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Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Japan

After establishment of an education system, further responsibility of its maintenance and improvement lies with the governing authority. In Japan, the quality assurance structure consists of the Standards for Establishing University (SEU), the Quality Assurance and Accreditation System (QAAS), and the establishment-approval system (EAS).

The purpose here is to respect the autonomy and independence of universities and therefore, assume that universities which are once approved would be all set to autonomously assure their own quality. Since the SEU, the OAAS and the EAS were introduced, this system has played an indispensable role in assuring appropriate levels of quality in all universities.

Efforts are being taken by the governing authorities to improve and maintain the quality of the higher education in Japan. Establishment of any school, university, junior college or graduate school requires a proper approval from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

However, there are certain standard criteria, which are needed to be accomplished by an organisation to get the approval for establishment of the university.

Here goes the various criteria that are to be fulfilled to get the approval for establishment of a university in Japan:
  • Objectives for establishment of a university must be clear and focused.
  • Subjects offered must have curriculum covering the whole scope of the subject. The structure of curriculum and study syllabus must be properly planned and organised.
  • Faculties must be well qualified to attain the goal and objectives of the university.
  • Building facilities, equipments required for curriculum must meet the proper standards.
Quality assurance has to be accomplished by all the organisations to get established as a university. From the year 1999, self evaluation was made mandatory and in 2004, this self evaluating mandate was imposed as law by the government of Japan. Hence,  to monitor these actions, quality assurance and accrediting agencies came into existence. These agencies must be certified by the ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in order to be get accredited.

Universities are needed to be improved on the basis of their self assessment. Those which are in stipulation of all the standard practices gets certified for quality assurance and accreditation.


Accrediting Organisations

There are different organisations for accreditation of institutes. They are:

Japan University Accreditation Association

The Japan University Accreditation Association (JUAA) is a voluntary organization of higher education institutions. Taking a number of U.S. accreditation agencies as a model, it was established in 1947 under the sponsorship of 46 national, local public and private universities.

Japan Institute for Higher Education Evaluation

The objectives of JIHEE are to evaluate the circumstance in which research and educational activities are conducted at private universities and help out in their self-initiated accomplishments to improve the quality of higher education, thereby contributing to the development of private universities and other educational institutions in Japan.

National Institution for Academic Degrees and University Evaluation

NIAD-UE aims to improve the quality of education and research at colleges and universities by evaluating education and research activities at such higher education institutions.

There are also some organisations which gives accreditation and quality assurance for some professional colleges. Some of these agencies are:
  • Japan Law Foundation, Japan University Accreditation Association, National Institution for Academic Degrees and University Evaluation for Graduate law school

  • NPO Japanese Institute of International Accounting Education for Finance Institutes

  • Foundation of the Japanese Certification Board for Clinical Psychologists for Clinical Psychology Institutes

  • NPO ABEST21, Japan University Accreditation Association for Management Institutes

  • NPO Japan Institute of Midwifry Evaluation for Midwifery Institutes

  • Quality assurance and accreditation of Science and Engineering colleges and Institutes are given by Japan Accreditation Board for Engineering Education (JABEE).
In recent times, many universities run their educational activities in mutual collaboration. Therefore, it is always required to secure such systems and acquire new accreditation approaches. This will help in the betterment and improvement of our education system  and other facilities.
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