Case Studies of Japanese Universities’ Collaborations with ASEAN, China, and Mongolia
Keywords:ASEAN, China, Japan, Mongolia, transnational higher education
This paper elaborates on recent trends in Japanese higher education partnerships through three cases of collaboration between Japanese universities and higher education institutions in China, Mongolia, and the Southeast Asia (hereinafter referred to as ASEAN). Our analysis shows that partnerships were shaped by both top-down government policies and bottom-up institutional visions and past relations. Japan’s educational quality and reputation, particularly in science and technology, is highly regarded by higher education institutions (HEIs) interested in developing competitive international programs to prepare a globally skilled workforce. On one hand, Japan is striving to deepen and expand its partnerships with HEIs, particularly within Asia. A number of domestic and international factors - such as Japan’s population decline; increasing competition among HEIs both on the domestic and international front; an ambition to remain competitive in a twenty-first century, knowledge-based economy; and Japan’s strategy to strengthen its influence in Asia - drive the partnerships. On the other hand, while earlier partnerships were limited to student and faculty exchange or joint research projects, institutions increasingly prioritize more comprehensive strategic partnerships. Such strategic partnerships are important to overcome barriers during the COVID-19 pandemic that limit physical movement and interaction, and they may drive even greater collaboration and integration among Asian higher education institutions.
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