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Research on Academic Degrees

NIAD-UE is engaged in comprehensive research closely related to its role of awarding degrees in a lifelong learning society. Research activities focus on current topics of higher education as well as on various systems available for obtaining of academic degrees, especially non-traditional degree programs. It makes the results of its research widely available so that they will serve as a reference for universities and higher education institutions.

1 .The Structure and Prerequisites of Academic Degrees in relation to International Compatibility

Student mobility is growing extensive both in and outside the country while the provision of study programs is becoming diversified, as is evidenced by programs offered collaboratively by two or more institutions or through distance learning including e-learning. In this context, it is much more important for the degree-awarding institutions to ensure the academic standards of credits and qualifi cations, as well as the accuracy of any formal transcript or record of achievement confi rming these. NIAD-UE conducts research on themes concerning the comparability and compatibility of academic qualifi cations and credits, focused on higher education in Japan and other countries.

2 .The Awarding of Academic Degrees through Credit Accumulation and Transfer

In a globalized and lifelong learning society, learning opportunities are becoming increasingly diverse. From this point of view, research is being conducted to fi nd possible measures for the assessment of learning outcomes, awarding of credits, and granting of degrees based on such diverse learning experiences. Moreover, NIAD-UE conducts research and development focused on the course classifi cation support system, which is a system for supporting eff orts to classify subjects for the awarding of academic degrees, using syllabuses in electronic form.

3 .Follow-up Surveys of NIAD-UE Degree Recipients

NIAD-UE conducts follow-up questionnaire-based surveys among the recipients of its degrees to improve the process in Scheme I under the NIAD-UE degree-awarding system. These periodic surveys target the same cohort and are conducted at different stages, namely at one year and fi ve years after the degrees have been awarded. The questionnaire focuses not only on the recipients learning processes and patterns, but also on their careers after receiving their degrees.

4 .Workshops and Symposia

NIAD-UE holds workshops that enable and enhance international dialogues on various topics concerning higher education, particularly credits recognition and quality assurance in degree-awarding. In FY2012, NIAD-UE held its first joint workshop with the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifi cations (HKCAAVQ), with which NIAD-UE has concluded a memorandum of understanding, providing an opportunity for the gathering of information and the exchange of opinions. It also conducted international seminars to discuss the latest higher education policies especially in Japan, Korea and the United States. Since FY2004, NIAD-UE has held regular research conferences to work in partnership with external researchers in the fi eld of higher education on comparative studies of degrees and credit systems in Japan and overseas.

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