Japanese Journal of Higher Education Research
Online ISSN : 2434-2343
Current issue
Displaying 1-9 of 9 articles from this issue
Special Issues
  • The Use of Information and Communication Technologies in Japanese Higher Education
    Toru IIYOSHI
    Article type: article
    2021 Volume 24 Pages 11-31
    Published: August 10, 2021
    Released on J-STAGE: August 10, 2022
    JOURNAL FREE ACCESS

      Over the last twenty years, Japanese higher education institutions have been struggling to achieve progress in the use of information and communication technologies (ICT), primarily because they have not envisaged the need for it. Based on an overview of the use of ICT in Japanese higher education and the practical experiences of the COVID-19 period, this monograph examines the possibilities of utilizing ICT to respond to urgent issues in Japan, such as the declining domestic population, internationalization, recurrent education, and institutional collaboration, unification, and mergers. With a focus on higher education in 2050, necessary directions, actionable agendas, and national, regional, and institutional level strategies are suggested to support diverse students by increasing self-directed personalized learning as well as effectively using ICT to build flexible and expandable educational programs and systems.

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  • In Relation to Assuring Outcomes of Undergraduate Study
    Takeshi KUSHIMOTO
    Article type: article
    2021 Volume 24 Pages 33-48
    Published: August 10, 2021
    Released on J-STAGE: August 10, 2022
    JOURNAL FREE ACCESS

      Since the Japanese university credit system was adopted in the 1940s as a part of the post-World War Ⅱ reforms, it has been criticized because of contradictions between the definition and actual practice. For example, although the Standards for Establishment of Universities stipulate that one credit shall normally be awarded for 45 hours of study, many surveys have revealed that students are gaining credits for significantly fewer study hours. Therefore, based on previous research, this article examined the Japanese university credit system and its ability to assure outcomes of undergraduate study.

      The issues of the Japanese university credit system were examined at three levels. The first level was individual courses. At this level, whether a credit awarded to a student achieving learning outcomes corresponds to 45 hours of study was the point of discussion. More specifically, the appropriateness of out-of-class workloads and the way to set expected learning outcomes were examined. The second level was the curricula of universities. At this level, whether a bachelor degree awarded to a student achieving learning outcomes corresponds to 5,580 hours (= 124 credits) of study was questioned. As related topics, the allocation of credits to courses and the upper limit of credits that students can take per semester were discussed. The third level was the national system. At this level, whether the national rules enable universities to operate their credit system properly was considered, in relation to assuring outcomes of undergraduate study. For instance, the definitions for credit and credit awarding in the Standards for Establishment of Universities have been criticized because of their ambiguity and irrationality.

      In the conclusion section, after giving some consideration to the impact of the expansion of online lessons, the importance of course / curriculum design based on study time is argued. If there is discrepancy between hours of study foreseen and the result of student surveys, it is necessary to review not only the instructional course designs but also the design of the curriculum for the courses. Assuring outcomes of undergraduate study will only be possible when such reviews are conducted regularly at universities.

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  • Koji HAMAJIMA
    Article type: article
    2021 Volume 24 Pages 49-68
    Published: August 10, 2021
    Released on J-STAGE: August 10, 2022
    JOURNAL FREE ACCESS

      This study examined university student culture based mainly on four large-scale university/ college student surveys conducted between 1997 and 2013. The “University Student Culture Research Study Group (Daigakusei Bunka Kenkyu-kai),” of which the author is a member, sought to examine more than the achievement of learning outcomes by focusing on student socialization growth, such as class attendance and on-campus time (becoming obedient), peer groups, club/circle activities, part-time jobs, and reading customs. It was found that as the university reform policy prioritized educational effects in the university/colleges, some had lost sight of the wholeness of campus life and university student culture.

      Therefore, in addition to quantitative statistical data, qualitative data, such as participant observation (autoethnography), could be useful in understanding university student culture. It is suggested that each university/college investigate the consciousness and behavior of their respective students in detail using either or both quantitative or qualitative methods to provide solutions to the difficulties students face on campus.

      Further, because university/college student cultural research plays a role in protecting students from the COVID-19 effects, each university/college needs to provide their specific responses to coping with the current COVID-19 crisis. In general, it is necessary to conduct a further survey to assess the campus life support needed post-COVID-19 after 2021 to ensure competent responsive organizations.

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  • Yukie HORI
    Article type: article
    2021 Volume 24 Pages 69-88
    Published: August 10, 2021
    Released on J-STAGE: August 10, 2022
    JOURNAL FREE ACCESS

      This study examined the impact of COVID-19 on new university graduate recruitment and employment. The current university graduate situation employment under COVID-19 is primarily because of a reduction in available employment. Therefore, if the number of unemployed people continues to increase, it is expected that the debates about the value of university education will reignite. While there has been some focus on the adoption of “job-based employment,” technical qualifications are being given preferential treatment, but the conventional clerical / technical framework remains vague. If new university graduates are treated as elites, even if it appears hopeful, it may be difficult to popularize and establish “job based employment” as it is not considered “membership based employment,” which has unlimited jobs and workplaces. It was found that the desire to attend university may increase, which could affect the university expectations.

