Section of Higher Education



The Section of Higher Education began in the days of the former Research Center for Higher Education. Its activities are based on the three pillars of (i) surveys and research on higher-education policies and practice (ii) surveys, research, and proposals on educational content and methods, education management, learning support, at Tohoku University, and (iii) planning and implementation of faculty skills development in order to improve education. 


With these activities in mind, with cooperation between specialists from outside the university and researchers within the Institute, it promotes a broad range of surveys and research on liberal arts education curricula and teaching methods, the learning and research environment of graduate education, and the professional development (PD) of staff and faculty members and university management. It provides results to broader society through academic and research societies both inside and outside of Japan, via reports, commercial publications, bulletin articles, and other avenues. 


In addition, each faculty member takes part in school councils and individual council committees as a specialist member with responsibility for management of liberal education, planning and implementing liberal education FD and basic seminar FD, carrying out activities such as analysis and report of class evaluations by students, grade evaluations, surveys at graduation, and contributing to the improvement and enhancement of liberal education at Tohoku University.


Faculty members of the Section of Higher Education belong particularly to the Center for Institutional Research, the Center for Professional Development, the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies and Education, or the Center for Learning Support out of the eleven centers under the Institute for Excellence in Higher Education. According to their specialties and competence, they promote the various work and projects in which each center engages.

2011 Seminar

“European Higher Education”

1.  Surveys and research activities on higher education

From 2007 to 2012, “Surveys and Research on the Verification System for ‘Educational Outcomes’ ” were conducted based on the base expenses for the entire university, in which the understanding of the actual situation of undergraduate curricula at our university, and the comparison with other universities, as well as research on the verification methods for educational outcomes were implemented. The results were reported in the seventh bulletin of the Center for the Advancement of Higher Education among other places. In practice, they have led to the establishment of the information collection system for FD activities of each faculty. 


Since 2013, widely taking over past results, the surveys and research on the “Establishment of the Verification System for Academic Achievements Utilizing the Academic Affairs Information” have been improving. As a relevant initiative, the “1st Survey on Educational and Academic Outcomes in Tohoku University” was conducted for the FY2012 undergraduate graduates in March 2013, and the results were analyzed and published in a report in March 2014. In the future, utilizing the results of this survey, the relationships between learning experiences and the behavior of students of Tohoku University and their outcomes will be multilaterally clarified. 


In addition, in relation to graduate school education, surveys and research which contribute to the improvement of graduate school education at our university have been promoted, and studies on the international trend of graduate school education have been conducted. In 2011, in cooperation with the “Reviewing WG for Enhancement and Strengthening of Graduate School Education” of the school council for educational affairs, a survey of Tohoku University graduate school students was conducted and the results were published in a report for our university’s internal use. Based on these surveys and research activities, this section currently aims at the introduction of common education for all graduate schools in relation to research ethics, and other aspects. Moreover, as an expansive research subject, “A Study on Development of Higher Liberal Arts and Sciences Education Consistently from Undergraduate Programs through to Graduate Schools” has been in progress since 2013. The way in which the newly established Institute for Excellence in Higher Education engages in higher liberal arts and sciences education will be pursued and reflected in actual curriculum reform.


Furthermore, surveys and research targeting faculty members have recently been emphasized. As a result, “CAHE TOHOKU Report 32 – Issues in Faculty Development of Graduate Schools at Research Universities” (2010), “ ‘Change in Learning’ in Universities and the Future of Undergraduate Education” (Tohoku University Press, 2010), “Higher Education Library 1 – Verification of Education and Learning Processes and University Education Reform” (ditto, 2011), “Capacity of Faculty Members – from Formation to Development –” (ditto, 2013), “CAHE TOHOKU Report 53 – A Research Report on Class Preparation by Faculty Members” (2014), and others have been published.

In addition, “An International Comparative Study on Academic Integrity Warrant in the Knowledge-based Society” (2011-2013) and “An International Comparative Study on Reestablishment of Internal Quality Assurance System and Its Effective Management in Universities” (2010-2012) as part of the joint research subsidized by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research and other funds, and “An Actual Condition Survey of Qualification Systems for University Professors in Various Countries” (2011) as part of the commissioned research received from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology have been developed.


Currently, “A Study on Development of Higher Liberal Arts and Science Education to Incorporate Competency in the Global Society” (2014-2017, Takashi Hata), “An International Comparative Study on Professional Development of Middle Management Human Resources Responsible for Internal Quality Assurance of University Education” (2014-2016, Kazuhiro Sugimoto), “Appropriateness of Grade Evaluation in the Relation with Learning Activities of University Students” (2013-2015, Takeshi Kushimoto), and “Development of Class Reflection Programs based on the Progressive Instructional Design Process Model” (2012- 2014, Fumiko Konno) are in progress.



2.  Planning and implementation of various fora and symposia

In addition to various seminars based on surveys and research, every year, this section plans and holds the Tohoku University Higher Education Forum on the connections between high school and university in cooperation with the Section of Admissions (in May) and the IDE University Seminar in cooperation with the IDE Tohoku Branch (in November). It then publishes the reports.



3.  Planning and implementation of initiatives for various evaluation improvement

This section promotes activities which contribute to education improvement at Tohoku University. For example, as a member of the education information and evaluation improvement committee of the school council for educational affairs, this section not only conducts analyses during each semester when class evaluations by students and grade distribution are published, but also planned and edited “A Little Elaboration Can Make Such a Change! A Collection of Practical Cases of Liberal Education Classes” and conducted a student survey on their first-learned foreign languages (“CAHE TOHOKU Report 39 – The First-Learned Foreign Languages at Tohoku University”, 2012) in cooperation with the Division of Liberal Education Programs in the Center for the Advancement of Higher Education.

Chair of Section Professor Kazuhiro Sugimoto
(Comparative Education)
  Professor Fujio Ohmori
(Sociology of Education , Education Policy ,
and Higher Education)
  Associate Professor Takeshi Kushimoto
(Higher Education Theory)
  Associate Professor Yasunori Yamanouchi
(Cognitive Psychology,Science Technology and Society)
  Associate Professor Tomoko Sato
(Lifelong learning, Educational administrator)
  Associate Professor Osamu Tomura
(History of Higher Education, Sociology of Education)
  Senior Assistant Professor Hideya Matsukawa
(Educational Technology)
  Assistant Professor Teiko ARAI
(computational linguistics, digital humanities)
  Assistant Professor Kohei NISHIZUKA
(Educational Assessment)
  Appointed Assistant Professor Hisashi MATSUBARA
(Disaster Sociology, Community Studies)
  Appointed Assistant Professor Yu TAKAHASHI
(NPO, Community Business)

41, Kawauchi, Aobaku, Sendai, 980-8576, Japan

(Kawakita Joint Building)