Japanese universities are struggling. Demographic trends are reducing the pool of students, government subsidies are shrinking as prices rise, infrastructure is aging and questions intensify about the value of the education offered by many of these institutions.

A vibrant higher education system is essential to a healthy society and economy. Graduates must have the tools, capacity and confidence to thrive in a rapidly changing world. Training and opportunity for advancement must be available to all in society.

Japan’s economic performance in the half-century after World War II proved that its education system was fit for purpose. The difficulties of the past two decades suggest that is no longer the case. Japan is struggling to reform the upper levels of education to ensure that students possess the skills they and the country need.