The University Council Report in October 1998, entitled “A Vision for Universities in the 21st Century and Reform Measures,” proposes comprehensive and practical reform measures in accordance with the following four philosophies : 1) qualitative enhancement of education and research ; 2) more flexible higher education systems ; 3) improvement of administrative structure to facilitate responsible decision-making ; 4) continuous improvement of education and research by establishing an evaluation system for institutions.
This report is very important for the prospect of universal higher education. In this paper we examine the contents of this report from a point of reference which focuses on the factor of determinants in growing higher education and discuss the problems of current higher education studies.
First, even though the determinants of individual demand for higher education are closely related to the three basic policy issues : internal efficiency, external efficiency, and equality, the relationship between individual demand and reform measures is not clearly presented in the council report and such studies are still limited in number. Secondly, as the current higher education system is confronted with three crises : quantity, quality and finance, the efficiency and equality of higher education should be discussed with consideration to the reform of the funding system in higher education, including both public and private universities. Unfortunately, this funding reform is not included in the four philosophies of the report, main concern of which, especially in the third and fourth philosophies, is placed on national universities. Finally, as the moving of Japanese higher education to universal higher education from mass higher education is expected to play an important role in the effort to lead the development of a knowledge-intensive society, our research society needs to contribute toward providing policy implications by means of higher education studies scrutinized through empirical analyses.
Japanese higher education is rather large in scale, but most of its students are young and recent graduates of high schools, and there are few working adult students. In this article, I consider ways to make Japanese higher education more flexible and able to adapt to a learning society.
First, I look at virtual universities in the United States, including California Virtual University, Western Governors University, the University of Phoenix, Regents College, and the National Technological University, to find the most flexible ways to expand accessibility for working adults. Although there are many types of virtual universities and several kinds of efforts there for flexibility and quality, the most essential requirement is well-organized course work, and a properly-administrated credit scheme is the key to achieving this.
I also examine the condition of Japanese higher education in the areas of performance of course work and administration of credit schemes, and find poor performance in these areas. Most classes are not interactive. The credit scheme is often administrated without regard to any standard. Therefore, I propose improved performance of course work and administration of credit schemes as the minimum requirements for increased flexibility and quality of Japanese higher education.
When the Japanese standardized test for university admission, called the Joint First-Stage Achievement Test, began twenty years ago, it was mainly intended for elite students because only applicants for national and local public universities were required to sit for the test and they were the cream of high school students. Today, this elite system has been replaced by a test that is intended for all college entrants, renamed the National Center Test , which includes the private sector. Ninety percent of all applicants for admission to fouryear institutions take this examination.
Nearly ninety percent of the entire cohort of 18-year-olds go through upper secondary education , so there is considerable difference in academic achievement among high school graduates. Recently, the Ministry of Education has been encouraging high schools to offer a variety of curricula and elective subjects for students to choose from. This more relaxed policy has been producing students who are more diverse in their cognitive levels. In 2002, when schools switch to a five-day week, students will accordingly have their curricula reduced by thirty percent under the newly revised Course of Study. Therefore, there is growing concern that their educational standard can hardly escape being affected.
Consequently, Japanese universities are faced with a serious problem, because they have some first-year students who lack the capability to understand what they should have learned at the secondary education level, or who have little aspiration to learning, as well as others who have not opted for basic subjects in preparation for their advanced or specialized studies. They have to assist these students with remedial education, whatever they specialize in. Owing to the decline of the college-age population, more universities have become unable to attract enough applicants to reject any, and have turned out to be nonselective.
In order to improve the situation, a common test is necessary, one intended both for applicants to elite universities and those to non-selective institutions of higher education. This would furnish universities with the details of variation in academic achievement among their examinees ; moreover, the information received through test results could also be used for introductory and specialized study programs and for making comparisons with the results after the students complete the four years of university study.
