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Are national universities getting rid of their humanities departments?

42 Comments
By Preston Phro, RocketNews24

Earlier this year, news of a letter sent to presidents of national universities— purportedly telling them to get rid of or modify their humanities departments to better “benefit” Japanese society — spread across the Internet. Since then, it has even been picked up by some high-profile English sites, with considerable (and understandable) consternation. And you can believe there were academics in Japan who were incensed at the idea as well.

But is it actually going to happen? It turns out the short answer is a weak “probably not.” The long answer, though, is a bit more complicated.

Plenty of digital ink has been spilled on this topic—and it’s one that deserves to be discussed, so we’re not complaining. Everyone from the Japan Times to Times Higher Education to Cracked has written about it, but in case you’re not familiar with the situation, here’s a brief rundown of what happened.

In June, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology (MEXT) in Japan, sent out a letter ostensibly from Hakuban Shimomura, the head of the organisation, saying that public universities need to do a better job of meeting the country’s needs. The letter also said that universities should modify or even completely abolish their social science and humanities departments as a means of achieving this.

If you find that a terribly strange thing for the head of the education ministry to tell universities to do, you’re not alone. Nevertheless, the Yomiuri Shinbun reported of the 60 schools with humanities and social sciences departments who responded to a survey, 26 confirmed that they had plans to “reform or abolish” their humanities departments in line with MEXT’s wishes in 2016 or later. The Yomiuri article continues by explaining that recruitment of over 1,300 people for teacher training departments would be cancelled, among other reforms.

But things are looking a little different now at the end of September. A number of articles have been released indicating that the ministry seems to be attempting to walk back the original letter, though not particularly well.

For example, Japan’s Mainichi Shinbun recently publish an article whose lengthy title explains quite a bit: “Notification of Humanities Departments Abolishment: It was a mistake; it was really only meant for the education departments, says MEXT in a panic trying to soften the message, but not apologizing.“

According to the Mainichi article, MEXT is attempting to “put out fires” caused by the letter, which has drawn sharp criticism both domestically and internationally. The article quotes Takashi Onishi, the president of the Science Council of Japan, as saying, “I was really worried about the abolishment of humanities and social sciences departments, but after hearing [their] explanation, I see that’s not the case. I’m quite relieved.” This is a big change from a comment he made in July, when he said, “The contempt shown for humanities and social sciences departments will damage the entire education system.”

Onishi’s reversal comes after a top MEXT official, Yutaka Tokiwa, held a meeting during which he spent 30 minutes explaining “the real meaning” of the letter. He was quoted as saying that universities must foster the strength to survive in a difficult future and that the letter was asking if the current structure was fine the way it is. He also explained that as the country’s birthrate is declining, parts of the curriculum for training future teachers that is not directly necessary for graduation should be abolished, if they’re unnecessary.

Onishi actually agreed that some reform was important, but he also said that, “I’ve reread the letter any number of times, and I can’t see where they’re actually saying that.”

Nevertheless, MEXT seems adamant that they’re not trying to get rid of humanities and social sciences departments, only cutting back on teacher training and encouraging reform in the other departments. However, the ministry is also in the process of advancing the goal of rethinking the education system—a goal which has been in place since 2012, according to the Mainichi Shinbun.

As for the letter and the kerfuffle it has caused, the blame has fallen on the public servant who wrote it (though it was not Shimomura as near as we can tell), for a certain “lack in writing ability.” Still, MEXT insists they will not be issuing a redaction, and Onishi even conceded that “abolishment” could be interpreted to mean “abolish and reform,” an idea to which we would like to award a gold medal for mental gymnastics.

So, what does all this mean? Well, it seems that Japan’s national universities probably won’t be closing all their humanities and social sciences departments—at least not just yet. It’s entirely possible that the letter meant exactly what everyone thought it meant and that MEXT is just reacting to the anger of Japan’s universities. Put simply, we’re not sure many people believe (or necessarily should believe) the current explanation. The History News Network has a very detailed look at the budgetary and policy issues facing Japan today, if you’re looking for a more in-depth analysis.

However, it’s also unclear what will happen with the 26 universities that told the Yomiuri they would be following the letter earlier this summer. We can hope that they somehow understood the implication that they should be reforming and not closing the departments.

