Panel 4 (B-2): Teaching at/by Different Types of Universities and Institutes

Panel Coordinator:Kazuaki Tsutsumi (Osaka University, Japan)


Panel Abstract:


When we consider “history education in universities,” we must be aware that the situation is different depending on the character of each university. There is a total of 783 universities in Japan (176 public universities and 607 private universities) and a large difference in the number of students, and the number of undergraduate and graduate schools. Moreover, the difference between universities because of the so-called “deviation order” is also extensive.

As one aspect of the panel of discussion on “teaching” history, four different types of institutions can be introduced: 1) large-scale research universities, 2) “local universities,” 3) international universities, and 4) non-university institutions. Not only will we identify the different issues we are facing, we will also consider which issues we should work together on in the future.

Another thing we would like to draw attention to are the differences among the students of history education at university. For example, three types of students can be expected: (a) those who will be university teachers in the future, (b) those who will be secondary teachers in the future, and (c) a wide range of future citizens. How should I teach history and how to learn history to each type of student? How can we achieve more intentional, “strategic” ways of teaching history, and of mutual cooperation beyond each current situation by connecting the following four cases?

A representative example of a large-scale research university in Japan is the “National Seven University” (predecessor of the “Imperial University” before the war), one of which is Osaka University. The term “local university” mainly refers to national universities established in 1949 after each of the 47 regional public organizations (“prefecture”) in Japan. They are often integrated universities formed by the integration of multiple pre-war institutions of higher education and the addition of new faculties. Shizuoka University, which will be discussed at this time, is a large-scale regional university with approximately 700 teachers, approximately 8,000 undergraduate students, and 1,600 graduate students.

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan has named 37 schools as part of its project to promote university globalization (through thorough internationalization and world-class education and research). Ritsumeikan University and Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, which are examples of international universities, are two of these designated schools.

The Northeast Asian History Foundation, an example of a non-university institution, is a public institution established under the Korean Ministry of Education in 2006. Many of its activities can be seen in its educational activities, such as history education for citizens and development of the history education program.




History Education at a Large Research University: History Education Reform in the History Major at Osaka University, School of Letters


Kazuaki Tsutsumi (Osaka University, Japan)


The purpose of this report is to introduce the kind of problems history education has at Osaka University, one of the large-scale research universities, and how the program has been reformed.

The first part of the discussion introduces the current state of research and education in history and its problems. First, I would like to introduce the fact that history is divided into three areas in universities in Japan, and there are negative effects to this so-called “result-based” evaluation of researchers. Because education and historical research are divided in this way, it is difficult to create mutual interaction between the three fields. An excessive orientation to results, which are evaluated by the number of papers produced, has resulted in the excessive departmentalization of research. Second, I would like to discuss the impact of the division of historical subjects in secondary education. There are many college students who did not have the opportunity to learn a common history in either “Japanese history” or “World history.” If students receive an education only in Japanese history subjects, they may not be able to objectively capture the history of their own country, and there is a risk that this type of teaching will reproduce narrow patriotism and arrogant self-awareness.

The second part introduces Osaka University’s history education reform of the “Osaka University model.” This reform has three major goals. The first is to provide the historical knowledge necessary for one to be active internationally. Specifically, it is the ability to put together detailed and extensive knowledge of history on a large scale. This ability is necessary for both university teachers and high school teachers. The second purpose is to train teachers who can learn high school history education, not simply by rote memorization of the contents of high school Japanese history and world history textbooks. The third purpose is to prepare appropriate university entrance examination questions for history subjects, to educate university teachers who can undertake specialized education in history with a broad knowledge and perspective, and to teach general history as part of the liberal arts and teacher-training course in history.

To achieve these three objectives, we have implemented the following three reforms. The first is the provision of the “World History of Liberal Arts Course.” The second is the provision of the new “Introduction to History” subject. The third reform is the establishment of practice subjects that involve giving presentations and debates that are not confined to the student’s own specialized framework. This subject is also a training site for young researchers and future high school teachers.