With the increase of“accountability”high schools should consider imposing examinations on students for awarding qualifications on the successful completion of secondary education. Planning and maintaining a qualification system in cooperation with the high schools would give prefectural boards of education a chance to reflect on their educational policies. The university entrance system needs renovation to promote the reform being carried out in both secondary and higher education.
The university has long been regarded as an institution for exclusively training the elite. For the several hundred years since the network of modern universities was completed during the 15 th century in the West, universities have, in fact, produced the social elite, and they have done so in an exclusive manner. After the end of the Second World War, however, sophisticated industrial restructuring and the “massification”of society have led to massification of higher education in almost all advanced nations. In a “massified”society, universities transform themselves into massive and massified systems, prompted by greater numbers of students, diversification, and division into increasingly smaller units, but in the process they lower educational standards and the students’intellectual quality.
In recent years, rapid advances in telecommunications and information technology have made institutions of higher learning almost universally accessible. The “universalization”of the university is progressing, along with corresponding changes in the organization and quality of higher education, just as the universities underwent transformation with their “massification”before the 1990s.
Training of the elite by the university has been particularly affected by the social phenomena of massification and universalization. Even massified and universalized universities continue to produce the social elite, for lack of bettersuited institutions. Elite candidates, however, are only a small fraction of the entire student population. Moreover, the boundary between ordinary students and “elite candidates”is now blurred. Special educational agendas for a handful of elite students have disappeared, at least from the undergraduate curriculum.
If society needs an elite population, where and how will such people be trained? One of the answers lies in “gifted and talented education.” This concept itself goes against the “equal and universal education”meted out according to the students’calendar age, but it is a first step towards achieving a flexible university education system. This concept is different from the conventional “elite”education in that it does not aim at producing a cluster of social elite, but encourages its eventual production by not stopping advanced education of the ablest. This kind of ability-based education has yet to develop methodology and must still overcome many social barriers. It is definitely not an easy course, but for many universities aggressive promotion of this type of education is the only practical course, given the current universalized education system and assuming universities do not want to revert to the elite education system of the past.
Since the growth of American higher education reached a plateau after its enormous expansion in the 1960 s and early 1970 s, it has been growing much less significantly in recent years. This paper takes issue with the development of so-called ‘universal higher education’in the United States since the late 1970 s, and focuses on how universally the opportunity of higher education is given to the people. In a tentative definition, ‘universal higher education’should fulfill two conditions ; namely, 1) it should be accessible to all the applicants, and 2) at the same time it should be taken advantage of by more than half of the population in the relevant age groups.
It is often argued that the United States has already attained the first condition through its efforts in various educational programs and reforms, even if they were not always very effective. This article, therefore, will focus on the second condition, discussing whether the US system accommodates more than half of the cohort population. The five indicators used in this analysis are 1) enrollment rates of youths ages 18-24, 2) enrollment rates of youths ages 16-24, 3) advancement rates of high school seniors to higher education, 4) advancementrates of high school seniors to postsecondary education, and 5) degree earning rates of students within 10 years after their scheduled high school graduation date.
It may be concluded that American higher education reached the universal stage in the early 1990 s, if we confine our argument to the intake of students into higher education institutions. If we discuss the matter, however, in terms of the outcome of education, e.g., the completion rates of students with degrees or certificates, which is less than fifty percent, a different conclusion may be drawn. There will be no great change in the enrollment of ‘traditional’students in the near future. It is expected that higher education in the United States will continue to expand gently without changing its diversified and hierarchical structure.
In the last fifteen years, higher education in Asia has dramatically increased, as shown in the case of South Korea. In this case, the enrollment rate was recorded at more than sixty percent, and its system moved from the so-called “mass”to the “universal” attendance stage. Even in socialist countries such as China and Vietnam, higher education expansion was very rapid. In the process of higher education expansion in Asia, the role of private sectors has been more prominent than in any other area in the world. Why is it the case that Asia is hospitable to the private sector of higher education?
