Japan’s Schools Falling Behind The Modern World

In the world of globalization, businessmen must compete with their rivals on a world scale, and this attitude has even spread to universities in the United States and the European Union. However, Japan’s schools, particularly their universities, are falling behind and are in need of serious reform. The World University Rankings of major institutions that is issued by The Times Education Supplement only lists three Japanese universities among the world’s top 100. American universities constitute 11 of the top 20 and 33 of the entire 100. The TES rankings are based on the number of foreign teaching staff and students, the faculty-student ration, and citations of works published in academic journals. It is evident Japan’s universities make scant effort to recruit foreign faculty or students and their government places too many restrictions in the way of foreigners obtaining work permits in their nation. The historic Japanese quest to be self sufficient is now endangering the quality of work in Japanese universities.

  • http://www.universityworldnews.com Charles Jannuzi

    Japanese universities are internationalizing, but this has really meant accepting large numbers of students–including post-graduate–from China and other parts of Asia.

    The one thing the THES rankings show clearly is that non-Anglophone countries are at a disadvantage in such global rankings.

    It is also difficult for non-Japanese speakers to fit into Japanese universities, which are very internally competitive. You can’t just show up with some basic Japanese skills and say to people, love me, love my foreignness. You have to stay a while and figure out how to fit in, which often hurts originality and innovation.

    I agree, since most research in science and technology is so collaborative, they need to re-double efforts. But I’m not sure what the solutions are. Just bringing in international researchers seems to lead to all sorts of interpersonal and ‘university culture’ issues.
    It would seem solutions can not be imposed by decree from the top down.

    The good news for Japan is that Todai went up–perhaps reflecting more science factors in the new THES-QS rankings. And Tokyo Institute of Technology is a real riser.

    See articles on rankings at http://www.universityworldnews.com, including:

    http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20071122150820227

    http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=20071109103433756