The Research Institute for Higher Education (RIHE) at Hiroshima University was established in the old downtown campus of Hiroshima city in 1972. Since then, surveys and research on the international higher education system have been continuously undertaken from a variety of viewpoints, and the results have been communicated widely to foreign countries as well as Japan through meetings of researchers and international symposia. And now, social interest in higher education is continues to increase. In the context of severe inter-university competition under environmental changes such as the decline of the 18-year-old population, globalization, the continuation of austerity measures and social stratification, various issues which require urgent attention are increasingly evident. While working on these urgent issues, we intend to promote basic research as well as collaborative research with people from various specialized fields.
The social expectations of higher education increases now more than ever with progress of the knowledge-based society. However, the challenges confronting individual higher education institutions in Japan such as the decrease in the eighteen year old population; progress of the global economy; and strictness, including lower public financial, education expenditures per registered student, have grown more severe. RIHE will continue to clarify problems of the higher education system in Japan and conduct cutting edge research, the results of which propose immediate measures to solve them.
RIHE offers graduate programs. Currently Japanese and other Asian students are learning about the field of higher education. Many of our graduates are working as academics at various universities across the country, and some of them are full-time administrative staff in Hiroshima University or other Universities. We, therefore, meet their needs by offering courses at night, during weekends, or as intensive courses during summer or winter break.
RIHE has established a reputation as a leading research center on higher education among scholars, policy makers, university administrators, and graduate students from Japan and foreign countries. This reputation would not have been earned without the tremendous efforts of full- and part-time academics, staff, administrative staff, and other visiting scholars inside and outside Hiroshima University. I thank all those who have contributed to the Center.
As in the past, we at RIHE welcome recommendations and encouragement from colleagues within other Japanese universities and those in other countries as part of our continuing commitment to research and scholarship that advances knowledge in the academic field of higher education and contributes to the internationalization of it.