University Reforms are Urgent, the Nikkei Series


University reforms are proceeding at a snail’s pace. Regarding the autumn graduation at the University of Tokyo, steps are being taken forward and the media is paying much attention to it, but the media has called it a mere receiving tray for society, focusing more on the details and reasons why it cannot be done.

The top universities of today will lose relevance if they do not make both their education and research open to diversity and the global.

Lately, the morning edition of the Nikkei has been running a series on university reforms as well as a corresponding online series.

I have been interviewed for this series and it can be summarized in the key phrase “the O-sumo-nization of universities”(1) (in Japanese, you can access many other articles from the Nikkei series from here), which I have been advocating from the time of Prime Minister Koizumi. If you search “university reform” and “O-sumo-nization” on this website, you will find many articles.

As usual, this is an “intellectually closed country” (1, 2).

The Japanese public must be truly concerned about university education in Japan. However, they judge people based on their universities, rather than evaluating the students themselves. They were both irresponsible. After all, it is because both were contained within the framework of the past.

A country’s core is the development of the people. What kind of people will the leaders of each field foster, and what direction do they want to take Japan in this world where the future is unforeseeable?

We cannot lay the blame on the young people. For “children are mirrors of society.”

It is the students’ choice what they want to do, including taking a leave of absence from university (1) and taking a gap year.