Asian higher education systems are classified as follows from the standpoint of the role of private higher education : 1) the “private dominant”type, as shown in Japan, South Korea and the Philippines, in which more than seventy percent of students are enrolled in private sectors ; 2) the “private complementary” type, in which enrollments are distributed equally between public and private sectors, as in the case of Thailand and Indonesia ; 3) the “private peripheral” type, which is the stage of private sector enactment shown in Malaysia, China and Vietnam. The private sectors in these countries share less than ten percent of all students at present. These “private peripheral”countries are expected to shift to the second type, as occurred in the case of Thailand and Indonesia. In turn, the countries of the second type may shift to the first “private dominant”type.
Generally, the private sectors of Asian higher education are characterized as market- oriented and non-sectarian, with variations in size and fields of study. All these elements are functioning positively as a pulling power for the expansion of Asian higher education. However , their relevance and standards of quality should be reviewed in order to sustain the higher education system as a whole.
The Japanese national university research funding system consists of various forms of research funding, which make it difficult to comprehend the complete image of and changes to the system. This paper examines the changing patterns of research funding at national universities in postwar Japan.
Policies for academic research in institutes of higher education need to support the autonomous development of scientific logic, but they also have to improve the efficiency of resource allocation. Efficiency improvement in academic finance may well be said to have been achieved by specifying the purpose of research or by making resource allocation competitive. From this bi-dimensional perspective (i.e., based on research specificity or allocation competitiveness), we can assume four basic types of research funding : non-specific/non-competitive type, specific/non-competitive type, non-specific/competitive type and specific/ competitive type.
Based on this framework, we categorize research funding for national universities as follows : Flat-Rate Faculty-Provision, Grants-in-Aid, Budgets of Research Institutes, Grants and Endowments, Special Budgets for teaching and research, and Commissions Research. We also examine the changing patterns of research funding within the political and social context of postwar Japan.
From this analysis it is argued that, while there are two directions of change within the funding system, purpose-specific and competitive allocation, the relations vary substantially under the changing structure of higher education as a whole. It is also argued that from this perspective, academic research policies in Japan have come to a significant juncture in recent years.
The idea of the transfer of the administration of national universities to local governments was not adopted in the Japanese post-war period. One of the objections to this idea was the lack of administrative competence among local governments. Though this may have led to the problem of the administration of present public (prefectural and municipal) universities, there have been few studies on the subject. The examination of the administration or management of public universities has gained increasing importance in recent times, because more and more new public universities have been established recently.
Therefore, this paper examines the administration of Japanese public universities, focusing on the internal aspect of local governments after surveying the legal authority relationship between public universities and local governments. In each local government the division taking charge of universities is small ; there is no bureau or section of higher education. Especially in most municipal universities, administration at the institutional level connotes the functions of education divisions in local governments. That is, the administrative chief of a university must negotiate directly with the finance authorities and the head of the local government.
Based on such organizational features, I challenge this decision-making style. Though political decisions are essential, higher education, including university education, does not always arouse political interest. From the business angle, bureaucratic decisions make up for political ones. In the higher education policy of local governments, however, the active functions of bureaucracy are not necessarily noticeable. Therefore, in public universities, administrators at the institutional level must play an integrating role for the universities in the area concerned.
The purposes of this paper are as follows : 1) We analyze how school expenses have risen since 1968, and how parents and students have met them. 2) We examine whether the relative differences between the expenses of students who live at home and those who board ; and the expenses of students who go to national universities and those who go to private universities influence the choices of high school students who intend to go on to university. 3) We clarify how parents and students share school expenses and how school expenses are a burden on them. We used the “Gakusei Seikatsu Chosa” [Student Lifestyles Survey] data to analyze 1) and 2), and we interviewed 59 students (31 men and 28 women ; 30 of these were national university students and 29 private university students) to clarify 3).
