It’s not a great time to be a student — or anything else, for that matter — right now. There’s no ignoring COVID-19, but there’s also more going on, as the later articles in this list attest to, so bear with us:
- Some people argue that online learning can be just as effective as the in-person academic experience. But try telling that to some of the desperate students showcased by Kaori Shoji in her Japan Pulse column. “Please listen to the voices of university students,” implores one on social media. “I’m a freshman who has never attended a real lecture, and I’m at the end of my tether.”
- A Tokyo university and a local public job placement office have signed a first-of-its-kind accord to support foreign students seeking work in Japan. Hello Work Shinjuku will dispatch lecturers to explain Japanese recruitment rules to international students at Sophia University, while the college will inform the job office about the needs of job-seeking international students.
- All national universities in Japan have now created export control sections to prevent nuclear, radar and other high-level tech with military potential from being transferred abroad, the education ministry has said, after a few holdouts plugged security gaps last year. Universities here have faced growing calls to tighten export controls, particularly from the U.S., which worries about China stealing technology.
- In a commentary, Haruaki Deguchi makes the case for the introduction of radical tax benefits to promote recurrent education as a major pillar of a grand policy vision for Japan. In a “100-year life” driven by AI, we need to build a society where people freely go back and forth between businesses and education — for example, going back to school after working for 10 years, give or take, he argues.
- Case in point: A 73-year-old woman has received a doctoral degree for her research into representations of oni and yōkai demons, saying her embrace of lifelong learning has brought joy to her life. Misako Nagura, who first entered Aichi Prefectural University when she was 54 as an undergrad, earned her Ph.D. for research on a picture scroll depicting the “Night Parade of a Hundred Demons.”