Working Paper 10
Changes and challenges to higher education financing in Japan
Published December 2016

Professor Futao Huang from Hiroshima University analyses the changes to higher education funding in Japan and the extent to which these changes have led to the expansion and improvement of Japanese universities.

The paper focuses particularly on the period since the early 2000s, when higher education in Japan faced a number of national and global challenges.

Professor Huang argues that the Japanese government, in contrast to many Western countries, has played a strong role in responding to these challenges through financing frameworks of quality assurance and governance arrangements at a university level. The government also continues to provide financial support to all universities, despite the influence of market forces in Japanese higher education.

Professor Huang concludes that there is little doubt that more diversified, transparent, and accountable frameworks of higher education financing in Japan are being constructed. Positive effects from these frameworks include the massification and internationalisation of Japanese higher education, quality assurance of individual universities and colleges, and close partnership and collaboration between industry, universities and government.