Japan opens National Info Centre
Japan will open a National Information Centre in order to collate data on the academic credentials of institutions and students, in English, for the use of overseas university admissions staff.
A report by the Japanese newspaper The Yomiuri Shimbun detailed the plans, which include listings of the names of institutions, student details, and technical details which have proved difficult for foreign professionals to understand.
“The NIC will create a database to provide in English the names of domestic higher education institutions, academic degrees and other matters and their respective systems to answer universities’ and companies’ inquiries,” according to the English language version of The Yomiuri.
The government is aiming to make it easier for foreign institutions to access and understand student records, who currently have to request data from HEIs individually, and can have difficulty with terms such as “tanki-daigakushi” [associate degrees], and “jun-gakushi” [vocational qualifications].
“It is feared Japanese students are at a disadvantage when competing for places at overseas universities,” the local paper pointed out.
Though no government confirmation was available, The Yomiuri reported the NIC is likely to open in 2019 under the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry.
NICs are commonplace across the EU (the Naric system), US and Asia, but a central resource for Japanese institutions has never been available before.