高等教育における評価の動向・課題 <論考> <創立40周年記念特集 : 高等教育研究の回顧と展望>
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Review of Higher Education Evaluation in Japan <Article> <Special Issue : Retrospect and Prospect of Higher Education Studies>
This paper looks retroactively at higher education evaluation, quality control, and assurance policy in Japan and clarifies the trends of evaluation and quality assurance from the 1990’s to the 2000’s. After that, the challenges involved with current evaluation and the quality assurance context itself are explained.
After World War II, Japanese higher education policy introduced the higher education quality control system based on the “charter”, setting up minimum standards for colleges and universities. Under this new system, the number of colleges and universities rapidly increased and entered into the era of “Massification” in the early 1990’s. Japanese colleges and universities have stratified and diversified in any direction in this context, having difficulties to classify as “college” or “university” in an integrated fashion. With the neo-liberalism policy, self-evaluation system, external evaluation, certified evaluation, and accreditation and third-party evaluation system were installed in rapid succession without sufficient stock of academic research for the evaluation in the Japanese context. As is commonly known, Japanese evaluation and quality assurance are also characterized by outcome-based, the tool for accountability, market-oriented and global point of view.
Higher education evaluation and quality assurance in Japan, however, have many challenges:
First, evaluation policy under the neo-liberalism which aims to attain mainly efficiency and excellence dose not necessarily fit to the public sector like education which also aims to achieve equality, fairness and justice as same as efficiency and excellence. Second, faculties may be controlled by the present evaluation policy. Actually, the Japanese government and the leaders of institutions try to link between the results of evaluation and salary/research fund especially in the research universities from 2013. This may facilitate the quantification of research outcome (for example, counting the number of refereed journals…) and devastate the quality of research. Third performance-based or outcome-based evaluation may not raise the incentive of the faculties and officers in higher education continuously. Fourth, the present evaluation activities have forced us to endlessly prepare huge evidence-based materials for a long term. This probably lead us to “evaluation-related fatigue”, and consuming time, money and human resources for preparing evaluation might be paradoxical to the request of the efficiency policy based on neo-liberalism. And fifth, especially in the context of quality assurance, the ideal of “global-standard” is accepted uncritically. Seldom in Japan is much careful thought given to the impact of the “global-standard” based quality assurance like Bologna process, Tuning and spell out name (AHELO).
Daigaku ronshu: Research in higher education
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Research Institute for Higher Education