2012年10月25日 星期四

日本大學國際化慢半拍 / 日本的留學生前景光明

Japanese Universities Go Global, but Slowly

AKITA, JAPAN — Takuya Niiyama, a sophomore at Akita International University, dreams of becoming an international tourism operator promoting the northern Japanese prefecture of Akita, leveraging his hard-earned language skills and a network of international students he befriended on campus.
Mr. Niiyama, who is from Akita, hopes that the university’s mandated one-year overseas exchange program will help him achieve his goal.
“I need to acquire solid English skills,” he said. “And I knew that an ordinary Japanese university would not prep me for that.”
As Japanese schools intensify efforts to globalize their campuses, Akita International University seems well on its way toward internationalization, with foreign exchange students arriving from more than 50 institutions from around the world.
Mineo Nakajima, AIU’s president, visited U.S. schools like the University of California, San Diego and The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, while planning his new institution.
A.I.U., founded in 2004, joins a handful of others in experimenting with these kinds of endeavors. The problem is that they are a glaring exception rather than a trend in Japan.
Some new schools outside the major cities are beating their bigger, older, slow-moving peers to the punch, with more international students and graduates who are likely to be multicultural and multilingual. They are also drawing the attention of corporate recruiters.
“Japan is still an intellectually closed shop,” said Mr. Nakajima of AIU, who was the former president of the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies.
At The University of Tokyo, Japan’s top university, also known as Todai, only 53 undergraduates took part in its exchange program in 2011, or 0.4 percent of the student body of 14,100.
Keio University, another leading name in Tokyo with an undergraduate enrollment of 29,000, sent only 133 students overseas in 2010, or 0.45 percent of the total student body.
Only eight universities across Japan, mostly private, sent more than 100 students abroad to obtain 16 credits or more in 2009, according to a university handbook published by The Asahi Shimbun. (Japan has more than 700 colleges and universities.)
Reasons cited include low enthusiasm among students for study abroad, as well as a lack of drive and commitment on the part of universities to internationalize their programs.
Masako Egawa, a University of Tokyo spokeswoman, acknowledged that it had lagged behind both its international counterparts and its domestic peers.
“It is true, we have not had as extensive a system for international exchange as private universities do,” she said in an interview.
“We have been doing well at the graduate divisions, however, with 18 percent of the students coming from overseas.”
Still, most large universities, including Todai, see the urgency of increasing overseas exchanges. This is particularly true as Japanese corporations need more graduates capable of helping them globalize, and as the universities themselves look to draw more students as the Japanese population ages.
“We would like to see Japanese universities become more open internationally,” said Toshimitsu Iwanami, senior executive vice president of NEC Corp., a major information technology services provider. “And when that occurs, there may be a greater number of Japanese youth with globally ready talent.”
Mr. Iwanami heads a committee on education at Keidanren, Japan’s leading federation of large corporations, which has voiced concerns about a lack of international higher education.
He added that Japanese employers were hoping that universities would introduce more bilingual, foreign graduates to the labor market.
The vast majority of Japan’s leading universities are in big cities like Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. They admit thousands of students annually and have a century of history behind them, perpetuating the notion that institutions must be large, entrenched and urban to thrive.
But Akita International University, which has struck a chord with both students and corporate recruiters, has surprised the establishment. Located in a part of Akita city surrounded by woods, it was created in 2004 financed largely by Akita Prefecture with a mission to produce internationally minded thinkers.