The findings of this article are as follows : 1) School expenses have risen rapidly since 1976 and they have been a burden on most parents but not as much on students. The lifestyle of the average student has been getting more comfortable to a certain extent. 2) The relative differences between expenses for home and board, and for national and private universities influence the choices of high school students. 3) Apart from ordinary students, there are some students who share a large part of school expenses by working at a parttime job. These part time jobs, however, are a burden on their study time.
Three political implications are abtained from this study. The first is that all students should not be subsidized equally. The second is that student aid programs are much more necessary in order to forward the universalization of higher education, which involves a large element of disadvantaged students. The third is that the issue of what student aid programs should be like still has to be argued.
Dr. C. W. Eliot, former president of Harvard University, visited Japan in 1912 and made several statements about women’s higher education at the Nara Academy for the Higher Education of Girls (Nara Joshi Kotoshihan Gakko) , Japan Women’s University (Nihon Joshi Daigakko) , and the Friends of America Society (Beiyu Kyokai). Eliot’s remarks on women’s education, based upon the author’s research on these statements, were very much in favor of expanding higher education for women.
Several months after Dr. Eliot left Japan, a Japanese newspaper published an article in his name titled “A Criticism of the Japanese Institution of Education.” A closer scrutiny of the events shows that the content of a speech Eliot gave while in Japan was misrepresented to support the views held by Japanese conservatives.
The main initiator of this affair was Kentaro Kaneko, who was a Privy Councilor (Sumitsu komonkan) and a former student at Harvard University. His skillful manipulation of Dr. Eliot’s statement served to strengthen the public support for more conservative educational policies in Japan.
With Dr. Eliot’s “A Criticism of the Japanese Institution of Education” as a trigger, heated debates on women’s higher education developed, with arguments from Masataro Sawayanagi, Shigenobu Ookuma , Ayako Tanahashi , Eiichi Shibusawa, Kumaji Yoshida, and others.
At that time, the Privy Council had a great influence on the educational world because of an imperial ordinance, the chokurei shugi. Under the guise of Dr. Eliot’s vision, the conservative vision for women’s higher education was disseminated to the Privy Council and the House of Peers (Kizokuin) . Kaneko’s views on women’s education influenced the policy of the Taisho Era, and as a result of this, women were removed from Japan’s higher education expansion policies. This paper makes it clear that the debate on women’s education instigated by Dr. Eliot’s statement became the turning point of a new policy formation. The new policy promoted thoroughly the principle of “education for good wives and wise mothers”which was in an opposite direction to the democratic vision of the Taisho Era.
The aim of this paper is to examine the articulation between universities and high schools in the U.S. from the perspectives of remedial and general education, based on case studies of four universities in California. The following three procedures are employed : 1) an overview of how remedial education spread in the nation ; 2) an examination of the achievement of high school students ; 3) an analysis of the effect of remedial education on university education.
Approximately eighty percent of universities have remedial courses, and approximately twenty percent of first-year students in 1995 took remedial courses. Given the nature of the educational mission of high schools and the selection system of universities, there has long been an articulation gap between high schools and universities. Remedial education, however, has spread, along with the massification of higher education and the increase of ethnic minority entrants since the 1960 s.
Remedial education brings two main problems to university education. One of them is that it puts university finance under pressure in many ways. One university in the case study plans to abolish remedial education within the next ten years. Those students who fail to pass the final exams of remedial courses will be forced to transfer to other institutions. In another case, general education courses have been substituted for remedial courses. Students can now earn credits toward graduation with the former remedial courses.
The other problem is in the curricular aspect. The difference in level and content may not be distinct between remedial courses and required general education courses in writing or mathematics. In some cases, the fundamental skills courses of general education are similar to the remedial education courses.
The aim of remedial education has been to bridge the gap between universities and high schools and to maintain the quality of university education. In fact, remedial education may actually lower the quality of education. As a result, this analysis shows an ironic paradox.