Yutori Kyoiku and the uncertainty of recent neo-liberal reforms in Japanese higher education

Wada, Masato & Burnett, Bruce M. (2011) Yutori Kyoiku and the uncertainty of recent neo-liberal reforms in Japanese higher education. Bulletin of Center for the Research and Support of Educational Practice, 7, pp. 69-78.

View at publisher (open access)


This paper draws upon the current situation within Japanese Higher Education. In particular the paper focuses on educational reforms and how they relate to the notions of Yutori Kyoiku which constituted a major attempt by Japanese education to develop individual student capacity. A clear subtext of the recent neo-liberal reform agenda is a desire to incorporated free-market ideals into the Japanese educational system.

This paper raises several important problems connected to the reforms such as the decrease in classroom hours, changes to the contents of textbooks and a growing discrepancy in academic skills between students in different localities. These education reforms have impacted on notions of Yutori Kyoiku through the continuation of nationally standardized testing and changes directed at controlling the practices of classroom teachers. While acknowledging the current Japanese cabinet’s (DP) education policy has been inherited from an earlier LDP government, the paper points to similarities between the current reforms and the iconic Meiji era reforms of the late 1800s.

Impact and interest:

Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

308 since deposited on 09 Apr 2013
50 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 58963
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: No
Keywords: Japanese education system, Yutori Kyoiku , Neo-liberal education reforms, HERN
ISSN: 1349-9580
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Higher Education (130103)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 Please consult author(s)
Deposited On: 09 Apr 2013 01:31
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2017 14:44

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page