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Quality Assurance System

Quality Assurance System

Quality Assurance System

Each higher education institution conducts autonomous and independent quality assurance (internal quality assurance) on education and research activities. In addition, there are public quality assurance systems in place, which function together with standards for establishment and other laws and regulations, such as Approval System of the Establishment and Certified Evaluation and Accreditation (CEA).

University and College of Technology (KOSEN)

Standards for Establishment

Each type of HEI has its own standards for establishment specified by law. In addition, separate standards for establishment are set for distance learning programs.

Approval of Establishment

Only the national government, local governments, and school corporations can establish universities and Colleges of Technology in Japan. Under the law, the Japanese government establishes national universities and national Colleges of Technology together with the organizations running them, i.e. National University Corporation and KOSEN National Institute of Technology, Japan. To establish a public or private university, College of Technology, graduate school, or faculty within a university, the approval of the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology is needed as a general rule, and the Council for University Chartering and School Corporation must be consulted for approval to be granted.

*The Council for University Chartering and School Corporation is established through legislation. The Council has two subcommittees: subcommittee on university chartering and subcommittee on school corporation.
・ Subcommittee on University Chartering: examines whether the name, educational program, organization of academic staff, school grounds, buildings, etc. of universities being newly established are compliant with legislation and regulations.
・ Subcommittee on School Corporation: examines whether the financial planning, administration, etc. of universities being newly established are compliant with legislation and regulations.

Details on approval of establishment for public and private universities can be found here [Japanese only].

Survey to Track Implementation of University Foundation Plans

When a university or College of Technology is newly established or when an existing university or College of Technology newly establishes a faculty or graduate school, a survey is conducted by the Council for University Chartering and School Corporation to monitor the implementation of the plan. As a general rule, the survey is conducted from the time of establishment until the academic year in which it produces its first graduates.

As for the procedure of the survey, first, all relevant educational institutions submit a progress report of foundation plans, the document is reviewed, and then interviews and on-site visits are conducted as needed depending on the results of the document review. In the event that remarks are made as a result of deliberation of the Council, a notification is sent to the relevant educational institution and the results are made public.

Internal Quality Assurance

Internal quality assurance is conducted independently and autonomously by each HEI through periodic self-assessments on their educational and research activities, in light of the goals of each institution. It consists of each institution’s self-assessment and improvement (there is no legal definition).

Self-Assessment

Universities and Colleges of Technology are obliged to conduct self-assessments on the condition of their education and research, organization and management, and facilities and equipment, and to make the results public. There is no unified standard in this process; each educational institution conducts self-assessment according to a system and evaluation items that they deem to be appropriate.

Certified Evcaluation and Accreditation (CEA)

CEA organizations certified by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology evaluate condition of education and research activities at universities and Colleges of Technology comprehensively, based on the evaluation standards set by each CEA organization.

Universities and Colleges of Technology are obligated to undergo comprehensive evaluation (institutional CEA) once within seven years. In addition to institutional CEA, Professional and Vocational Universities, Professional and Vocational Junior Colleges, and Professional Graduate Schools are obliged to undergo evaluation according to the characteristics of that field of study (CEA by academic discipline) once within five years. The evaluations are mandatory; HEIs have a choice of which CEA organization it is evaluated by.

CEA Organizations (by Institution Type)

Subject of Evaluation Name in Japanese Name in English Certified Date

University
(except junior college)


 


 

公益財団法人 大学基準協会 Japan University Accreditation Association (JUAA)  2004.8.31
独立行政法人 大学改革支援・学位授与機構 National Institution for Academic Degrees and Quality Enhancement of Higher Education (NIAD-QE)  2005.1.14
公益財団法人 日本高等教育評価機構 Japan Institution for Higher Education Evaluation (JIHEE)  2005.7.12
一般財団法人 大学教育質保証・評価センター Japan Association for Quality of University Education  2019.8.21
一般財団法人 大学・短期大学基準協会(1) Japan Association for College Accreditation (JACA)  2020.3.30

Junior College

一般財団法人 大学・短期大学基準協会(1) Japan Association for College Accreditation (JACA)  2005.1.14
公益財団法人 大学基準協会 Japan University Accreditation Association (JUAA)  2007.1.25
公益財団法人 日本高等教育評価機構 Japan Institution for Higher Education Evaluation (JIHEE)  2009.9.4
College of Technology (KOSEN) 独立行政法人 大学改革支援・学位授与機構 National Institution for Academic Degrees and Quality Enhancement of Higher Education (NIAD-QE)  2005.7.12

(1) The official Japanese name of the Japan Association for College Accreditation (JACA) has been changed effective April 1, 2020.  

