Contextualizing Internationalization in Higher Education: Study Abroad Programs for Global Human Resource Development
Japanese higher education institutions (HEIs) are increasingly channeling resources to education development, especially for students who need to hone skills such as critical thinking skills to compete in the global economy. Over the past few years, Japanese higher education policies formulated by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) have started to prioritize raising global human resources through study abroad programs to enhance Japan’s competitiveness in a global knowledge-based society. This chapter outlines how study abroad program trends in Japan follow global trends in that Japanese HEIs are becoming more involved in enriching the overall learning experience of studying abroad through changes in home country policies and the management of study abroad programs, and participation of other stakeholders such as businesses. The case study in this chapter discusses how changes in study abroad policies, program focus, and curriculum design at home country institutions have been targeted to help improve the quantity and quality of the students’ cross-cultural learning experience abroad while taking into consideration the overarching purpose of global human resource development. The actual study abroad experience, therefore, has become but one small cog in the bigger wheel of the overall study abroad programs that begins prior to departure in the form of pre-study abroad courses and continues after studying abroad when students take reflective or post-study abroad courses.
KeywordsStudy abroad Internationalization of higher education Japan Student mobility Globalization
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