Just a quick one from our friends at the Japan Times.
Colleges in Japan start in April. That’s the new fiscal year, and the new corporate year. It used to be the start of the year in the West, as well, a couple hundred years ago.
The Todai people feel that the April start gets in the way of inviting foreign students to study at Todai, since schools outside of Japan run September to May.
I feel that Todai should try September. The future of higher education–and not just in Japan–is going to rely heavily on the ability and desire of schools to experiment with new and different ways to bring education to the student. YouTube and internet technology are already working on that. A lot of technology is razzle-dazzle, and tends to give a person the feeling of knowing or understanding, but a lot of the new ways we communicate really do put the old university model into question.
There is no practical reason a school has to start in a certain month, if you stagger the course offerings. The difficulty is that if you are trying to educate a cohort, it’s a lot cheaper to educate them all at once.
Japanese schools are said to be falling behind on the international scene; and, even, that Todai isn’t the best anymore within Japan–compared to University of Kyoto and a half dozen other schools. I really don’t know, and am still just trying to nail down what Temple University Japan is still doing there.
More small changes in the country that doesn’t change.