Daigaku ronshu: Research in higher education Issue 47
2015-03 発行

大学院拡充政策のゆくえ : 今どこに立ち,次にどこに向かうのか? <論考>

Issues of Japanese Graduate Education After the Politics of Expansion <Article>
A quarter century has passed since the politics of expanding graduate school was promoted by MEXT in Japan. However, the number of applicants and enrollments of graduate students had already peaked by 2000, apart from the time of the Lehman shock. The politics of expansion has brought about various consequences and has arrived at a ‘turning point’. The purpose of this paper is to examine the issues of phenomenal enrollment expansion in postgraduate education and to clarify where we presently are. The main findings are as follows;  1) The puzzling fact about Doctoral Courses (DCs) in Japan is that the supply (quota) for such education has continued to rise since the 1990’s, although demand for that has been rapidly decreasing since 2000 except for engineering, where employment prospects have been guaranteed. Part of the explanation lies in the fact that the DCs have been considered to develop highly professional human resources regardless of the employment market.  2) Even though the demand for DCs is decreasing, quota regulation by MEXT, which brings capacity close to one hundred percent, makes the quality of graduate students spoiled.  3) The DCs ratio of students going on to higher schools has been increasing, because the numbers of students (denominator) who proceed to MCs has expanded and unemployment has worsened career prospects in academia. So, the number of students who repeat the same grade has doubled since 2000’s.  4) Evolution of working adult students and women in graduate school. Today, ten percent of MCs and forty percent of DCs students are adult workers. Thirty years ago, few women chose careers in postgraduate study. In 2013 the ratio of female students of both MCs and DCs doubled in most fields.  These findings suggest that there are excessive functions included in Master’s programs and that drastic reform is necessary for Japanese Graduate Education to maintain its quality and effectiveness in the changing global economy.
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