Toyo Gakuen University (JAPAN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2017 Proceedings
Publication year: 2017
Pages: 8482-8490
ISBN: 978-84-617-8491-2
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2017.2006
Conference name: 11th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 6-8 March, 2017
Location: Valencia, Spain
The number of Japanese students studying abroad decreased from 83,000 in 2004 to 57,501 in 2011 (MEXT, 2011). Research also suggests that university graduates overwhelmingly seek traditional employment from Japanese companies (Yokoyama 2013). Japan's decreasing population also means that their domestic business environment is shrinking: fewer products and services are needed. These downward trends reflect a society that appears to have an internally focused mindset.

Yet, on the contrary, the number of Japanese outbound tourists continues to increase, by 3.2% from 2015 (Japanese Tourist Board, 2016), and according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry's "Survey of Overseas Business Activities", the overseas production ratio is currently 24.3 percent in actual performance, an increase from 16% in 2005, highlighting the expansion of businesses overseas. These contradictory reports of an ‘inward looking’ culture among young Japanese people, coupled with the expansion of overseas business, have been the focus of much educational debate. The inward myth was somewhat ‘debunked’ by the British Council (2014) and their research on the sentiments of young Japanese, concluding that Japanese student attitudes towards overseas study is similar to, or even more favourable than, that of their US and UK counterparts. Yet how does this relate to the students in our classes and what is a global mindset?

As educators in Japan, we are interested in exploring to what extent our students are interested in working with foreigners or with an international company; are they inward or outward looking? One of the missions of Toyo Gakuen University, Tokyo, Japan, is to foster students with a global mindset; to prepare students to work in international environments, cultivating a desire or at least an acceptance of working with people from other countries. Towards this end, a variety of courses and activities, including study abroad and cultural exchanges, are offered or are being planned. In order to understand if these various activities actually promote a global mindset, we need to have a measure of this construct. This research is to develop an instrument that measures global mindset in university students. We draw on international posture (Yashima, 1998) as well as the motivational self-system (Kikuchi, 2016) to capture this idea. Global mindset is broadly conceptualized as motivation to connect to an international community. In this presentation, we explain the theoretical underpinnings of global mindset and reveal the results of a pilot survey given to students. We conclude with ideas on how to further develop the construct and the questionnaire.
Global mindset, university education.