Centre for Higher Education and Equity Research (CHEER)

Higher Education, Knowledge Exchange and Policy Learning in the Asian Century

A UK/Japanese Partnership

Japan Report coverWhat is the project?

A bi-lateral research partnership between the Centre for Higher Education and Equity Research (CHEER), University of Sussex, and the new Research Institute for Japan, the UK and Europe (RIJUE), Hiroshima University.

The partnership will develop original comparative higher education research on current policy priorities in the two countries.

What is the project's focus?

  • Privatisation
  • Internationalisation
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Equity and Inclusion
  • Leadership
  • The Future of Doctoral Education.

What is the timescale of the project?

The project will run for three years from 1 November 2016 - 30 October 2019.

What are the project objectives?

  1. To establish a new institutional framework for bi-lateral research collaboration, policy learning and knowledge exchange about current challenges, policy discourses and strategic priorities in higher education in Japan and the UK.
  2. To develop original comparative higher education research on internationalisation, equity and inclusion, leadership, teaching and learning, privatisation, and the future of doctoral education in Japan and the UK.
  3. To interrogate the concept of the Asian Century in higher education.
  4. To enhance the global profile of the Centre for Higher Education and Equity Research (CHEER), through a partnership with RIJUE - a major player in higher education in the Asian Century and the Global Knowledge Economy.
  5. To build capacity and sustainability of early career researchers in the field of international higher education research via the inclusion of Sussex doctoral scholars in the project.
  6. To support the internationalisation and mobility of Sussex academic staff and doctoral scholars through secondments to the RIJUE.
  7. To submit a minimum of two research funding bids e.g. to the ESRC and Horizon 2020.
  8. To produce a minimum of two co-authored journal articles and an edited book on the topic of Higher Education Challenges in Japan and the UK.
  9. To attract International Students through the promotion of CHEER’s research and publications in equity and inclusion in higher education.

What activities are taking place?

Year 1: Mapping

Year 2: Co-Creativity

Two secondments from Sussex to Japan for 10 days per visit. Each visit will include one Sussex member of staff and one doctoral scholar.


  • to collect data/ search literature/ exchange knowledge for co-authored papers
  • to draft collaborative research proposals e.g. to the ESRC/ Horizon 2020
  • to co-author papers and submit them to major higher education journals e.g. Studies in Higher Education, Higher Education Policy, Higher Education, Teaching in Higher Education.

Year 3: Impact and dissemination

  1. We will produce an edited collection with chapters from authors from RIJUE and Sussex.
  2. There wil be an Impact Seminar, Learning from Japan, CHEER, Sussex- particpants from HEFCE, HEA, OFFA, Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, NUS. 

Project News

Latest publication from the project:

Morley, L., Leyton, D. & Hada, Y. (2019): 'The Affective Economy of Internationalisation: Migrant academics in and out of Japanese Higher Education', Policy Reviews in Higher Education, 3:1, 51-74, DOI: 10.1080/23322969.2018.1564353.

The Training Module Internationalisation in Higher Education: Practical Guidance is now available in Japanese. This module is designed for staff at Higher Education Institutions - Human Resources, Equality and Diversity personnel and managers - involved in the recruitment, support and development of international academics. The content is designed to offer concise and practical advice, helping users to identify and develop reflexive practices for their own training programmes.

Japanese students explain the differences they see between the UK and Japanese higher education systems