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Independence And Choice: Western Impacts On Japanese Higher Education

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Chapter Summary

Western models of higher education generally serve two purposes when they are adopted by non-Western countries. The first is the 'window-shopping' mode in which complete freedom is retained on the part of non-Western recipients in selecting any one of a number of Western models. The second is the 'involvement' mode in which a Western model is appropriated by a non-Western country, whether it be on a voluntary or involuntary basis. The characteristic of the Japanese University which is perhaps most revealing is its school-department structure. By the mid-twentieth century, Japan had firmly established a Meiji-type institutional paradigm. Americans viewed the power of the Japanese pre-war educational system as being too centralized. Japanese graduate schools were founded as early as 1886. As stated earlier, Japanese higher education has followed a unique course of development, as far as development of an organizational structure and the adoption of a variety of foreign models.

Keywords: Japanese graduate schools; Japanese higher education; Japanese University; Meiji-type institutional paradigm; window-shopping



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