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The Impact of Internationalization on Japanese Higher Education: Is Japanese Education Really Changing?
- John Mock (Visiting Professor, Temple University Japan Campus)
“Internationalization”, in various shapes and sizes, has been a major component of Japanese universities, indeed all of Japanese society, from the latter half of the 20th century to the present. As Japan became an increasingly important and successful economic participant in a globalizing world, the idea was that having an international/intercultural perspective, including language competencies in addition to Japanese, would make Japan both a more effective participant in the world economy and a more significant actor on the world stage.
This collection of essays seeks to examine various aspects of the impact of “internationalization” on at least some Japanese universities and possibly partly answer the question posed in our subtitle, is Japanese higher education really changing?
The short and oversimplified answer would probably be something like a qualified, yes. Japanese education is changing but very slowly, somewhat erratically, and not necessarily at all in the directions that might be optimal. In fact, one could easily argue that while Japan is one of the top two or three economies in the world, it punches far below its weight in terms of tertiary education.
The Impact of Internationalization on Japanese Higher Education: Is Japanese Education Really Changing? edited by John Mock, Hiroaki Kawamura(Rotterdam, Sense Publishers 2016)
Visiting Professor, Temple University Japan Campus
John Mock is an anthropologist who has taught at several universities in Japan and the United States. He is retired from the Doctoral Program in International Political Economy at the University of Tsukuba and currently teaches history and anthropology at Temple University Japan Campus. His first work was on Japanese cities but for the past two decades he has been increasingly concentrating on land use changes, aging, and social change in more rural areas of Japan, specifically the mountain towns of central Akita.