It is becoming difficult for the Japanese government to adequately support universities as its fiscal conditions tighten.

Today, the United States and China are believed to lead the world in the field of fundamental research for state-of-the-art technologies, and questions are often raised about the academic and research levels of Japanese universities. The ratio of education spending in the Japanese national budget is the lowest among OECD members.

More than 1 million international students study at American universities. Having competitive universities is equivalent to having competitive export industries. There are large numbers of startup businesses in the U.S., and it is said that foreign students are involved in about half of them. American universities put priority on producing people with original perspectives and the ability to think.

When the factory model of the manufacturing industry drove Japanese society, it made sense to nurture workers who were obedient and excelled at cooperation. Uniform education was suitable for the requirement of the age. But the manufacturing industry now accounts for less than a quarter of Japan’s gross domestic product. It is the nonmanufacturing sectors such as the service industry that will be the prime mover of future society. What is required in those sectors, above all else, are creative and unique ideas.

Source: Japan Times

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