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ScholarOne - World-class Education for the Few: A Foucauldian Analysis of Japan’s Designated National University Corporation System Policy Discourse
  • Mark Birtles
Mark Birtles
Hosei University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Abstract

This study explores the discourse of educational excellence and internationalisation in Japan’s Designated National University Corporation System. It frames the policy initiative within the continuum of longstanding goals set by the Japanese government and demonstrates how the work of Michel Foucault can be used to help uncover intricate power dynamics and ideological conflicts inherent in policy. The investigation employs Carol Bacchi’s “What’s the Problem Represented to Be?” framework to operationalise Foucault’s theories and investigate the policy discourse. Consequently, the research illuminates the government’s central concern as the global competitiveness of Japanese universities, leading to the imposition of rigorous criteria for the designation, emphasising research quality, collaboration with society, and international cooperation. The recommendation is that more comprehensive reforms are needed to foster authentic global engagement and inclusivity across a broader base of higher education institutions, rather than focussing resources on elites and their pursuit of global prestige.
26 Jan 2024Submitted to Advance
05 Apr 2024Published in Advance