Japan's education ministry considers foreign joint degree programs

Japan's education ministry considers foreign joint degree programs

The education ministry has decided to introduce a system in which a student who completes a curriculum established jointly by domestic and overseas universities will receive a degree in the joint names of both universities, according to sources.

The Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry on Monday consulted the Central Council for Education about a revision of the standards for the establishment of universities so that an "international cooperation faculty" with the aim of educational research in cooperation with foreign universities can be set up at domestic university departments.

According to the ministry, the faculty offers classes jointly with foreign universities under the "joint degree system" with students able to study at both universities by moving between them.

The aim of this faculty is to provide high-quality education that a single university cannot offer, resulting in more students studying abroad and strengthening collaboration between domestic and foreign universities.

Now, there are some universities that confer joint degrees by collaborating with foreign universities. But these arrangements weigh down students with a heavy burden as they are required to finish many courses.

The international cooperation faculty will consider treating the completion of courses at foreign universities the same as finishing them at domestic ones so students can graduate in four years more easily, according to the sources.

Bearing these discussions at the council in mind, the ministry aims to revise the standards for the establishment of universities, probably within this year, with plans to roll out the system in October 2015.

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