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  • Hiroaki URATA
    Article type: article
    2021 Volume 24 Pages 89-110
    Published: August 10, 2021
    Released on J-STAGE: August 10, 2022
    JOURNAL FREE ACCESS

      With restricted campus access and the introduction of online classes as a countermeasure against COVID-19, the tuition fees and other student fees are being reconsidered in Japan. This paper examined university financial data to examine whether current tuition fees reasonably represented the education costs. It was found that although university tuition fees are currently at a level that corresponds to the education costs, they are a heavy burden on households and students. Because of the strict academic admission standards, households have to pay in advance, especially at admission; therefore, because of this burden, a review of the composition of the costs associated with university tuition and other student expenses is required.

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  • Considering International Educational Exchange in the Post-COVID Era
    Hiroshi OTA
    Article type: article
    2021 Volume 24 Pages 111-130
    Published: August 10, 2021
    Released on J-STAGE: August 10, 2022
    JOURNAL FREE ACCESS

      The internationalization of universities and international education have progressed by quantitatively expanding the international mobility of students. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic which began in early 2020, the physical movement of students across borders has been suspended.

      This article reviews the status of and issues for international education before the COVID-19 pandemic. It then explores methods and practices of international educational exchange using ICT which are spreading rapidly during the COVID-19 crisis. It goes on to discuss the possibilities and directions for international education in the post-COVID era. Considering not only infectious disease countermeasures but also the environmental impact of international travel, a new modality of international educational exchange that does not rely on international physical mobility is required to respond to the new normal. The ability to find innovative approaches to the internationalization of universities in the post-COVID era will have a significant impact on the reputation and attractiveness of higher education in each country.

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  • Shinichi YAMAMOTO
    Article type: article
    2021 Volume 24 Pages 131-151
    Published: August 10, 2021
    Released on J-STAGE: August 10, 2022
    JOURNAL FREE ACCESS

      This study analyzed the history of universities and university organizations in Japan up to the present day, with the aim of examining the improvements and reforms that are necessary to ensure that universities continue to be self-autonomous institutions in the future. After World War II, universities were self-autonomous and were regarded as authorities. As the universities’ foci were on the university entrance examinations and finding employment for the students after graduation, university management was not prioritized and because of favorable political, economic and social conditions, they were not keen on reforms. Since the 1990s, the changes in economic conditions in Japan has meant that the government has promulgated many university reform policies, most of which have had a significant impact on university management, such as the introduction of national accreditation assessments, the incorporation of national and public universities, and faculty meeting and president selection governance reforms, which have changed decision making structures. At the same time, the relationship between the government and universities has changed, with the power of the Cabinet Office strengthening and the power of the Ministry of Education weakening. Faculty members and staff responsible for university management also have quality and quantity problems. To protect self-autonomy, instead of being unilaterally influenced by politics, it is necessary for universities to actively work on the politics and policy process to solve problems.

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Article
  • Kyoko KUBO
    Article type: article
    Subject area: article
    2021 Volume 24 Pages 155-174
    Published: August 10, 2021
    Released on J-STAGE: August 10, 2022
    JOURNAL FREE ACCESS

      This paper sought to clarify the gender differences in the factors that contributed to extended graduate student working hours and their satisfaction with teaching/research outcomes. Data were extracted and analyzed from the Nature PhD Career Survey 2019 on doctoral students around the world from all scientific fields, from which the following were found. The long working hour culture tended to increase the research time of both genders, but younger males tended to work longer and younger women and women with children under 12 tended to work less. The long working hour culture was found to have a negative effect on the female satisfaction with their education and research outcomes but a positive effect on male satisfaction with their research outcomes. These findings suggested that the long working hour culture in scientific fields is detrimental to female graduate students.

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  • Mikiya HAYAMI
    Article type: Article
    2021 Volume 24 Pages 175-195
    Published: August 10, 2021
    Released on J-STAGE: August 10, 2022
    JOURNAL FREE ACCESS

      This study determined the rate of return from becoming a qualified pharmacist based on: (1) comparisons of gender and medical professions; (2) comparisons of the females’ life course; and (3) the national examination pass rate and standard-year graduation rate. The analysis found that the starting salaries for pharmacists had risen very little in the past 16 years, the rate of return for pharmacists was particularly low for both genders and was no higher than for other health care professions, and there was a relative life course advantage. The analysis of the national examination pass rate and the standard year graduation rate found that the rate of return decreased by about 1 percentage point for each additional year of schooling for those who entered private universities. It was concluded that the decline in the rate of return was more pronounced in universities that had lower degrees of difficulty, and that the extension and quantitative expansion of the study duration from the educational reforms were the factors behind this decline.

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