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In the era of globalisation, quality assurance mechanisms promote accountability and provide impetus for improving learning and teaching in Japanese universities. This chapter traces the development of quality assurance practices in Japan and situates it within the changing context of market forces and socioeconomic concerns in the Japanese society. We began our discussion with a brief description of the status of higher education in Japan before World War II, highlighting the important role of entrance examination as a critical step for assuring education quality. During the post-WWII period, the quality assurance mechanism was initially administered through an accreditation process based on the US model, which was later replaced by a system of self-monitoring and evaluation. Under the influences of marketization, the institution-based self-evaluation process was considered insufficient and third-party external review was implemented in 2000s. Looking into the future, we anticipate that the Japanese quality assurance system will be increasingly challenged by internationalization of higher education in Japan and other parts of the world.


Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education

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Book Chapter

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