Education in Japan: The School as a Business, Teachers and Students as Commodities

Rab Paterson

Abstract


Education is one of the keys to individual and national advancement
and development in life. In many countries university education is open
to all while in other nations such as Japan, it has to be paid for. Irrespective
of the costs, university students should receive a quality education from
universities and universities should expect quality academic work from
students. As educators are professionals working in the field of delivering
education they should have even higher expectations for the quality of
education being delivered than students. However in today’s Japan are
these expectations of quality teachers and students actually being met?
This paper firstly provides a general overview of post war university
educational in Japan. Then university education is examined in detail
to see if these academic expectations are being met and argues that on
the whole they are not. The areas where Japanese universities are
deficient, namely in the quality of education delivered and treatment
of teachers and students alike are then examined. Also areas where the
university’s actions have been detrimental to the development, academic
or otherwise, of students and teachers alike are covered. Later it examines
the university as a business rather than an educational establishment to
try and explain the actions of universities that are often contradictory
to the educational ideals expected by teachers and students at university.
Lastly it offers suggestions for improving the quality of education at
Japanese universities and shows why this is necessary for the survival
of universities in Japan.


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