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Increasing expectations for KOSEN (Colleges of Technology)

A report from the Central Council for Education
“The development of National KOSEN”

Aiming to carry on manufacturing skills, developments and innovation (2008.12)

  • Shifting from training as a leading engineer to training as a highly practical and creative engineer in a wide range of fields.
  • Global development: training global engineers and promotion of international students exchanges.
  • Contribution to the local community and technological innovation from the local industry.
  • The needs of recurrent education and human resources to contribute to the revitalization of local industry.

OECD Report

OECD Report

---OECD Reviews of Tertiary Education in Japan

The following is extracted from the original:

(P.16 first paragraph)
There is one notable exception to this portrayal, which is worthy of note. As Tables 1 and 2 indicate, when it comes to kosen, 87.3% of the institutions and 87.5% of the students are in publicly funded, national institutions, organised through the Institute of National Colleges of Technology. They provide vocational education for those between the ages of 15 and 20, with the possibility of “topping up” to a full degree. They are widely admired internationally, not only for the quality of the high-level vocational training they offer, but also for their degree of responsiveness to the needs of Japanese industry, especially the manufacturing sector. They also provide a socially inclusive progression pathway for students from lower socio-economic groups in Japan. We, like countless other overseas evaluators, were impressed by their management, quality and innovation.

(P.25 third paragraph)
The exception to this is the kosen. They are effectively planned and coordinated through the Institute of National Colleges of Technology and combine high levels of quality assurance, innovative pedagogy, attentiveness to stakeholder needs (especially employers) and a wide geographical spread. They also provide access to tertiary education from families whose children have traditionally been underrepresented - those from lower socio-economic groups, from rural areas, etc. We believe that the success of these colleges owes something to the mixture of planning at the national level allied to operational autonomy and responsiveness to markets at the local level.

OECD Reviews Of Tertiary Education Japan website:

Action for internationalization at KOSEN

  • Cooperation with the JICA project “Industrial Automation Technologies” with a private consultant company for training teachers at an Anatolian vocational high school in August 2007.
  • The 15th Asian Symposium on Ecotechnology “International Symposium on Ecotechnology in Collaboration with KOSEN and Universities of Technology” was hosted by Toyama KOSEN in Ishikawa prefecture in October 2008.
  • Setting up of the sectional meeting to internationalize KOSEN and promote acceptance of overseas students in January 2009.
  • Introduction of the overseas internship program under the agreements with Mitsui & Co., LTD and three other companies in March 2009.
  • Establishment of the “Center for International Students Exchange” in Okinawa KOSEN as the nationwide common facility to carry out internationalization activities for KOSEN.
  • Specification of the promotion of acceptance of overseas students and internationalization in the medium-term goals and plans of KOSEN.