It might also be worth noting that this is hardly Shimomura’s only scandal at the moment. MEXT is, of course, also the ministry in charge of sports in Japan, and the minister is also involved in the debacle with the Olympic stadium; a debacle that saw him offering to resign just last Friday and proposing to return half of his pay for the last six months as a penance.

Hopefully Japan will still have humanities departments around to see the Olympic Games in a nice stadium in 2020. Or at least that there will actually be someone prepared to take the blame.

Sources: Mainichi Shinbun, 47 News, Yomiuri Shinbun, Times Higher Education

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42 Comments
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MEXT is trying to eliminate the humanity from the people, just making them machines spitting out manipulated facts to suit the image of Japan they want to manufacture.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

In June, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology (MEXT) in Japan, sent out a letter ostensibly from Hakuban Shimomura, the head of the organisation,

Head of the organization? Makes it sound like it's some outside association. This SHOULD read the Minister in charge of MEXT. It is a government ministry.

only cutting back on teacher training

Cutting back? In this day and age they need more and more importantly BETTER teaching training. Cutting back is going to put even more poorly trained "teachers" into situations that they can not handle, as they have not had proper or ANY training. This is a HUGE mistake!

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Maybe someone involved in tertiary education can answer this: in general are the humanities degree programmes ones where all students have to do is show up and jump some low hurdles to get a degree?

If they are cutting back on teacher education, I find that baffling. I think that's where greater emphasis should be placed. And if they want the next generation of Pepper to teach for them, they better improve their IT instruction at all level to create the robots.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Whatever they say, the humanities and social sciences are already pretty much neglected. Japan makes very little contribution, except, tellingly, to the social sciences of Japan and the Japanese; the cross-cultural stuff where Japan is always found to be uniquely different. Now tell me there is no ideological component to that.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The cuts in education in general are extremely drastic to say the least. If you can get out of education in Japan and find other work it might be better. This goes far beyond humanities. Its a fundamental belief that education is not important anymore. Its very troubling to see this trend and what it means for Japan.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

If there are too many universities, close some down. Failing that merge them. The back office can be merged leaving the teaching untouched.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Oh, and the reason it is not taught with any enthusiasm is that social science and the humanities give people tools to analyze and understand their own society and power structure critically. This is ultimately a no-no when people should only have to say, "it is our culture" and thereby everything is justified and thinking can stop.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Its a fundamental belief that education is not important anymore. Its very troubling to see this trend and what it means for Japan.

@Aly Rustom -- I wouldn't say the government feels education is not important. For me the confusions shows the government is frustrated at the current ineffective education, as it should, but cutting programs is not the answer. The problem is that teaching in universities here continues to follow the 1960s style of transferring information from the instructor to the student and that does not fit with the type of education needed in the world today. Some encouragement from the government and industry to encourage more collaborative thinking skills is what is needed. There is some movement going on in this direction with universities in Japan to improve this type of instruction which is encouraging. At least this fluffle will help spur some discussion!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Maybe someone involved in tertiary education can answer this: in general are the humanities degree programmes ones where all students have to do is show up and jump some low hurdles to get a degree?

This problem is endemic amongst almost all the faculties. The problem, you see, is that there are consequences for failing students: firstly, if you are a hard marker, they will not register for your classes in the future (no classes = no job), secondly, you'll get poor feedback on the termly questionnaire; then there is the hassle you get from the zemi tutors to massage the students' scores.

A direct consequence of encouraging every Tom, Dick and Harry to go through university is that we have to deal with the dregs as well as the cream.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

in general are the humanities degree programmes ones where all students have to do is show up and jump some low hurdles to get a degree?

You don't have to jump any hurdles, you can step over them without having to lift up your knees. A degree in social sciences or humanities is only al little more valuable than toilet paper even in the countries which teach these courses seriously.

On the other hand, Japanese companies don't care at all what kind of degree a graduate has. In 99% of cases, a graduate will start working in a field completely unrelated to their field of study. A friend of mine received a degree in horticulture, and was hired by a company to be a software engineer. Another graduated with a degree in English literature (but could not speak English) and became a bond salesperson at a large bank.

