Regarding Joergen Jensen’s Feb. 20 letter, “Holding students’ feet to the fire“: Jensen’s implicit assumption is that it is very easy to pass examinations at Japanese universities and that Japanese universities only collect tuition fees but don’t teach much. These are false assumptions.
Because of their social culture, Japanese students are highly disciplined and hardworking, but the system of company recruitment does not allow students the time to study when they are in their final year. As a result they may fail to graduate. This is the real issue.
For example, in one course I teach at Nagasaki University, almost all students are second-year undergraduates and only about 5 percent of them fail. However, in another course I teach as an adjunct faculty member at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, everyone is a final-year student and the failure rate is about 60 percent. The reason is that final-year students have to travel from one city to another in their search for jobs, and unless they get a job before they leave university, they may not get anything at all.
Japanese universities do not compromise on academic standards, but the students are paying a very high price because of this unjust recruitment system, which The Japan Times has rightly pointed out in the Feb. 13 editorial “Job-hunting system needs work.”
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