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The need for private universities in Japan to be agents of change

Rong Zhang (Faculty of Design, Nishinippon Institute of Technology, Kitakyushu, Japan)
Dennis C. McCornac (Department of Economics, Loyola University Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland, USA)

International Journal of Educational Management

ISSN: 0951-354X

Article publication date: 9 August 2013




The purpose of this paper is to examine a number of current innovations made by private higher educational institutions in Japan to counter decreased enrollments and financial constraints.


The design of this study is both descriptive and conceptual, based on the latest data available. Additional information was obtained through informal surveys of private institutions.


Efforts on all fronts will be required to resolve some of the more glaring problems facing private higher education in Japan today. While some of the factors contributing to the deterioration of educational standards, such as the economy and demographic changes are beyond the control of the institutions themselves, efforts to staunch the rapid deterioration of educational quality are essential. Renovation in Japanese private university higher education should start with improvements in teaching and faculty development. Private universities must realize that reinvigorating the system will need the cooperation of both faculty members and administrators if universities are to survive in the new economic and social environment.


This paper highlights the need for private universities to be the agents of change to address the dire straits of higher education in Japan and it is imperative that new and innovative approaches be implemented.



Zhang, R. and McCornac, D.C. (2013), "The need for private universities in Japan to be agents of change", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 27 No. 6, pp. 562-577.



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Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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