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07 Dec International Faculty Experiences of Academic Life at Universities in Japan – Varun Khanna



The 3rd Annual Conference on Global Higher Education at Lakeland College Japan, June 4, 2016

The video quality here is quite horrible, my apologies.

Some key themes from a qualitative study of international academics in Japan

Varun Khanna バルン・カンナ
​School of Human Sciences​,​ Osaka University, Japan​ ​人間科学専攻、大阪大学

ABSTRACT

Inviting international academics is a key challenge for Japan in order to accomplish its efforts to ‘brain gain’ and ‘internationalize’ its universities. There seems to have been a myriad of approaches and schemes by the universities and the Japanese government. Internationalization, as an agenda has resulted in the recruitment of ‘foreign’ faculty members. Now, around 4% of the faculty is international, a number that is still quite low when compared with top universities in the English-speaking west. While there has been much research on the satisfaction and experience of foreign students, we know little of how foreign academics perceive and navigate their time at Japan’s universities. In order for the leading research universities to attract and retain an international professoriate in today’s global climate, it is imperative that we understand the needs, expectations and factors that affect job satisfaction level for this global workforce. The qualitative data of twenty-two international faculty members collected for this study at the seven former imperial universities provides a personal context of international academics woven into broader discussions of patterns and changes occurring in the top national universities. Given the lack of empirical research that directly examines the attitudes and perceptions of international academics (rather than simply counts the numbers of foreign faculty at Japanese universities), the findings will make a contribution contemporary discourse on the internationalization of higher education in Japan, and more specifically, will shed light to questions of the impact of globalization on international knowledge economy workers in Japan.

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