It was heartening to read — in the Jan. 27 Kyodo article “Job drive by firms to be delayed (until well into a student’s senior year)” — that university organizations recognize that the job-hunting system in Japan has negative long-term effects on Japan’s economic competitiveness. Unfortunately, the article doesn’t suggest that far-reaching changes are forthcoming.
I fear that the longer universities and businesses wait on enacting reforms, the harder it will be for Japan to dig itself out of its economic hole. Since Japanese university students take 30 to 40 classes each of their first two years and are intermittently absent during their last two years, it is impossible to study anything deeply at Japanese universities. Instead, students learn to do a lot of shallow work.
This not only negatively affects the outlook, ability and quality of life of Japanese students, it makes Japan an unattractive place for talented foreigners to study and teach. This, in turn, further exacerbates Japan’s economic woes and dims Japan’s economic outlook.
I’d like to see universities and businesses get serious about addressing the educational needs of the next generation. I fear that many universities and businesses will have to go bankrupt before serious changes are made.
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