The bar for graduating from Japanese universities is remarkably low. Many students attend classes only when they feel like it, but then again, even if they pay attention in class, there isn't much to learn. And of course why should there be when you are not going to be able to get a job working in the same field as your studies?

What is most remarkable, given the circumstances, is why do people bother to go to university in the first place? and why do companies require a degree? Since the field of study is irrelevant in the first place (and students learn little anyway), there seems very little point.

The dropping of social studies and humanities is not a big deal, the Japanese university system has much bigger problems to deal with. By not turning out educated and able graduates, companies become filled with uneducated and unable workers. Is it any wonder that Japan has been declining for the past 25 years?

1 ( +9 / -9 )

For once, I can believe the head of this ministry when he says this is a bit of a misunderstanding. Every country on Earth currently faces an education system that is woefully out of date - even the concept of 6 years primary + 6 years high school + 3-5 years of uni doesn't really make much sense in today's world and is more suitable for 200 years ago.

I'm sure what he meant was that more focus should be put into Engineering and the Sciences and the Humanities reformed to make them more adaptable to today's ultra-competitive world, and I don't see anything wrong with this reasoning. Japan, and the world, desperately needs more Engineers and Scientists. The Humanities are essential but not as in demand.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Not if I can help it. As a somebody with a postgraduate degree from the big end of town of Japanese academia, I share the disgust of my alma mater in this cynical move to dumb down the nation. Indeed, I believe this has a lot to do with the desire of the current government (not a national top-class university graduate among them) to squelch debate on important issues. Let's face it, with the recent debate on security issues, it was interesting to see that the pet academics that the LDP tried to use were from some two-bit private institution. Even then, however, they couldn't be trained to be sing to tune.

It is also important to note that Japan's best universities at the top of the pyramid are actively resisting this cynical move. If push comes to shove, perhaps they could work out a combined approach of stripping those bureaucrats who go along with this fiasco of their degrees. Don't take this sitting down, kick them in the teeth.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

What is most remarkable, given the circumstances, is why do people bother to go to university in the first place? and why do companies require a degree? Since the field of study is irrelevant in the first place (and students learn little anyway), there seems very little point.

So, in fact, what you are saying is that higher education is being undermined by Japanese companies. Do you not think there is a correlation between graduation requirements and recruiting requirements generally being low? If the hiring process for a given job were dependent on the kind of and quality of degree a student holds, there would be an incentive for students and universities to pull their socks up.

The function of higher education is to stratify Japanse society - getting into a good school is all that matters; the end result is inconsequential. Rich and connected kids getting into Todai and Waseda have it made even if the only thing they can write is their name. Can you imagine if the focus were switched towards a good, rigorous academic degree? Japan's Ivy league universities would be squealing like pigs.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japan, and the world, desperately needs more Engineers and Scientists. The Humanities are essential but not as in demand.

I would argue the exact opposite. The world is filled with engineers. Software engineers, mechanical engineers, chemical engineers, etc are practically falling out of our ears.

The problem is, you have a bunch of people who are narrowly bound by the natures of their very limited but incredibly deep range of their education.

We are now in a society where technology far outstrips the abilities of people to use it. Some could argue that era started 70 years ago when we figured out how to kill our entire species via the atom bomb if we were so stupid.

What the world needs is more people in the humanities, not only to help guide the engineers in terms of what the gestalt situation is (instead of the engineers being like the 4 blind men and the elephant), but also to help people come to grips with the power that technology has handed them.

If not, I'm afraid that far too often, we're going to be faced with a future where problems arise because, we "overgeeked and underthought."

0 ( +4 / -4 )

realistically speaking, do all colleges need a humanities department? if a handful were abolished, there would still be numerous schools that offered the classes. and most importantly, this article is only about national universities. there are still hundreds of private institutions out there.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

get rid of or modify their humanities departments to better “benefit” Japanese society

This pretty well sums up the whole education system in Japan. They do not want open minded thinkers with research and reasoning skills. They only want a generation of brain-dead 'yes men' that never ask why? I've been teaching humanities in Japan for over a decade in private high schools, universities and colleges and it's always been a huge challenge to get the students (and other Japaneae teachers) to understand the importance of learning reasoning skills and using knowledge and experience to form conclusions and not emotion. They have great difficulty in deciding the difference between knowledge judgements and emotional judgements. Doing presentations, research papers and creating an informed debate is damn near impossible. This is because they see no need for it. They only need to remember a few facts to pass the test and that is enough for them. They are not stupid. They are just brain-lazy! This move to remove humanities only proves why they need to increase this kind of study. It's narrow mindedness that creates this kind stupid conclusion!

