Sustainability of Global 30 Program at Japanese National Universities in Japan

Conference: The Asian Conference on Education (ACE2021)
Title: Sustainability of Global 30 Program at Japanese National Universities in Japan
Stream: Curriculum Design & Development
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Yukiko Ishikura, Osaka University, Japan


"Project for Establishing University Network for Internationalization", or Global 30 (G30), was the government-initiated internationalization project for universities from 2009 to 2014 in Japan. Thirteen universities were selected to lead the internationalization by developing degree courses in English to attract a wider international student population and enhance the international learning environment for both international and domestic students. Of the selected universities, this study focuses only on the national universities as this project was their first attempt at introducing undergraduate degree programs.

This paper sheds light on how selected national universities have sustained and developed their English-medium undergraduate degree programs after the G30 government funding cycle ended. It takes a qualitative research approach, by interviewing key stakeholders designing and delivering the programs at three identified national universities. It revealed that launching undergraduate English-medium programs motivated universities well to attract a more diverse student body. However, expanding the scope of internationalization to the domestic student population and Dejima-ization, where internationalized students are isolated from the rest of the Japanese-speaking campus community, have been challenging. Based on the lessons learned from the G30 Project, some universities began offering their programs or courses to the Japanese student population to solve this issue. Some bilingual programs were newly introduced wherein international students studied in English for the first two years and then shifted the medium of instruction to Japanese for the remaining years, to study with domestic students. A lack of human and financial resources remains a challenge for the new initiatives.

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