Do Japanese Undergraduates Think They Will be in an International Environment?

Liang Morita


Based on a data of 217 responses to questionnaires and conducted at a top Japanese national university, this paper examines the objective of preparing students to function in an international and intercultural context in the internationalisation of universities. Many educators have proceeded to internationalise the curriculum based on this objective but few have stopped to ask students if they really think they will be in an international environment. This question is particularly pertinent in Japan given its sakoku (‘closed country’) history and the recent description by the government of young people as being inward-looking. The author found that although some young people are influenced by sakoku thinking, many are outward-looking and positive about globalisation. There is however a tendency to perceive globalisation as an abstract concept and not engage with it. Students in engineering and science are more likely to perceive themselves working in an international environment compared to literature and law students.

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International Journal of Higher Education
ISSN 1927-6044 (Print) ISSN 1927-6052 (Online) Email:

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