5 ( +9 / -4 )

@ A.N. Other

There is actually evidence that local big business have actually worked against the interests of university education in this country. Case in point, look at what the University of Tokyo tried to do five years ago with regard to realigning the academic year to allow for an autumn intake. I personally know that a lot of work went into that project and a lot of discussions were held behind the scenes. That being said, however, despite UT being the instigator (and there being a lot of interest among other institutions for reasons of funding, teaching, student welfare, etc.), Keidanren and their lackeys at METI made sure that the proposal was shot down. I also have it on good authority that threats to funding were made with respect to industry-academic research projects.

Furthermore, regarding your comment about being "connected and getting into Todai or Waseda," I don't think that happens in the case of the former (if it ever did). The later definitely. You always have to be careful of a university that has high schools attached to it, which give graduates of the high schools a free pass to higher education. While not mentioning any names, there are certain private universities whose networks go down to the level of affiliated kindergartens. As such, children could theoretically be given preferential treatment to an elite education from kindergarten to graduate school. On the other hand, clawing your way through public education in Japan is much harder.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

So the whole thing was caused by the public servant who wrote the letter, and "lacked writing ability". Yeah, so we don't need humanities?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

If anything, the fact that so many politicians are having trouble being understood and are having so many "misunderstandings" is proof that Japan needs more humanities education, not less. There seems to be a severe dearth in political circles of people who are able to get their point across unambiguously without offending half their audience.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Readers interested in learning more about this issue should refer to: http://www.japanfocus.org/-Jeff-Kingston/4381/article.html

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It would be a grave disaster if the humanities are removed from Universities...

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@anotherexpat

Thanks for the good link. I can see how the government would be obsessed with international rankings but they sure have a long way to go. Even some of the top universities are virtually unknown to the average person outside of Japan.

When I first came to Japan and heard people talking about a place called 'Scuba Daigaku', I thought it was some kind of nationwide training center for scuba diving, not Tsukuba University.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

To "benefit" the Japanese society, hun? i want to know what they meant by that, and what's their take on education.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@David Varnes:

The world is filled with engineers. Software engineers, mechanical engineers, chemical engineers, etc are practically falling out of our ears.

Surely you jape? There is not a single country or region on Earth that is not in a disastrous deficit of Technical and Engineering professionals. If what you say is true, then wages would be depressed right, due to over-supply? Why is it then that these technical professions command salaries that routinely start at 2-3x that of the average after graduation?

What the world needs is more people in the humanities, not only to help guide the engineers in terms of what the gestalt situation is (instead of the engineers being like the 4 blind men and the elephant), but also to help people come to grips with the power that technology has handed them.

I'm not entirely sure I follow here. Could you give any examples of what you would consider proper guidance that someone in the "humanities" could possibly give to the sciences professionals? You couldn't possibly be referring to politics and lawmakers could you??

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Over-geeked and under-thought. Brain-lazy. Knowledge judgements vs emotional judgements. Uneducated and unable workers.

What a great thread! We see the dichotomy of those who, although supposedly following a strictly rational, mathematical discipline, are too often swayed by emotion rather than evidence.

The strongest emotion - universally - is fear of being unloved, which here manifests as rejection by the peer group in all its forms: classmates, circle, function, company, customers, industry body, society.

The attendant aversion to creative conflict haunts top management (in this case Mr. Shimomura) equally as much as other ranks. Preference and priority are given to precedent and harmony. At best, discordant views are tolerated to present a veneer of equilibrium in an intellectually sound body.

The Who, What, Where, When and How of any datapoint can be learned by rote and parroted as unerring fact, be it national or organisational artefacts, or the narrative a party, ally or brand wants us to follow.

The Why, and particularly the robustly considered and challenged Why, is where the rubber hits the road to understanding and self-fulfilment.

