We are a pioneering association in the area of university education, launched in December 1979 as the General Education Society. Due to amendment in 1991 of the Standards for Establishment of Universities (Ordinance of the Ministry of Education), "general education" was abolished as a course title, and as a result our name was changed to the Japan Association for College and University Education in June 1997. Since our founding, we have consistently pioneered research on university education in the context of increasingly popular university education, and focused on "self-research as university faculty" with the participation of a wide range of university faculty (FD-type research activities). Today, we are seeing an evolving knowledge-based society, and the crucial role played by university education is being reconfirmed. Against this backdrop, our aims for reform of university education are to promote what we might call "modernization," and revive the original function of the university in building character.
Our association has steadily broadened research on university education, from an academic perspective that goes beyond national policy and systems, does not depend on laws and regulations, and is not constrained by the perspective of university administration. Research projects previously established by our association, such as FD (Faculty Development), self-assessment by universities, and baccalaureate degree education, have served as the core of our research activities, and as key slogans.
Regarding the remarkable progress in university education reform after amendment of Standards for Establishment of Universities and other policies, we have continued ongoing verification efforts while maintaining a stance of active promotion and a critical perspective. The results have been collected and published in books such as Research Projects in University Education — Criticisms and Proposals in Response to Reform Trends (edited by the General Education Society, 1997, Tamagawa University Press, in Japanese), Towards a New Approach to Liberal Arts Education — 25-Year History of the Japan Association for College and University Education and Proposals for the Future (edited by the Japan Association for College and University Education, 2004, Toshindo, in Japanese), and Thirty Years of University Education Research and Reform — From the Perspective of the Japan Association for College and University Education (edited by the Japan Association for College and University Education, 2010 Toshindo, in Japanese).
In the current situation surrounding university education and reform, the focus of our association's research is "University Education —Based on the History and Principles of Liberal and General Education." This transcends the distinction between specialized education and liberal arts education, and our research targets the entirety of university education, including more humanistic, people-focused self-reform. In this way, we are developing and creating university education research as an academic domain with high potential for research and development in areas such as FD and self-education of students.
To help open up new vistas in the century-long story of university education in Japan, we will continue to fulfill our pioneering role. In this way, we will ensure that the principles/goals of general education and liberal arts education, as well as free and diverse development of each university—ideals we have highlighted in the Council for Higher Education and the Central Council for Education—are realized through research and reform by universities themselves.
General Education Society
1979–1991 Sho Ogiya (Osaka University, Konan Women’s University)
1991–1994 Takeshi Horichi (Kagawa University)
1994–1997 Kazuie Sanuki (Kinjo Gakuin University)
Japan Association for College and University Education
1997–2000 Kazuie Sanuki (Izumi Junior College)
2000–2003 Masakichi Kinukawa (International Christian University)
2003–2006 Toyoshi Sato (J.F. Oberlin University)
2006–2009 Masao Terasaki (Rikkyo Gakuin)
2009–2017 Masaaki Ogasawara (Hokkaido University)
2017–Present Reiko Yamada (Doshisha University)