Comparative Study on Japanese and French University System and Recent Reforms

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 11:45
Location: Hörsaal 30 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Yoshihiko SHIRATORI, Kobe University, Japan
In this paper, I compare the higher education and its recent reform in Japan and France in the 21th century, while being based on the history and the structure of each system of these countries. The reason that I compare these two countries is that Japan and France are relatively developed big countries who are outside of the English spoken university system. In the process of “globalization” of the higher education, universities in these countries may be tossed in "world university rankings" without regarding the history and the tradition of each country’s university system.

It is true that each country has inherent characters and problems of higher education system. But the common difficulties of today's university can be found in various dimensions. To discuss plainly these difficulties and the ways to face with them, I set three main axis which may pushing forward the study, namely, 1) antagonism between “popularization” (e.g. expansion of number of students) and “seeking of excellence” (e.g. center of excellence and concentration of the budget) of higher education, 2) “liberalization” policy of the higher education and the question on governance of the university (for example, transformation of legal status of national universities in Japan in 2004 and promulgation of law about freedom and the responsibility of the university in 2007 in France) 3) historical development process of the higher education and its reform as general backgrounds of today’s situation.

Based on these considerations, I clarify the logic of recent university reforms and the problems that can occur from them. I also intend to question an essential meaning of the higher education and university, without remaining in simple grasp of the superficial succession of policy and reform.