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The ‘Big Bang’ in Japanese Higher Education
2004 Reforms and the Dynamics of Change
edited by J. S. Eades, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University; Roger Goodman, Oxford University & Yumiko Hada, Osaka University
  • Describes the most significant institutional changes in Japanese education for over a century
  • Examines these changes from the point of view of government, teachers and students

  • Discusses issues of global relevance in university education, such as he impact of IT, how to improve research quality, and how to attract the best students

On 1 April 2004, Japanese higher education experienced a ‘big bang’, a set of reforms that have been described as the most significant institutional changes for over a century. One of the main aims is to make Japanese universities more competitive internationally, by eliminating the differences between national, public and private schools, and by giving them greater autonomy from the state in day-to-day administration and decision-making. At the same time, these institutions are facing an increasing demographic crisis, as they compete for a declining number of potential students, thanks to the falling Japanese birthrate.

The chapters of this book examine these changes and the background to them from a variety of perspectives, including those of the government, the teachers and the students. Issues examined include the history of Japanese universities, their relation with the state, university management, internationalization, the struggle to attract students, the problems of language teaching, the impact of information technology, and efforts to upgrade the level of research.

Published by Trans Pacific Press
Published 2005, 337 pp.
ISBN 1 876843 23 3, paperback, £19.99