The ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s panel on education reform has presented its proposal to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that universities take TOEFL scores into consideration during both enrollment and graduation. The move is being described as a "radical overhaul" of Japan's English education system.
The required English level is set to vary by institution. For example, the panel recommends that for universities designated as research facilities of an international standard, a score higher than 70% would be required to graduate, TBS reported Tuesday. There are at present around 30 such institutions in Japan.
The LDP says the move is part of a plan to increase the number of Japanese graduates who can work in multicultural environments.
Other changes to the current system include the introduction of science and math components to university entrance exams, even if applicants plan to major in the humanities.
The panel also recommended a 10 trillion yen investment to help Japan's universities compete at global level. The panel specifically pointed out deficiencies in the way English, information and communication technology (ICT), science and math are taught. The panel recommended that tablet computers be available to all primary school and junior high school schools.
Abe plans to make education reform part of the LDP platform during the run-up to the upper house election in July.© Japan Today