In his June 24 article, “Top students shunning Japan,” professor Takamitsu Sawa presents interesting facts and rightly concludes that Japan may not attract outstanding students from abroad. But he misses a very important point: Are there global brands among the Japanese universities, and do they present equal opportunities for foreign students to advance their academic career?
The answer is no!
Outstanding [foreign] students do not have equal opportunities with their Japanese peers to enter an academic career at the university from which they graduated or at any other university in Japan. It’s because of this that the universities do not take on a “global” character. Compare this with the situation in the United States, many European countries and Australia.
If nearly no academic career opportunities exist in Japan, opportunities elsewhere do not become much brighter either, because there are no global brands among Japan’s universities along the lines of Harvard, MIT and Cambridge, for example.
As things stand today, Japanese universities are for the Japanese and by the Japanese, and in that, too, they have become obsolete, because they have succeeded only in recruiting a large workforce during high-growth years, in which meritocracy has no role.
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.