Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research; Information Analyses
Japanese universities have been characterized by critics as "leisurelands" where students concentrate too much on amusements and too little on learning. While university experience for Japanese students does not always result in acquiring testable academic knowledge as efficiently as in high school, the university does provide a setting for a moratorium period during which they acquire many kinds of non-academic learning. The importance of this moratorium period can only be understood in the wider context of the educational and work institutions of Japanese society. This study, involving in-depth interviews of 84 students from 15 universities in Tokyo, Nagoya, Sendai, ad Osaka, examines the role of university education in the lives of Japanese youth. The study reveals that university students don't feel particularly under pressure to work hard in school, because employment hiring practices are heavily weighted in favor of the name of the college attended, not academic achievement. In addition, most companies don't rely on colleges to train the future employee because the companies do their own training. College entrance exams are the main hiring credentials used to measure student capability. College freedom in Japan is an opportunity to explore oneself and one's relation to society. (Author/GLR)
Paper presented to the Society for the Study of Social Problems (San Francisco, CA, August 1989).