With schools well into their final term and the university academic year already winding down, it's time to reflect on the most significant events in Japanese education this past year.

"Most significant" doesn't mean the most discussed, but rather events most likely to have a lasting impact. For example, readers won't find any mention below of the annual, but ultimately trivial, hand-wringing in response to the University of Tokyo's placement in the World University Rankings. Instead, you'll be introduced to some seemingly boring policy minutiae decided in certainly boring committee meetings because they'll lead to change that can be seen, not just believed in.