Issues Related to the Internationalizing of Japanese Universities

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Christopher G. Haswell, Fukuoka University

In an era of increased internationalization in tertiary education, the Japan Ministry of Education’s Global 30 Project was aimed at rapidly increasing the number of foreign students in Japan. However, there has been little investigation of how these international students are being received by their Japanese peers, and what effect an internationalized study environment has on opinions of both foreign and domestic students with respect to their language study and attitudes towards English use. Utilizing a 2-stage methodology of surveys supported by focus-group interviews, I compared students at a Japanese international university with students at a Global 30 university and a regular private university in Japan. The findings suggest that the increase in international university students could have a positive effect on domestic students in relation to their attitudes towards the study of English. However, there were concerns among international students connected to their experience of localized varieties of English.