The Influence of Internationalization Policy on Master’s Education in Japan: A Comparison of “Super Global” and Mass-Market Universities


This study explores the dynamics of master’s education in Japan resulting from various internationalization policies through a comparison of master’s degree programs offered by Japan’s “Super Global Universities (SGUs)” and the country’s mass-market universities. Using case studies and interviews, the impact of internationalization policy and other external factors on the ecology of master’s programs is examined, and the way in which the master’s programs in these two different types of universities have reacted is analyzed. Although a common pattern of increases in the number of international students enrolled in these master’s programs was observed, responses to the internationalization policies and external environmental changes were found to be diverse. Based on the study’s findings, specific, targeted policies rather than broad generic policies aimed at promoting the internationalization of master’s education in Japan are needed. The recruitment of qualified students and a balance of Japanese and international students in master’s education is seen as a key to effectively implementing internationalization.

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This paper was partly supported by the funding of Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (18K13196) and by the funding of International Joint Research Programs at Research Institute for Higher Education in Hiroshima University (S30001).

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Correspondence to Yangson Kim.

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Shimauchi, S., Kim, Y. The Influence of Internationalization Policy on Master’s Education in Japan: A Comparison of “Super Global” and Mass-Market Universities. High Educ Policy (2020).

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  • Master’s education
  • Internationalization policy
  • International student mobility
  • Elite and mass