国立大学改革 人文系を安易に切り捨てるな

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Do not abandon humanities studies in reforming national universities
国立大学改革 人文系を安易に切り捨てるな

It is important for national universities to promote their own reforms so they serve as centers of knowledge.
「知の拠点」としての役割を果たせるよう、国立大学が自ら改革を進めることが重要だ。

The Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry has sent a notice to 86 national universities urging them to reexamine their overall organization and operations. In line with the notice, universities will be expected to draw up six-year plans of their operational targets, starting next fiscal year.
文部科学省が、86の国立大学に対し、組織や業務の全般的な見直しを求める通知を出した。各大学は通知を踏まえて、来年度から6年間の運営目標と計画を作成する。

National universities have been granted a greater degree of freedom in operational and financial management under legislation designed to transform them into incorporated institutions in fiscal 2004. Nevertheless, there is no denying that some national universities are lackluster and lack distinctiveness.
2004年度の国立大学法人化により、大学の運営や財務は自由度が高まった。にもかかわらず、依然として魅力や個性に乏しい大学があるのも否めない。

Colleges and universities are expected to function as institutions tasked with producing people who can work and act internationally or have the ability to vitalize regional communities. Therefore, we find it reasonable for the education ministry to issue such a notice, which calls on universities to clarify the strengths and distinctive features they possess.
大学が、グローバルに活躍する人材や地方創生の担い手を育成する機能への期待は大きい。文科省が今回の通知で、各大学に改めて、強みや特色を明確に打ち出すよう促したのは理解できる。

Last year’s amendment to the School Education Law has made it easier for university presidents to exercise leadership in administering their institutions of higher learning. It is essential that they provide a better environment for educational and research activities at their institutions, a task requiring them to appropriately exercise their vested authority in dealing with personnel and budgetary matters in a way that serves their strategic purposes.
昨年の学校教育法改正で、学長はリーダーシップを発揮しやすくなった。学長が人事や予算の権限を適切に行使し、戦略性を持って、教育・研究の環境整備を図ることが欠かせない。

But one feature of the ministry’s notice is open to question. This concerns the proposed reform at university departments and postgraduate schools devoted to literature, humanities and social science studies as well as teacher training. Universities covered by this reform have been urged to abolish some of their departments or convert them into ones dedicated to the exploration of fields in high social demand.
疑問なのは、文科省通知が、文学部など人文社会科学系や教員養成系の学部・大学院について、組織の廃止や社会的要請の高い分野への転換を迫った点だ。

Admittedly, one aspect of humanities and social science studies is that it is not easy to see what has been accomplished over the short term. In fact, the results of studies in these disciplines seem to be less tangible than those of science and technology studies, which are conducive to the creation of new industries, as well as medical courses that lead to progress in medical technology. In many cases, graduates from humanities and social science faculties land jobs that have nothing to do with their major fields of study.
確かに人文社会系は、研究結果が新産業の創出や医療技術の進歩などに結びつく理工系や医学系に比べて、短期では成果が見えにくい側面がある。卒業生が専攻分野と直接かかわりのない会社に就職するケースも少なくない。

Proper balance required

With an increasing number of corporations saying they cannot afford to train employees, industrial circles are strongly pressing colleges and universities to have their students acquire practical skills helpful to them when they enter the workplace after graduation. Some people even go so far as to say it would be more profitable for students to be trained to gain high scores in English proficiency tests, rather than being taught English literature.
社内教育のゆとりが持てない企業が増える中、産業界には、仕事で役立つ実践力を大学で磨くべきだとの声が強まっている。英文学を教えるより、英語検定試験で高得点をとらせる指導をした方が有益だという極論すら聞こえる。

However, it should be noted that students who explore classical works, philosophy and history will be able to acquire viewpoints that will allow them to look at things from different perspectives. Such students can also expect to develop a mental attitude marked by a respect for different values. We believe one important task for colleges and universities is to help students gain a broad range of general knowledge and deep insight.
だが、古典や哲学、歴史などの探究を通じて、物事を多面的に見る眼めや、様々な価値観を尊重する姿勢が養われる。大学は、幅広い教養や深い洞察力を学生に身に付けさせる場でもあるはずだ。

What is needed is to make sure colleges and universities conduct educational and research activities in a manner that ensures a proper balance between humanities and social science studies and those of science and technology.
必要なのは、人文社会系と理工系のバランスが取れた教育と研究を行うことだろう。

Beginning next fiscal year, the education ministry plans to grant universities larger subsidies to help cover operational expenses if they are willing to promote organizational reforms. In assessing the degree of each university’s success in such endeavors, the ministry reportedly will use such yardsticks as the outcome of students’ job hunting activities and university-launched venture activities. Another yardstick will be the extent to which progress has been made in putting intellectual property into practical use.
文科省は来年度以降、積極的に組織改革を進める大学に、運営費交付金を重点的に配分する方針だ。学生の就職実績や、大学発ベンチャーの活動、知的財産の実用化の状況といった指標を基に、評価するという。

With the government’s dire fiscal situation in mind, it also will be necessary to allocate more budgetary resources where truly necessary, and less elsewhere. However, our nation’s university education could eventually lack depth if mistakes are made in judging what society really wants from institutions of higher learning, a move that could lead to abandoning humanities and social science studies.
厳しい財政事情を踏まえれば、メリハリをつけた予算配分も大切だろう。ただ、「社会的要請」を読み誤って、人文社会系の学問を切り捨てれば、大学教育が底の浅いものになりかねない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 17, 2015)

広告

srachai について

early retired civil engineer migrated from Tokyo to Thailand
カテゴリー: 英字新聞 パーマリンク

コメントを残す

以下に詳細を記入するか、アイコンをクリックしてログインしてください。

WordPress.com ロゴ

WordPress.com アカウントを使ってコメントしています。 ログアウト / 変更 )

Twitter 画像

Twitter アカウントを使ってコメントしています。 ログアウト / 変更 )

Facebook の写真

Facebook アカウントを使ってコメントしています。 ログアウト / 変更 )

Google+ フォト

Google+ アカウントを使ってコメントしています。 ログアウト / 変更 )

%s と連携中