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Research Institute for Higher Education (RIHE), Hiroshima University, JAPAN


Associated Project Description

Empirically-based knowledge of variation between Japan, Europe and the USA is essential with regard to the CINHEKS objectives. In Japan, since the 1990s, as a result of globalization and the advent of a knowledge society, as well as driven by neo-liberalism, reform has been conducted in the direction of diversification and differentiation of higher education institutions (HEIs) and enhancement of competition among them. At the same time, the government has reinforced quality assurance schemes, demanding HEIs to be more responsive to the needs of society. Those reforms are similarly found in other countries, but Japanese reforms of higher education should reflect their specificities, including the time-honored centralization policy, coexistence of three HEI sectors (national, local public and private), funding schemes heavily relying on tuition fees.

Aims and objectives
Substantively, AP1 focuses on analytically significant contrasts between Japanese, European and American (USA) knowledge societies. A mixed methods comparative analysis - undertaken in conjunction with IP1 and IP6 will explain the most salient differences and similarities in HEI-networks in Japan, Europe and the USA.

Project Personnel

Associate Partner (PI) Professor Jun OBA

Contact Information

Hiroshima University
Research Institute for Higher Education (RIHE)
Kagamiyama 1-chome

Phone: +81-82-424-6233
Fax: +81-82-422-7104
E-mail: oba@hiroshima-u.ac.jp

About RIHE

The Research Institute for Higher Education (RIHE) in Hiroshima University has continued its activities for more than a quarter of a century, not only as a research institute of the University but also as a center of nationwide research on higher education. Currently, in addition to ten full-time faculty members, we have a network of over 400 researchers from universities across Japan associated with the Institute. The Institute also fulfills a national role through its series of publications, meetings, information services and its extensive library facilities and holdings.

Since its establishment in 1972, the Institute has provided both a focus and a forum for research on higher education in Japan. Its annual study meetings celebrated their 30th anniversary in 2002. Major international conferences, in collaboration with OECD and UNESCO, and Eight-Nation Education Research Project, have been held. By conducting joint research projects with overseas universities, actively participating in international meetings, and its series of English language publications, the Institute has been responsible for a wide dissemination of research results on higher education in Japan.

RIHE, via its regular annual research journals, Daigaku Ronshu: Research in Higher Education and Reviews in Higher Education, are recognized as major academic publications in this field in Japan. Reports of current research projects and international collaborative studies are published as Higher Education Forum, COE Publication Series, Working Papers, International Conference Reports, and in the International Publication Series. Widespread distribution of all publications ensures that these provide an effective medium for contributions to academic exchange.

The Institute functions as the central node of a network of research workers in higher education nationally and internationally. Over 400 researchers in higher education in Hiroshima and other universities are actively associated with the Institute. Co-operation and support for research work is provided by many non-university sources, notably including governments and the media. Many of the leading figures in higher education research throughout Japan have previously studied and held faculty positions in the Institute. The ability of the Institute to attract eminent foreign scholars as visiting researchers maintains its international linkages. In 1996 the Institute was invited to act as liaison centre for the National Association of Institutes for University Education to link its now 17 members. In 1997 the Institute was instrumental in founding the Japanese Association for Higher Education Research.

Additional information on RIHE