Academic Relations Between the EU and Japan: Current Status and Future Prospects (September 2014)


Academic relations and education exchanges between the EU and Japan have initially been encouraged by the former, followed by an intensified effort in recent years by the latter. Such a gap stems mainly from the differences in the demands from the labour markets of the two parties. While the European labour market typically appreciates the experience and knowledge gained through studying abroad, the Japanese one does not necessarily reward academic mobility and higher degrees obtained outside the country. Faced with this discrepancy between the EU and Japan regarding their perceptions of the benefits of academic mobility, what kind of frameworks have been set up by the EU thus far with the purpose of enhancing academic cooperation with Japan? What are the most important milestones in the process of establishing academic relations between the EU and Japan? How does Japan deal with the internationalisation of higher education? What can the two partners expect from their future cooperation? This paper aims to investigate the current state of academic relations and education exchanges between the EU and Japan, highlighting some of the most important aspects of this partnership, and deeply reflect on the prospects of further developing academic relations between the two partners in the near future.