In an increasingly globalized environment, Japanese academic institutions like Kyoto University and Kyushu University are looking to ramp up the number of classes taught in English and international educators who can teach in English. Within the Education Ministry’s Global 30 project, Japanese private and public universities have been encouraged to hasten the internationalization of their institutions.
With this goal in mind, Kyoto University is hoping to hire about 100 foreign teachers who will teach 50 per cent of all its liberal arts classes in English. This is a radical move considering that currently, only 5 percent of 1,100 liberal arts classes are taught in English. The present situation in Kyushu University is more of the same, where only 5 per cent of all are also presently taught in English. The institution, located in Fukuoka Prefecture, aims to increase that total to 25 percent over the next few years. They plan to do this by adding to the number of foreign teachers and Japanese instructors who have overseas teaching experience by about 30.
These two national universities have both received five-year subsidies from the Education ministry to carry out their plans. In fact, under the Global 30 project, 13 public and private institutions have been similarly urged to look towards an international academic environment in their classrooms. The trend of internationalization has been the rallying cry for public universities, this to help Japanese students gain the necessary skills to cope in an increasingly globalized world. The government aims to have some 300,000 international students enrolled in Japanese universities by 2020. The education ministry is now working to raise international competitiveness in Japanese universities, as according to the Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings, only two Japanese institutions make the top 100 — the University of Tokyo in 27th place and Kyoto University at No. 54.
[ via Kyodo News ]
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