Hokkaido University Faculty of Education/Graduate School

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Lifelong Learning

Higher Education

Research Subjects

This research group focuses on the characteristics of Japan’s educational system, its problems and solutions through comparison of higher education systems in Japan and other countries. It also explores regularities in education that are common to different countries, as well as essential elements of education.

Research Group Overview

Today, globalization is making progress in higher education. In Europe, the introduction of the European Region Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students (ERASMUS) Program and the Bologna Process led to the establishment of a framework for a cross-border educational system and the implementation of a variety of initiatives. In Japan and elsewhere, an increase in the number of students pursuing higher education has led to enrollment in higher education institutions by students of diverse educational backgrounds, learning experiences and needs. This means that higher education requires new reforms amid ongoing progress toward universal access to higher education.
Against this backdrop, higher education institutions in Japan may be further specialized by function, and universities and other higher education institutions will need to redefine their missions and roles. Meanwhile, certain reforms are considered essential for all higher education institutions in Japan and elsewhere. With the above in mind, this research group explores the present situation of higher education in Japan and elsewhere in the world, related backgrounds and factors, differences and similarities, and possible regularities.


Associate Professor    IIDA, Naohiro

Due to globalization, universities in Japan are pressed to transform themselves in various aspects. Their most urgent task is to establish a structure for international admissions. Although universities in Japan admit students based on multi-dimensional evaluation of applicants, such as the Admissions Office (AO) entrance examination, efforts must be made to develop a method for student admission based on the evaluation of various abilities and qualities (e.g., competence and generic skills) in consideration of overseas trends. It is also necessary to conduct research on vocational and career education, which has recently attracted attention in Japan as in other countries, with an eye to re-examination of admission systems and frameworks by assuming further specialization of university functions.
This research group is currently engaged in studies, from a comparative education perspective, on qualification systems, policies and actual situations that are closely related to the above issues primarily in the U.K. Specific research subjects are as follows:
- “Academic-vocational divide” in qualification (examination) systems
- International framework for competence certification
- Development of a new admission method using a pluralistic evaluation approach