Half of the faculty are non-Japanese and all classes are taught in English. Today, the university ranks among the nation’s top schools, like Osaka University and the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, in competitiveness of admissions. Last year, A.I.U. accepted only one out of 21 applicants in the segment of admissions that requires a competitive examination.
A relatively small university with total enrollment of 834, A.I.U. has become a magnet for corporate recruiters.
“Leading Japanese firms as well as foreign firms such as Morgan Stanley have been conducting recruitment by actually paying a visit to Akita,” said Hiroshi Kobayashi, editor of a university administration magazine. “That is very rare for a school that is located in a remote area.” He said regional universities normally had to woo corporate visitors by paying for their travel.
At A.I.U., 114 international students study there as part of the exchanges that it has with 130 overseas universities.
Mr. Nakajima, the university president, said designing a system that was fully compatible with overseas schools was key. There are bigger problems, like a paucity of English-language courses, and smaller ones, like a course numbering system that is incompatible with what is used internationally.
Another institution with a successful international program is Ritsumeikan Asia-Pacific University, which was founded in 2000 in Ooita Prefecture on the southern island of Kyushu.
Its founding president, Kazuichi Sakamoto, said he felt the urge to create a new international university.
“We felt the approach of doing something a little here and there to fix the system won’t do,” he said.
So, he and colleagues from Ritsumeikan University, in Kyoto, founded a new school in Ooita, with the help of a governor who wished to use the project to help revitalize the region.
“The buzz word we worked on was internationalization ‘from within’ to create a campus here that would be made up of students from around the world,” Mr. Sakamoto said.
Today, Ritsumeikan Asia-Pacific University has the highest number, as well as the highest ratio, of foreign students working toward a degree in Japan: 2,692 from 81 countries who represent 43 percent of the total body. It achieved a 95 percent job placement rate in 2011 and, like Akita International University, is frequently visited by recruiters from leading companies.
A survey published by The Nikkei Shimbun this month asked human resources heads at major Japanese companies which universities they were “paying most attention” to, in terms of nurturing talent. The first three spots went to Akita, the University of Tokyo and Ritsumeikan Asia-Pacific.
Akita and Ritsumeikan Asia-Pacific employed two different tacks for internationalization. But their success came from one common link: They started universities from scratch.
Japanese universities, experts say, are run in a collegial manner. Top-down overhauls are invariably hobbled by faculty who prefer the status quo.
“Changing an existing university is very difficult. Thus you might as well start a new one,” Mr. Nakajima said. “When I was president at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, I tried to redesign the English-language program to make it more communication oriented.”
The plan was foiled when he was met with resistance from the English faculty.
The answer may not be in tinkering with international programs, but a deeper change in the mind-sets of the faculty and the administrators, said Kirk R. Patterson, former dean at theJapan campus of Temple University, in Philadelphia.
“There is a general lack of meaningful contribution by Japanese scholars to the international dialogue in their disciplines,” he said, citing low levels of participation in conferences and publication in academic journals, particularly in the social sciences. “If professors can’t be participants in the international dialogue, how can universities themselves become internationalized? Just talking about a flow of a few dozen students back and forth will not make universities international. The flow will come if the institutions themselves become more international.”



