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Presenting the Impact of University Faculty Study Abroad on Developing Countries: Senior Research Advisor Kayashima Nobuko Speaks at the Japan Comparative Education Society Annual Conference

September 14, 2022

Impact caused by studying abroad was presented at the 58th JCES Annual Conference

Senior Research Advisor Kayashima Nobuko of JICA Ogata Sadako Research Institute for Peace and Development (JICA Ogata Research Institute) and Sophia University Professor Umemiya Naoki presented their paper titled “The Impact of Indonesian University Faculty Study Abroad” at the 58th Annual Conference of the Japan Comparative Education Society (JCES) on June 25, 2022. The presentation, which was held on the second day of the 3-day online conference, was attended by approximately 40 participants and was followed by a discussion session.

The research is a product of the JICA Ogata Research Institute project called “Empirical Research on Impacts of Study Abroad in Developing Countries – Based on Study-Abroad Experiences of Academic Professionals of Major Universities in ASEAN.” It is a collaborative effort between researchers in Japan and ASEAN. The focus on flagship universities highlights their important role as centers for the development of human resources and establishment of a knowledge base in developing countries. Previous research has examined the role of faculty in the advancement of universities in developing countries using the framework of “centers and peripheries,” in which universities in developing countries remain in the periphery whereas western universities are at the center of the global higher education sector (Altbach, 2003). This study aims to elucidate the effects of the study-abroad experiences of faculty on the development of Asian universities, which have been making dramatic progress in recent years.

Although the project targets 10 universities in four ASEAN countries, Kayashima and Umemiya focused their effort on Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB) and Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM), which are both located in Indonesia. A literature review and basic information collection established background data on the development of ITB and UGM since their establishment to the present. A quantitative questionnaire survey was then conducted to examine the perceptions of faculty members of the two universities regarding the impact of their study abroad experiences. Data analysis indicated that although the popularity of certain study abroad destination countries has shifted over time, the range of countries has also increased in recent years. Furthermore, the number of faculty members that obtained masters and doctoral degrees in Indonesia has been increasing. These findings were presented at the JCES Conference.

Through the active participation of and questions from the audience, the discussion covered a wide range of topics, including the impact of destination country on teaching methods introduced in the classroom after returning home, differences in impact between faculty of engineering and humanities departments, and the role of language in the impact caused by studying abroad. These points and others will be verified and analyzed in the subsequent stages of the research, which will include interviews with faculty members and administration officials at the target universities.

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