Much ado about ranking: Why can't Japanese universities internationalize?

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33 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines the ongoing struggle of leading Japanese universities to elevate their positions in world rankings, and the perceived necessity of Japanese higher education to internationalize in order to achieve more favourable international recognition. The author discusses structural difficulties inherent in Japanese universities in establishing effective approaches for internationalization. Recognition of the necessity to pursue internationalization as seriously as the rest of the world is still very limited among Japanese universities. At the same time, quite different agendas are often implemented under the umbrella term 'internationalization', rendering the policy orientation vague. Immediate and practical approaches to changing the status quo in terms of global prestige and recognition among universities, academics and students include the suggestion that universities themselves should take a more active role in increasing opportunities for international exchange.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-137
Number of pages17
JournalJapan Forum
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Mar


  • Globalization
  • Higher education
  • Internationalization
  • University ranking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science


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