30 April 2018

The characteristics of international faculty at Japanese universities

In a new paper, Professor Futao Huang investigates the characteristics of international faculty at Japanese universities.

The study explores key aspects of the personal, educational, and professional characteristics of international faculty and their work roles at Japanese universities and is based on findings from a 2017 national survey.

The findings reveal a number of differences between international faculty and their Japanese counterparts in terms of their highest degree awarded, academic rank, and between disciplines. Professor Huang argues this is partly because individual universities may adopt different policies when recruiting international faculty compared to when hiring local academics.

It also reflects that to some extent international faculty are expected to play different roles than their Japanese colleagues. In particular, the findings show that international faculty are expected to undertake activities to help enhance the international reputation of their universities.

Professor Huang argues that it is important to create an appropriate definition of international or foreign faculty in higher education according to national, cultural, and institutional contexts. This is not merely an academic issue, but is largely concerned with developing effective immigration policies and the broader process of internationalising the Japanese academic labour market.

International faculty at Japanese universities: their demographic characteristics and work roles is published in Asia Pacific Education Review.