Lecture by Professor Jun Oba
Lecture by Professor Jun Oba at Céreq, Tuesday 28 March 2017
Closing the gap between universities and society: the case of Japan
Jun Oba's presentation was followed by a discussion with the audience, chaired by Julien Calmand.
Professor Jun Oba, who is deputy director of the Research Institute for Higher Education (RIHE) in Hiroshima, outlined the changes in the organisation of the Japanese higher education system. Recent years have seen a sharp increase in the number of private universities, deregulation and changes in the governance of HE institutions. In the second part of his lecture, Jun Oba showed how higher education is experiencing difficulties in responding to the needs of the wider society, particularly for highly skilled workers in a country whose population is ageing and that is consequently suffering labour shortages.
With little in the way of vocational skills, most young people find jobs before they have completed their studies that are less stable and of lower quality than those held by their parents. These developments mark an upheaval in the Japanese labour market, which has traditionally been characterised by low occupational mobility and long careers in Japan's large companies.
Jun Oba joined RIHE in 2001, after working in the Japanese Ministry of Education, a local educational authority and OECD. In 2007, he was a visiting professor in the University of Paris 10 (currently Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense). In addition, he was invited to numerous international meetings, forums, conferences, and so on. His current research centres around issues relating to higher education policy, internationalisation of higher education and university governance. He works in four languages English, French, Spanish and Japanese
Jun Oba, University Governance Reforms in Japanincorporation of national universities, RIHE, International Seminar Reports, n° 19, 2013, pp. 71 -97
RIHE published in 2016 an international seminar report (RIHE International Seminar Reports Issue 23) The Changing Academic Profession in Asia: The Challenges and the Transformation of Academic Profession in Asia. It is available in the repository