Shimomura's is a classical example of Tatemae - the tyranny of the unchallenged - that drains the energy and value out of an otherwise inventive, potentially hyper-disruptive nation.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Already Iam amazed by the ease with which local politicians from these isolated islands disgrace themselves ( latest case the statement about refugies at the UN general meeting).

JP universities lossed top rankings to Singapore if you look at latest surveys. So what will happen if you narrow the field of studies for just 20 year olds even further?

The very meaning of the word : Middle English: from Old French universite, from Latin universitas ‘the whole’, in late Latin ‘society, guild’, from universus (see universe) suggests teaching something more than economics.

Somehow the wish of being on top of the others can only lead to desaster.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

We could cut all the humanities departments, give every kid a copy of Shakespeare upon graduation from junior high, and come out way ahead.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Only 17.4% of all Japanese university students are in national universities subject to this directive. Of these students 22.1% are in social sciences (including law and economics) and 14.9% in education. Even if these programs were entirely eliminated from Japanese national universities, there would be little impact on the production of graduates because most already come from the private sector.

Some Japanese national universities have no such programs to eliminate because they are engineering or medical schools.

The reduction in "education" programs was targeted at programs that did not lead to a teaching credential. Even graduates from programs that qualify you for a credential cannot get jobs. There is no need for bogus "education" programs; these have been used to mop up surplus faculty. Education programs should be scaled back because as the number of children shrinks, the demand for teachers is shrinking.

I would like to see it demonstrated that arts, humanities, and social science programs are better at teaching people to think than are science, engineering, and medical programs. Personally, I would take someone trained in physics over someone trained in philosophy any day.

For the record, I have a foot in both camps. I am an historian but I started in electrical engineering. Anyone who believes that the humanities and social sciences train you to think should reflect on the fact that the Japanese political, corporate, and bureaucratic elite is predominantly graduates of humanities and social science programs.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Anyone who believes that the humanities and social sciences train you to think should reflect on the fact that the Japanese political, corporate, and bureaucratic elite is predominantly graduates of humanities and social science programs.

What does this prove? Except that they might be taught badly or with the eye-opening and critical aspect of these subjects reduced to fact-learning and thereby diminished.

I would like to see it demonstrated that arts, humanities, and social science programs are better at teaching people to think than are science, engineering, and medical programs.

You might be expecting something intellectually unachievable to have it demonstrated since you might have to define "think" but there is a very good reason why social sciences and humanities at least allow us to think more critically about human affairs than science, engineering and medical training. It is because they concentrate on human affairs. Your physicist might have scientific rigour on his side through training but a well-trained and thoughtful philosopher would easily show him the limitations of his scientific outlook.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

So Abe puts pressure on MEXT to cut back on Humanities education, while he increases funds for the military and promises additional increases in taxes for us.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If not, I'm afraid that far too often, we're going to be faced with a future where problems arise because, we "overgeeked and underthought."

I haven't seen much evidence at all lately where universities produce people who can think. Sometimes quite the opposite, as they all seem to think alike.

The larger question that needs to be asked is whether universities (as places of learning) have any relevance anymore, and whether they are needed at all. If they are needed, then for what?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@MoonrakerOCT. 02, 2015 - 04:42PM JST

You might be expecting something intellectually unachievable to have it demonstrated since you might have to define "think" but there is a very good reason why social sciences and humanities at least allow us to think more critically about human affairs than science, engineering and medical training. It is because they concentrate on human affairs. Your physicist might have scientific rigour on his side through training but a well-trained and thoughtful philosopher would easily show him the limitations of his scientific outlook.

Concentrating on human affairs is not the same as "thinking" you know.

IMHO, the biggest enemy of modern universities teaching people to think is due to its lack of eliteness. You can try anything, but the number of people that can really think are limited. The rest of us are limited to using an existing frame. Thus, the cirriculum is changed to establish that frame rather than emphasize independent thinking, so at least most people get something out of university. There will always be those that rise above the program, but that's not the majority.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I am not really sure if I understand your comment, Kazuaki, but perhaps you don't understand mine either. The argument is whether scientists make better thinkers than social scientists. I don't see any reason why that might be so. Philosophers have asked the hard questions, defined science and set its parameters. But where the subject matter is human affairs it seems clear that the social sciences have an enormous edge because that is exactly what they study. I am not saying that thinking and concentration on human affairs are merely the same. You seem also to be arguing that we should educate in university to the lowest common denominator. I do not agree. My experience tells me that there are many students, in public universities, who are being denied better understanding of the way they live because they have no knowledge of the analytical tools provided by psychology, sociology, philosophy, political science, anthropology, economic history, etc. Yet, when they acquire them they see clearly through the ideology and feel much freer. Is it right to limit education for the sake of an elite or their aims? This is at least a question which those who study the humanities and social sciences should be able address. Without them they become part of someone else's agenda.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

