“Japanese universities tend to be fairly traditional in their offerings,” says Justin Sanders, the director of Continuing Education at Temple University, Japan Campus (TUJ). “You graduate after a four year major and then join the workforce or continue with academic research. The idea of workplace training and ongoing education is that it’s something done inside the company.”
TUJ has always pushed the boundaries of the country’s higher education system. “In the U.S, most major universities have large continuing education programs, incubators for startups and things that connect them to their communities,” Sanders explains. TU is one of the largest providers in the U.S. for continuing and professional education, so it’s no surprise that it has eagerly shared this passion with its Tokyo campus. The void the Program has filled in the adult-learning space in Japan has been huge.
“The majority of our learners are female, and many use the program as a way to better their careers and get back into work,” Sanders continues. Although Japan has been taking large strides to ensure more women are part of its workforce in recent years, many women find it tough to get back into the world of work if they took time away to be a full-time mom or homemaker. It’s not so common for Japanese universities to have flexible, adult-education courses, and many of Japan’s adult-education programs are taught internally within companies.
For international Tokyo residents, the program’s flexibility and diversity of specialized subjects is a big attraction. “Adult education is important in our lives to guide us on a path to the goals and lifestyles that we are looking for,” says TUJ student Raymond Lim. “I’m a startup founder from California and I wanted to understand accounting and finance better to help run my business. I would recommend the course for beginners and people that need a place to start making career and lifestyle changes.”
Misato Horiuchi is a HR manager in Tokyo. “TUJ’s Organizational Behavior online course ultimately helped me to get hired in a new role in an international company,” she says. “I was searching for a job in September 2020. I had been working in a Japanese traditional manufacturing company for around 10 years and decided to change the environment as I wanted to expand my view. However, my job search wasn’t successful so my agent informed me about TUJ Continuing Education. Through the class I gained knowledge and language skills.”
“It’s an interactive course which is led by the instructor in Organizational Behavior. I listened to many stories about expectations for organizations, current situations and challenges during discussions with other working professionals from different backgrounds. All this wouldn’t have been possible by just reading a book or taking self-paced online courses.”
Committed to making education accessible to everyone, no matter what time they can commit and what other commitments they may have to juggle, TUJ is also connecting to the community through its wide range of on-campus workshops and online webinar events that are open for anyone to join. They cover everything from the art of laughter to personal finance and survival Japanese-language classes, so you can brush up on your philosophy, get tips on personal finance, indulge in a new hobby or simply meet other people in Tokyo with similar interests.
Check out the university’s latest upcoming events here:
Learn more about the Continuing Education Programs and apply here:
Join the Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies’ (ICAS) free upcoming lectures: