Date: 22nd March, 2024 (Friday)
Time: 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. (GMT+8)
Mode: Online (via ZOOM)
Speakers: Dr. Kelsey Inouye (University of Oxford), Dr. Yangson Kim (Hiroshima University)
Chair: Dr. Jisun Jung (The University of Hong Kong)


For the past few decades, Japan has expressed concern over the growth of its scientific output, and enacted several initiatives (e.g., Global 30 and Top Global University projects) to invest in its universities, increase global competitiveness, and facilitate internationalization–including attracting students and researchers from other countries alongside the decline in both undergraduate and Ph.D. enrollment. Within this context, doctoral education is particularly important as PhD students represent the future of the academic community. Thus, this study examines the experiences of both domestic and international Ph.D. students in Japanese universities to gain insight into why they chose to pursue doctoral degrees in Japan, how they perceive the quality of their Ph.D. programs, and whether differences exist between domestic and international student perceptions. The data consisted of twenty-five semi-structured interviews, fifteen with domestic students and ten with international students at Japanese universities. Participants came from a range of disciplinary areas. Findings suggested key differences in domestic versus international students’ motivations for doing a Ph.D. in Japan, access to financial support, and career goals/prospects, shedding light on the particular structures underpinning Japanese doctoral education and offering implications for policy.

About the Speakers

Kelsey Inouye is a Research Associate at the Department of Education, University of Oxford. Her research areas include doctoral education, academic writing and publishing, and researcher careers.

Yangson Kim is an Associate Professor at the Research Institute for Higher Education at Hiroshima University in Japan. Her areas of special interest focus on the academic profession, internationalization of higher education, research productivity and collaboration of academics, institutional context and governance of higher education, and comparative higher education in Asia-Pacific countries.

Video Recording: