EQ working paper series no.1, ed. Keiichi Yoshimoto, 73–79. Fukuoka: Kyushu University. (in English and Japanese).Google Scholar
  25. Raffe, David, Karen Brannen, Linda Croxford, and Chris Martin. 1999. Comparing England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland: The case for ‘home internationals’ in comparative research. Comparative Education 35 (1): 9–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Serban, Madlen. 2012. Qualifications frameworks: Possible tools for (vocational) education and training reforms – Based on ETF’s experiences. In Proceedings ASEM symposium on technical and vocational education and training.Google Scholar
  27. UIL, ETF and CEDEFOP. 2015. Global inventory of regional and national qualifications framework – Volume I: Thematic chapters. http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/publications/2213. Accessed 10 Apr 2017.
  28. UNESCO. 2015. Recommendation concerning technical and vocational education and training (TVET). http://portal.unesco.org/en/ev.php-URL_ID=49355&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html. Accessed 10 Apr 2017.
  29. Werquin, Patrick. 2007. Moving mountains: Will qualifications systems promote lifelong learning. European Journal of Education 42 (4): 459–484.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. WIP Japan. 2013. Asia syokoku niokeru sikakuwakugumi to syokugyoukyouiku ni kansuru chousa kenkyuu (Research study on qualifications framework and vocational education in Asian countries). Commissioned research report for the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Tokyo: MEXT (in Japanese).Google Scholar
  31. Yoshimoto, Keiichi. 2003. Sukottolando ni okeru tanki koutoukyouiku wo fukumeta sikakuseido to tayouna gakusyuukeiro no sekkei (Designing pathways and qualification framework focusing on short cycle higher education in Scotland). Research in Academic Degree 17: 51–68. (in Japanese).Google Scholar
  32. Yoshimoto, Keiichi, ed. 2014a. Non-university higher education and qualifications framework – Report on the international workshop, EQ working paper series no.1. Fukuoka: Kyushu University. (in English and Japanese).Google Scholar
  33. Yoshimoto, Keiichi, ed. 2014b. Japanese mode of tertiary education and globalisation: Qualifications framework and quality assurance, Report on global consortium for the development of core specialist human resources (EQGC Report Series) no. 5. Fukuoka: Kyushu University.Google Scholar
  34. Yoshimoto, Keiichi. 2016a. Reconstruction of qualifications system on education, training and occupations in Japan. In Dual-track development of tertiary education and relevance of national qualifications frameworks, Report on global consortium for the development of core specialist human resources (EQGC report series) no. 12, ed. Keiichi Yoshimoto, 45–72. Fukuoka: Kyushu University.Google Scholar
  35. Yoshimoto, Keiichi, ed. 2016b. Dual-track development of tertiary education and relevance of national qualifications frameworks, Report on global consortium for the development of core specialist human resources (EQGC report series) no. 12. Fukuoka: Kyushu University.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Education, Faculty of Human-Environment StudiesKyushu UniversityFukuokaJapan

Personalised recommendations