Foreign influences on Japanese and Chinese higher education: a comparative analysis

Qiang Zha


Two forces shaped Japanese and Chinese systems of higher education. These include the impact of foreign influences on the basic academic model; and the indigenization of the universities as part of the national development processes that took place in each country. Japan and China share significant similarities in the patterns and process of their adoption of foreign influences. This essay, however, discusses through comparison the underlying differences behind the perceived similarities between the two countries in borrowing and adopting foreign forms of higher education. The author argues that Japan followed a bifocal approach to the appropriation of foreign ideas in relation to the development of its higher education system. China, in contrast, adopted a go it alone policy, as it was unwilling or unable to abandon some of its deeply held traditional beliefs. The author therefore concludes that Japanese higher education succeeded in drawing a distinction between imported innovations and original ethos, while Chinese higher education failed to adapt innovative foreign models to its traditional patterns.

Deux forces principales ont contribu la formation des systmes denseignement suprieurs de la Chine et du Japon. Elles comprennent limpact des influences trangres sur le modle acadmique de base, et lindignisation des universits lintrieur du processus de dveloppement national de chaque pays. La Chine et le Japon partagent des similarits importantes dans leurs tendances et processus dadaptation des influences trangres. Cette rdaction discute laide dune comparaison les diffrences sous-jacentes derrire les similarits perues entre les deux pays en empruntant et en adoptant des formes trangres denseignement suprieur. Lauteur affirme que le Japon a suivit un approche bifocal lappropriation des ides trangres en relation au dveloppement de son systme denseignement suprieur. Par contraste, la Chine a dcid de faire ~cavalier seul~ puisquelle ne voulait pas ou tait incapable dabandonner certaines de ses croyances traditionnelles fondamentales. Lauteur conclue donc que lenseignement suprieur au Japon a russit faire la distinction entre des innovations importes et lethos original, alors que lenseignement suprieur en Chine na pas russit adapter des modles trangers innovateurs ses caractristiques traditionnelles


Comparative Education

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Higher Education Perspectives. ISSN: 1710-1530