Canada USA
English
  • English
  • Français
  • 日本語
  • 中文
  • 한국어
  • Русский

Japanese Education System

2018-11-15 11:16:20

n Introduction

The Japanese education system set up right after World War II has remained more or less the same ever since (6+3+3+2/4). Subsequently, the Law on the Establishment of National Schools was implemented in 1949 as a new framework for national universities. The system for colleges of technology was established in 1962 to provide a unified 5-year period of education for lower secondary school graduates in response to increased need for diverse human resources brought by industrial economic development. In 1964, 2 or 3-year junior college programs which had been temporarily established in 1950 were provided as a permanent system under the School Education Law. The early 1960s saw the introduction of colleges of technology, see Higher professional education, with the 1990s marking the introduction of unified secondary education schools.

The system was influenced by both the German education system (faculties) and the US system (broad general education at the higher education institutions). In the 60s and 70s the number of higher education institutions increased considerably, showing a strong growth of the private sector (junior colleges).

Since the 1980s, Japan has focused on internationalising its higher education. International students studying in Japan were formerly required to complete a Japanese language test, as all education was provided exclusively in Japanese. This situation is currently changing, with a gradually increasing number of study programmes being offered in English, due to the recent internationalisation strategies at both government and university levels. An overview of all programmes offered in English is available under Higher education, Global 30.

Another project in the field of internationalisation is CAMPUS Asia, an exchange project between Japan, China and South Korea to increase student mobility. In the project mutual recognition of credits is stressed as well as academic recognition and the degree granting between the new consortia of partner universities. This project is part of the “Reinventing Japan” project, that is focusing on the internationalisation of educational programmes. The purpose it to facilitate

more cooperation between Japanese HEI and foreign HEI.

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) is responsible for all education in Japan. The ministry makes decisions on the establishment of new education institutions and determines the budgets for all national education institutions and grants for private institutions. Primary and secondary schools are established by the education committee or governor of

each prefecture. The ministry is also directly responsible for overseeing a number of research organisations. The Japanese education system has a centralised structure. MEXT publishes guidelines for the national curriculum of primary, lower and upper secondary school Education. This applies to both pre-school education up until the upper grades of secondary education and special

education programmes.

In general, the academic year in higher education institutions runs from April through March. Most institutions adopt 2 semesters of 20 weeks each (as of 2008, 84% of Universities in Japan have adopted the 2 semester system according to MEXT statistics.) There are plans to shift the academic year from April to Autumn, starting from 2014/2015, an initiative of the University of Tokyo in order to attract more international student and to bring the Japanese academic year in line with those of overseas universities. The possible introduction of a 4 quarter terms system instead of a 2 semesters system is another initiative to attract overseas student.

n Common diplomas of Japan

² High School Certificate of Graduation

a) Duration of schooling: 3 years.

b) Type of education: general secondary education.

c) Purpose of diploma: access to higher education, upon successful completion of entrance examinations.

² Associate degree obtained at a junior college (2 years)

a) Duration of schooling: 2 years.

b) Type of education: higher professional education.

c) Purpose of diploma: access to the final 2 years of a bachelor in higher education (at a NIAD-EU), upon successful completion of entrance examinations.

² Associate degree obtained at a junior college (3 years)

a) Duration of schooling: 3 years.

b) Type of education: higher professional education.

c) Purpose of diploma: access to the final 2 years of a bachelor in higher education (at a NIAD-EU), upon successful completion of entrance examinations.

² Associate degree obtained at a college of technology (5 years)

a) Duration of schooling: 5 years.

b) Type of education: higher professional education.

c) Purpose of diploma: access to the third year of a university bachelor.

² Diploma obtained at a professional training college (2 years)

a) Duration of schooling: 2 years.

b) Type of education: higher professional education.

c) Purpose of diploma: access to university bachelor.

² Advanced Diploma obtained at a professional training college (4 years)

a) Duration of schooling: 4 years.

b) Type of education: higher professional education.

c) Purpose of diploma: access to further study of the second cycle in higher education , upon successful completion of entrance examinations.

² Bachelor’s degree

a) Duration of schooling: 4 years.

b) Type of education: professional or research oriented.

c) Purpose of diploma: access to further study of the second cycle in higher education , upon successful completion of entrance examinations.

² Bachelor’s degree conferred by NIAD-UE

a) Duration of schooling: 2 years.

b) Type of education: professional or research oriented.

² Master’s degree

a) Duration of schooling: 2 years.

b) Type of education: research based.

Purpose of diploma: access to doctorate progammes, upon successful completion of entrance examina