Is Nationalistic Internationalisation Possible? Japan’s Education Reform and Interactions among the Cabinet, Ministry of Education, and Teachers

February 6, 2024 | 12:00PM - 1:30PM
Centre for the Study of Global Japan, Public policy, East Asia, Government & politics

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This event will take place in-person at Room 208N, North House, 1 Devonshire Place, Toronto, ON, M5S 3K7
Facing the globalised economic competition, education came under increasing pressure to raise necessary human resources in Japan. In other words, Japan needs to solve the paradox of internationalising its national education system. The business sector was particularly vocal of this demand and the government labelled such resources ‘Global Human Resources’ (Gurobaru Jinzai), launching several internationalisation measures since 2012. Using one of them, the policy goal of establishing 200 International Baccalaureate schools, as an example, Professor Iwabuchi examined how this internationalisation attempt emerged, changed, and exercised influence on schools in Japan. As in other studies, business actors played a key role. Yet, a new policy actor (the Cabinet) drove the reform, interacting with the Ministry of Education. By analysing the policy process of this reform, Professor Iwabuchi highlighted how complex interactions between the two affected the policy process and outcome. In addition, Professor Iwabuchi presented the cross-level perspective on education by showing the result of his current study on how teachers respond to the policy imperatives.
Kazuaki Iwabuchi, PhD, is an assistant professor at the Graduate School of Education, the University of Tokyo, Japan. He earned his doctoral degree in comparative and international education from Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Columbia University. He’s been examining the policy aspect of Japan’s attempt to internationalise education. Currently, he’s exploring internationalisation initiatives not only at the policy level but also at the meso-level (Boards of Education) and at the micro-level (teachers).
Organized by the Centre for the Study of Global Japan and the Initiative for Education Policy and Innovation, University of Toronto.
Centre for the Study of Global Japan, Public policy, East Asia, Government & politics
Sophie Bourret-Klein


Kazuaki Iwabuchi

Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Education, University of Tokyo

Rie Kijima

Director, Initiative for Education Policy and Innovation at the Centre for the Study of Global Japan, University of Toronto