Nov 8, 2014

Grade school squeeze is on

Japan's Finance Ministry has asked the education ministry to increase the number of grade school students per class, reversing a decision from 2011 to reduce class size.

Nov 8, 2014

Universities get yen for ranking

The central government has announced additional funding for 37 leading public and private universities as a way to increase their global ranking and competitiveness. No mention was made of the other 67 schools that applied.

Oct 26, 2014

Moral education's slippery slope

An advisory body to Japan's education minister calls for upgrading grade school "moral education" — which deals with children's way of thinking and their attitude toward life — to an official subject on a par with mathematics and science.

Oct 25, 2014

School bullying on the increase

Bullying and violence increased in Japanese schools, particularly for younger students, in fiscal 2013, although better reporting of incidents explains some of the increase over the previous year.

Oct 4, 2014

Poorer students dropping out

More and more students are being forced to drop out of universities, colleges and vocational schools because they cannot afford tuition. Can Japan's institutions afford not to provide greater financial assistance to stop this waste of talent?

Oct 2, 2014

Weaker case for the law schools

Reform of the nation's system for training legal professionals — introduced a decade ago to draw people from more diverse backgrounds into the legal professional community — is under scrutiny as the ratio of applicants passing the national bar exam falls to a record ...

Sep 13, 2014

Test scores can't tell all about kids

The education ministry's decision to make public, prefecture by prefecture, the average scores of annual nationwide achievement tests carried out in April for junior high and elementary school students is problematic.

Japan's universities can't win

Aug 24, 2014

Japan's universities can't win

by Takamitsu Sawa

In view of the disparity in professors' pay between Japanese and American universities, the notion of elevating Japanese universities' global rankings simply by bringing in outstanding "foreign talent" as instructors and researchers is a castle in the sky.

Aug 16, 2014

Student absenteeism on the rise

Absenteeism for compulsory schools in Japan rose in fiscal 2013 for the first time in six years. Some of the students absent for 30 days or more feel permanently behind and give up going to class.