How Do Japanese Universities Rate in Global Terms?
It is often asked how Japanese universities rate when compared to other universities around the world. According to the 2015 Academic Ranking of World Universities from the Center for World-Class Universities at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, the world’s top university is Harvard, followed by Stanford, Massachusetts, California (Berkeley) and then Cambridge. The highest Japanese university is the University of Tokyo in 21st place, followed by Kyoto (26th) and Nagoya (77th). It seems unlikely that a Japanese university will ever make it into the top ten any time soon.
Revitalization strategies developed by the Headquarters for Japan's Economic Revitalization, an organ of the Japanese government, call for Japanese universities to be on par with the best universities in the world by lifting overall standards in the tertiary education sector. The problem is that much of the improvement to date has been left to the expertise and judgment of individual instructors. There has been little evidence of the sort of quantitative evaluation needed to achieve objective and ongoing improvements.
Analysis of Learning Evidence Data as the Basis for New Approaches to Education and Autonomous Learning
Fujitsu and Kyoto University have launched a joint study to develop more effective pedagogy and encourage greater autonomy in student learning.
Kyoto University has introduced a number of teaching and learning support systems since 2004 to build up a store of so-called “learning evidence data” on students, including subjects taken and materials used, time spent browsing and utilizing materials, and educational attainment. Fujitsu, meanwhile, has been applying advanced Big Data analysis, security technology and other forms of ICT in education and learning, and developing solutions applicable to society at large.
The joint study brings together the combined expertise of Kyoto University and Fujitsu, with the former providing a vast store of valuable learning evidence data and the latter developing an ICT data analysis platform for developing new tuition and self-motivated study methodologies.
An Effective Lifelong Education and Learning Environment for All
A key feature of the joint study is the analysis of learning evidence data associated with Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC)* and the presentation of analysis findings. For example, MOOC data is used to explore the correlation between the learning behavior and level of academic achievement of students who watch educational videos. Kyoto University supplies learning evidence data and examines analysis policies, while Fujitsu develops the analysis tools and performs the analyses.
In conjunction with the ongoing integration, analysis and visualization of learning evidence data in areas such as teaching methodology, curriculum, student learning behavior and academic outcomes, the joint study will provide useful information about the current state of the tertiary education sector.
Fujitsu will utilize the findings of the joint study to pursue the further development of the ICT platform for analyzing learning evidence data with a view to providing a comprehensive environment for lifelong education and learning for the benefit of society as a whole, rather than merely the tertiary education sector.
* University-level lectures and materials provided over the Internet, generally at low cost or no cost