The government and top universities in Japan have struggled to establish the country’s status of being a world leader in higher education. This chapter will examine the ideas and actual implementation of world-class university policies in Japan, both at the national policy level and at the university level. At the national policy level, government policy has focused on reforming university governance and on procuring international talent, as well as the diversification of the universities’ missions. At the institutional level, universities have made efforts to generate income from external resources and have tried to provide scholarships and incentives to exceptional young researchers. The national policies and the institutional mission statements of the top universities have already taken for granted the necessity of pursuing the world-class status. Top Japanese universities are therefore currently seeking a new paradigm and identity in the midst of continuous and widening global competition.
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