sangetsu03OCT. 02, 2015 - 09:49AM JST in general are the humanities degree programmes ones where all students have to do is show up and jump some low hurdles to get a degree? You don't have to jump any hurdles, you can step over them without having to lift up your knees. A degree in social sciences or humanities is only al little more valuable than toilet paper even in the countries which teach these courses seriously.

Utter nonsense. A good humanities degree helps you think and analyse issues. A graduate's abilities to understand complex issues is enhanced. I interview graduates often and can see a huge difference in the analytical abilities of graduates versus their non-graduate peers.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

This pretty well sums up the whole education system in Japan. They do not want open minded thinkers with research and reasoning skills. They only want a generation of brain-dead 'yes men' that never ask why? I've been teaching humanities in Japan for over a decade in private high schools, universities and colleges and it's always been a huge challenge to get the students (and other Japaneae teachers) to understand the importance of learning reasoning skills and using knowledge and experience to form conclusions and not emotion. They have great difficulty in deciding the difference between knowledge judgements and emotional judgements. Doing presentations, research papers and creating an informed debate is damn near impossible. This is because they see no need for it. They only need to remember a few facts to pass the test and that is enough for them. They are not stupid. They are just brain-lazy! This move to remove humanities only proves why they need to increase this kind of study. It's narrow mindedness that creates this kind stupid conclusion!

Absolutely

3 ( +5 / -2 )

By studying humanities you can learn to think creatively, critically and learn to reason and ask questions. It helps you to gain insights into everything from poetry, painting to business models and politics. Through the work of humanities you learn values of different cultures and how history is made. Great accomplishments of the past are preserved and it helps you understand the world you live in. In the end it was the Greeks who first used humanities to educate their citizens and since that time it has been the heart of a liberal arts education. So stop the war against humanities.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

it was the Greeks who first used humanities to educate their citizens

And, most interestingly, they did it without universities as we know them. It would be wonderful if people would pick up a book or two, or even use the internet to explore humanities. As it is, they now spend 4 years at an overpriced university getting their heads filled with propaganda supported by a highly selective and politically-vetted reading list. And then they claim to be able to think.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

A govt that dictate what must be learn to universities, nothing to worry about, right ? Looks like they are preparing their little soldiers and soldiers do not need humanities sciences....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japanese universities already pool at the bottom, this would kill them: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/world-university-rankings/2016/world-ranking#!/page/0/length/-1

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As a graduate of one of the universities on the 1st page of that list, it's interesting that my comments are downvoted. Liberal arts universities are 90% scam, and a waste of money for the vast majority of students. But too many people have too much invested in the scam to accept that.

There are simply too many universities producing too many low-level graduates. MEXT is unintentionally forward thinking in this case.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

There are plenty of people who have stated over and over, usually with plenty of complaints, that Japan should be more like x country. And x could be any country, really, but most often it is the US. And it is usually a complaint aired by someone who has come to Japan to teach courses in humanities.

Well, here you are. Japan is rushing to keep up with US universities, which have been cutting humanities left and right at least since the 90s.

I can appreciate the irony.

If Japan does not use the proceeds to build football stadiums, they will come out way ahead.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

We live in the Internet Age, Public paid Schools are no longer the best source of Information

You can learn anything online, and the Teachers online have to be competitive with each other or else their "students" can go elsewhere, they aren't locked into any kind of Contract or have any Legal obligation to bad teachers

Competition is always the way forward, The West has forgotten that, they actually banned saying "Best person for the Job" and Stated that "Meritocracy is a Myth" in a Recent USA University Newsletter

Japan sees the mistakes made by the West the last 15 Years and will work to ensure they don't have the same Issues, The East no longer thinks it can learn from the West

And they are Right

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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