新山拓也(Takuya Niiyama)是日本國際教養大學(Akita International University)的大二學生,他的理想就是要成為一名國際旅行策劃師。他要利用他在大學裡辛苦習得的語言能力和建立起的國際人脈來推動日本北部秋田 地區的旅遊業發展。
在國際教養大學的草創時期,它的校長中島嶺雄(Mineo Nakajima)考察了美國的多所高校,比如加州大學聖迭哥分校(University of California, San Diego) 和位於弗吉尼亞州威廉斯堡的威廉瑪麗學院(The College of William & Mary)。
“日本在學術上還在閉門造車。”國際教養大學的校長中島嶺雄說。他曾擔任過東京外國語大學(Tokyo University of Foreign Studies)的校長。
東京大學(The University of Tokyo)是日本最好的高校,14100名本科生中只有53名參加了2011年的國際交換項目,佔總人數的0.4%。
東京的另一所知名高校慶應義塾大學(Keio University),在2010年輸出133名本科生到國外,佔總人數29000人的0.45%。
根據朝日新聞社(The Asahi Shimbun)出版的高校手冊,2009年,全日本只有八所高校輸出超過100名學生到國外去選修超過16個學分,其中多數是私立學校。(而日本擁有超過700所高校。)
東京大學的發言人江川雅子(Masako Egawa)承認,東京大學已經落後於國際和國內的眾多高校。
“我們希望看到日本高校越來越國際化,而且隨着日本高校更加國際化,會有越來越多能適應全球化環境的日本年輕人。”日本電氣股份有限公司(NEC Corp.)的高級執行副總裁岩波俊光(Toshimitsu Iwanami)這樣說。日本電氣股份公司是一家大型信息技術服務提供商。
“日本最大的企業,還有像摩根士丹利(Morgan Stanley)這樣的外國公司都派人親自到國際教養大學來主持招聘。”小林弘(Hiroshi Kobayashi)說。他是一本高校行政管理雜誌的主編。“這對於位於遠郊地區的大學而言,是非常罕見的。”他還補充說,一些地區性的大學一般都要靠報 銷旅費的手段來求着企業招聘人員到他們那裡去。
另一所成功建立國際項目的高校是立命館亞洲太平洋大學(Ritsumeikan Aisa-Pacific University),它成立於2000年,位於日本南部九州島的大分縣。
這所大學成立時的校長坂本和一(Kazuichi Sakamoto)說,他當時感到了建立一所全新的國際化大學的緊迫性。
於是他和在京都的立命館大學(Ritsumeikan University)的同事們一起,依靠當地官員的幫助,在大分縣成立了一所新的學校。這些官員希望這所大學能推動本地區的復蘇。
今天,立命館亞洲太平洋大學已經擁有全日本數量最多,同時也是比例最高的攻讀學位的國際學生。這批學生的總計為2692人,來自81個國家,占學校 學生總數的43%。2011年,這所大學95%的外國畢業生找到了工作。而且像國際教養大學一樣,這所大學也吸引了眾多大公司的招聘人員。
《日本經濟新聞》(The Nikkei Shimbun)這個月發佈了一個調查,調查中問到日本各大企業的人力資源主管哪些大學在能力培養方面是他們目前最關注的。排名前三的答案分別是國際教養大學、東京大學和立命館亞洲太平洋大學。
費城天普大學(Temple University)日本分校區的前任校長科克·R·帕特森(Kirk R. Patterson)認為,日本現有問題的答案不應該在於補充國際項目,而在於從根本上扭轉教職工和大學管理者的觀念。
“整體而言,日本學者並未為他們學科的國際交流做出過有價值的貢獻。”他說,並以日本學者在國際會議的低參與度和在國際學術刊物的低發表率作為論 據,這種問題在社會科學研究中表現尤為明顯。“如果教授都不參與到國際對話當中,大學又怎麼能實現國際化呢?僅僅讓一批本國學生出國,再引進一批外國學生 並不能讓學校國際化。如果學校本身變得更加國際化,這樣的生源交換就是水到渠成的事情。”


2010.12日本本科生難覓飯碗 留學生前景光明



日本第四大銀行Resona Holdings近期在日本最精英的學校之一──早稻田大學(Waseda University)為外國學生舉行了一次研討會﹐它的目的是使中國、韓國及俄羅斯學生與日本企業相匹配。早稻田大學和出席的公司都是Resona的客戶。


據早稻田大學教務處副主任Ryuichi Okuyama說﹐大約有4,000名外國學生正在該大學學習﹐他們中的許多人希望為日本企業工作。



Kuipo Co., Ltd是一家設計、生產和銷售手袋及時髦商品的中型企業﹐已在中國、泰國和法國建立了辦事處。該公司總裁Satoshi Okada說﹐他的公司正在尋找瞭解本土文化﹐未來有能力成為經理的企業員工。

據一些人說﹐不僅是語言技能﹐積極性和雄心也使日本學生和外國學生涇渭分明。早稻田大學的Ryuichi Okuyama說﹐很明顯﹐(早稻田大學)的外國學生比日本學生有更具體的目標和更強的積極性。

Atsuko Fukase