The Situation of Local Universities: The Case of Shizuoka University


Jun Iwai (Shizuoka University, Japan)


In recent years, the study and value of the humanities have come under growing pressure in Japan. Many Japanese universities face a decrease in academic staff in the humanities, including the Department of History. At the National University Corporation, they are rapidly decreasing compared with the academic staff of the natural sciences. In Shizuoka University, the academic staff in History separately belong to the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Faculty of Education, and the Faculty of Informatics. There are seven staff in the Humanities and Social Sciences, three in Education, and two in Informatics. Thus, I place the stress on the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, as most of the staff of the Department of History come together in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, rather than because I belong to this faculty. In this faculty, the academic history staff have decreased rapidly. In the 1990s, there were 11 staff members, but now we have only a staff of seven. Specifically, there are two in Japanese History, one in Chinese History, one in British History (that is me), one in Czech History, and two in Archaeology. Thus, we have experienced a drastic decrease.

Given these difficult conditions, we looked for an efficient way to teach history at our university. First, we tried to reform the undergraduate education. Although we had initially divided students in our department into three sections: Japanese History, World History, and Archaeology in their second year, we changed this system and instead divided them in their third year. Now many second-year students study an overview of history, such as Japanese History and World History. As a result, we were able to reduce the number of special subjects offered. Secondly, we founded a new society of history education that was aided and supported by other faculty staff and high school teachers. That society, named the Society of History Education in Shizuoka (静岡歴史教育研究会) was established in 2010. I will focus on this society. I will first examine the ways and purposes of our society; second, the coexistence between history and history education; third, the cooperation between high schools and Shizuoka University; and finally, the integration of Japanese history and world history.


Teaching Japanese History in the Globalisation/Internationalisation of Japan’s Higher Education: From the Cases of “Top Global Universities” of Japan


Kayoko Fujita (Ritsumeikan University, Japan)


Since the 1980s, the globalisation/internationalisation of Japan’s university education has been promoted by politics, bureaucracy, and business, in view of trends of a declining birth rate, worldwide competition for highly-skilled human resources, and the multiculturalisation of Japanese society itself.

The most recent attempts to respond to these challenges include the Global 30 (2009–2014) and Top Global University Project (2014–to date) schemes of the Japanese Ministry of Education (MEXT). These projects have created severe competition between the selected national, public, and private universities within Japan and universities in North America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region for high-quality international students. Japanese universities also have been actively sending their students overseas. At such ‘Global Universities’ of Japan, it has become quite common that domestic and international students—both short-term visiting and long-term students—are learning together in English-based courses. At the most innovative schools, international students in a 4-year programme even challenge themselves to study in courses offered in Japanese following intensive Japanese language training.

Other universities and colleges are also making a serious institutional commitment towards globalising their curriculum: beginning in the 2019 academic year, more than a dozen higher education institutions have been authorised by MEXT to set up a department or a faculty with so-called ‘international’ curricula that covers a wide range of disciplines, from liberal arts and Japanese studies to management, information sciences, medicine, and nursing.

This paper firstly outlines the recent initiatives of Japan’s private higher education institutions to globalise/internationalise their campuses, based on the presenter’s experiences in education and administration at two private universities, both of which were designated as Top Global Universities in the Global Traction Type category (Type B) since 2014.

Secondly, it introduces how Japanese history is taught in multi-national, -lingual, and -cultural classrooms at such universities. It presents actual cases of lecture and discussion sessions in English with the mixture of international and home students in liberal arts environments, as well as a new educational approach called Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL), in which students learn a subject (Japanese history) and a second language (English) at the same time.


School and Social Educational Projects by the Northeast Asian History Foundation, South Korea: A Current Situation and Prospects


Kim Minkyu (Northeast Asian History Foundation, South Korea)


Northeast Asian History Foundation (NAHF), a history research institution under South Korea’s Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, was established in 2006. NAFH is aimed at re-examining the so-called history problems and presenting reasonable solutions to them. Its ultimate goal is to maintain peace in Northeast Asia by preventing the politicization and exacerbation of the problems.

To attain this goal, NAHF not only provides ideas for the research and the development of teaching materials, but plans and executes educational projects for students and teachers. These projects are carried out domestically, as well as through international collaboration. The Foundation, for instance, supports a Korean-Japanese teacher exchange program to provide high school students with different viewpoints towards history, and to promote mutual understanding.

In this presentation, I will introduce the educational projects NAHF provides for the purpose of alleviating history conflicts among East Asian countries. Hopefully this report will make a small contribution to the co-existence and co-prosperity of East Asian countries through the re-writing of history based on peace-oriented perspective.