International Education Journal


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Higher Education Reform in Japan: Amano Ikuo on 'The University in Crisis'

Gregory S. Poole
Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford



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Japanese education has been a focus of comparative studies for the past 20 years. Many scholars have attributed the economic success of this industrialized society to a highly literate and well-educated population. Recent studies, however, have tended to be more critical of, in particular, Japanese higher education. Indeed, most universities in Japan are acutely aware of the need for change and a considerable effort at institutional change is sweeping the nation. Unfortunately most of the constructive criticism of Japanese higher education has not yet been published in English. One of the most vocal of the reformists, Professor Ikuo Amano, has published widely on various aspects of higher education in Japan. In the following paper I have translated a chapter from his book Challenges to Japanese Universities. This translation is prefaced by both an introduction to Amano and his work, as well as an explication of the socio-cultural context of higher education in Japan today.

Education, Japan, reform, translation, ethnography


Poole, G.S. (2003) Higher Education Reform in Japan: Amano Ikuo on 'The University in Crisis'. International Education Journal, 4 (3), 149-176.

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