Japan’s Universities Aiming to be Internationally more Competitive
Japan’s Ministry for Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) has been working to make the country’s universities more competitive globally. “We want Japanese universities to increase the number of international faculty, raise the number of classes conducted in English and introduce standardized tests like Toefl as a means to lift English skills.”, said Hakubun Shimomura, minister for education and science, in an interview, discussing the need to internationalize Japanese higher education.
Japan’s higher education has not been focusing on attracting global talents. This is often taken in account in academic rankings of world universities, where only few Japanese universities appear on these lists. The government therefore plans to financially support universities to strengthen their efforts of changing towards internationally interacting institutions.
An other critical point of the Japanese education system is the uniformed transition from high school to university. To gain admission to Japanese universities, students have to score well broadly in various subjects. Even if they are going into the direction of arts or social science, they have to pass the subject tests of unrelated general topics. One important suggestion from the Japanese Government concerns this admission test, considering future examinations to stimulate knowledge building and the promotion of diverse talents, such as leadership skills or human empathy. “These are the kinds of abilities that we should be looking for as we prepare our youth for the globalized world.”, said Hakubun Shimomura in the interview with the New York Times.
To read the full interview with Hakubun Shimomura please follow this link.