BERRY Brian David
Doctoral Student, Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies: ITASIA, The University of Tokyo
Keywords: Globalization, Higher Education, Japanese Universities, English Taught Program, Institutional Ethnography
Keywords: Globalization of Higher Education, Higher Education, Internationalization, Japanese Universities, English Taught Program, Institutional Ethnography
Graduate students—both Japanese and international—play an active role in their professional development through globalizing their graduate program at one Japanese university, the focus of this study. This study is set against the broader background of the globalization of higher education, the role of students in higher education, and implementation of governmental education policies in Japan.
While there has been examination of foreign faculty involvement in globalization of universities in Asia (Kim, 2016; McVeigh, 2002), the existence of a ”grass-roots" graduate student involvement has been neglected. Instead, research has focused primarily on top-down government policy and isolated cases of undergraduate education designed primarily around the use of the English language (Eades et al., 2005; Tsuneyoshi 2005).
This institutional ethnography based research involves seven years of participant-observation, auto-ethnographic data, as well as semi-structured and unstructured interviews of graduate students and faculty related to the ITASIA program—Information, Technology, and Society in Asia. The data was examined using NVivo 11 (qualitative analysis software) and key cases were identified within the context of existing educational ethnography studies.
The result reveals that, despite the systemic and cultural barriers that they frequently encounter, the graduate students learn to negotiate the power relations within the university and empower themselves as professionals. While majority of ETP are ad hoc (Brown, 2015; Bradford, 2014), these findings are applicable to many other similar program-related issues for understanding how students negotiate the program and university to empower themselves as professionals.