“The Trials and Tribulations of Being a Foreign Teacher in the Japanese University System”

Presenter: Robert Aspinall


This talk addresses the marginalized position of most foreign academic staff working in Japanese universities. Foreign lecturers and professors in Japanese universities are usually hired for a limited term of 3 or 5 years with no possibility of renewal beyond that time. This is often justified by the lack of ability in language, and the lack of understanding of Japanese culture on the part of foreign academics. The talk will address the issue of language and culture being used as ‘nontariff barriers’ to international exchange of academic staff. Cases of foreign academics going to court to defend their employment rights will also be discussed.

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