Forging a Path Forward: Japan’s Universities Face Challenging Future

The Japanese government has been setting forth a series of bold reform plans for the nation’s universities, including the selection of Super Global Universities, change to the entrance system, and reorganization of humanities departments. At the same time, Japan’s universities are scrabbling for ways to meet growing challenges, including globalization, transformations in the structures of industry, and the declining birthrate.

Exam Hell and the Crisis in History EducationMomoki Shirō

Rote memorization has displaced critical thinking and driven young Japanese students away from the study of history, argues the author, who blames the universities’ own fact-driven entrance examinations for the crisis facing the humanities and social sciences in higher education.
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Global University Rankings: How Are They Measured?Shirabe Masashi

The Abe administration is aiming to get more Japanese universities to rank among the world’s top 100. But are the ranking figures reliable? An academic expert explains how the global rankings are measured and why they should not be used as a policy target.
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Higher Education Reform: A Tale of Unintended ConsequencesSuzuki Kan (Hiroshi)

At a time of tough fiscal constraints, Japan's universities are under mounting pressure to do more with less. Unfortunately, government reform initiatives to date have been anything but encouraging. Suzuki Kan, an aide to Japan’s education ministry, examines recent policy failures and new reform trends in relation to the formidable challenges facing Japanese universities in the twenty-first century.
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