CEA Organizations (by Field)

Field Name in Japanese Name in English Certified Date
Law school 公益財団法人 日弁連法務研究財団 Japan Law Foundation (JLF) 2004.8.31
独立行政法人 大学改革支援・学位授与機構 National Institution for Academic Degrees and Quality Enhancement of Higher Education (NIAD-QE) 2005.1.14
公益財団法人 大学基準協会 Japan University Accreditation Association (JUAA) 2007.2.16
Management 一般社団法人 ABEST21 ABEST21 2007.10.12
公益財団法人 大学基準協会 Japan University Accreditation Association (JUAA) 2008.4.8
Accounting 特定非営利活動法人 国際会計教育協会 Japanese Institute of International Accounting Education (JIIAE) 2007.10.12
Midwifery 一般財団法人 日本助産評価機構 Japan Institute of Midwifery Evaluation (JIME) 2008.4.8
Clinical psychology 公益財団法人 日本臨床心理士資格認定協会 Foundation of the Japanese Certification Board for Clinical Psychologists (FJCBCP) 2009.9.4
Public policy 公益財団法人 大学基準協会 Japan University Accreditation Association (JUAA) 2010.3.31
Fashion business 公益財団法人 日本高等教育評価機構 Japan Institution for Higher Education Evaluation (JIHEE) 2010.3.31
Professional Graduate School for Teacher Education, school education 一般財団法人 教員養成評価機構 The Institute for the Evaluation of Teacher Education (IETE) 2010.3.31
IT, innovation for design and engineering, embedded technology, nuclear technology 一般社団法人 日本技術者教育認定機構 Japan Accreditation Board for Engineering Education  (JABEE) 2010.3.31
Public health 公益財団法人 大学基準協会 Japan University Accreditation Association (JUAA) 2011.7.4
Intellectual property 一般社団法人 ABEST21 ABEST21 2011.10.31
公益財団法人 大学基準協会 Japan University Accreditation Association (JUAA) 2012.3.29
Beauty business 一般社団法人 専門職高等教育質保証機構

Institution for Accreditation and Quality Assurance of Professional Higher Education (QAPHE) 2012.7.31
Landscape architecture

公益社団法人 日本造園学会

Japanese Institute of Landscape Architecture (JILA) 2012.7.31
Global communication 公益財団法人 大学基準協会 Japan University Accreditation Association (JUAA) 2016.3.29
Social welfare 一般社団法人 日本ソーシャルワーク教育学校連盟

Japanese Association for Social Work Education (JASWE)

2017.2.2

Digital contents 公益財団法人 大学基準協会 Japan University Accreditation Association (JUAA) 2017.8.24
Global legal 公益財団法人 大学基準協会 Japan University Accreditation Association (JUAA) 2019.11.15
Public relations 公益財団法人 大学基準協会 Japan University Accreditation Association (JUAA) 2020.3.30

Making Information Public

Universities and Colleges of Technology are obligated to make information about their education and research activities public by print or online. Items that need to be publicized include information such as the number of new students, number of students enrolled, tuition fees, and admission fees.

Professional Training College

Standards for Establishment

Standards for the establishment of Professional Training Colleges are legislated under the law, and prefectures or education committees within prefectures approve the establishment.

Self-Assessment

Professional Training Colleges are obliged to conduct self-assessment on the condition of educational activities and status of school operations and to make the results public. Specific method and items of evaluation are determined by each college.

Evaluation by Parties Related to the School

Based on the results of self-assessment, Professional Training Colleges must make efforts to conduct evaluation by parties related to the school (excluding faculty and staff members of the college) and to make the results public.

Professional Post-Secondary Course

Courses offered by Professional Training Colleges that are recognized by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology as systematically taking steps to ensure and improve the quality of education with the aim of developing practical and professional skills needed for professions are approved as Professional Post-secondary Courses. This approval shall be rescinded if the program is abolished or no longer meets the requirements.

Third-Party Evaluation

Professional Training Colleges are not required by law to undergo third-party evaluation. Colleges undergo evaluation voluntarily outsourcing to organizations in the private sector, etc.

Making Information Public

Professional Training Colleges should actively provide information regarding their educational activities and status of school operations to the public. Each institution decides the items to be publicized, such as number of new students, number of students enrolled, tuition fees, and admission fees.

Educational Institution Operated by Government Ministries and Agencies

Educational programs of educational institutions operated by government ministries and agencies which are recognized by the NIAD-QE are obliged to receive assessment (review) every five years in principle. Each institution conducts its own quality assurance measures.