New paper explores Japan’s growing international faculty
5 October 2017
A working paper published today by the Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE) based at the UCL Institute of Education (IOE) investigates the reasons for the sharp increase in the number of full-time international faculty at Japanese universities over the past four decades.
In the paper, Professor Futao Huang from Hiroshima University focuses on the characteristics and motivations of international faculty at Japanese universities. He finds that international academics most commonly cite academic and professional reasons for moving to Japan. He also highlights the significance of wider factors, such as globalisation, on increased academic mobility.
The study reveals a stark gender difference in the international faculty of Japanese universities, with almost four times as many men than women. It also shows there has been no growth in the proportion of international faculty who become university leaders.
Professor Huang argues that the academic market of Japanese academic professions is not as internationally open as that of many other countries. While the share of full-time international faculty at Japanese universities has risen, it is still less than five per cent of the total.
In addition, almost 40 per cent of international faculty did not emigrate from a country outside Japan but were educated and trained in Japanese universities and colleges.
Professor Huang argues that if Japan wants to improve its internationalisation efforts, it needs more attractive policies and strategies to open the academic market to international faculty. He recommends that universities provide more favourable working conditions and form more appropriate supporting systems for international faculty, and focus on attracting more international female academics.
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