Journal directory listing - Volume 67 (2022) - Journal of Research in Education Sciences【67(2)】June (Special Issue: Revolution and Prospect of Personnel System in Higher Education)

(Special Issue) A Study of the Innovation of Personnel and Pay System for National University Corporation in Japan
Author: Yi-Lin Lee (Center for Medical Education and Humanizing Health Professional Education,Kaohsiung Medical University), Szu-Wei Yang (Department of Early Childhood Education, Nanhua University )

Vol.&No.:Vol. 67, No. 2
Date:June 2022

Due to globalization, competition and exchanges between countries around the world have increased. The quality of higher education maintained a key role enhancing national competitiveness and accelerating social development. An robust system was an important foundation for governance, and without a strong institutional foundation, developing modern governance capabilities and establishing or supporting world-class universities and first-class disciplines for a long time were challenging. The governance of higher education institutions should a focus for empowering higher education institutions. Therefore, all countries were committed to reforming the governance of higher education institutions to ensure that higher education was of high quality.
In Japan, because society has increasingly high expectations of universities, the requirements for universities have increased. To realize the basic mission of higher education institutions, national university corporations and institutions have strengthened education (teaching) and research capacity and implemented substantial governance reforms.
Reaching consensus regarding the vision of each institution and the standards required for membership through dialogue was necessary; the importance of maintaining and enhancing the positive attitude of each faculty member should be emphasized. Therefore, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) has systematically disclosed its intention to implement reforms in various documents and has continued to promote reforms in personnel and salary management.
Regarding the personnel system and salaries in universities, the MEXT proposed “a new personnel system based on competency and performanceism [sic]” in the “Policies for the Structural Reform of Universities (National Universities)” in June 2001. Since then, the MEXT has focused on the personnel system as the main policy area to strengthen the enthusiasm and ability of the teaching staff, especially by implementing an attractive salary system, changing the age structure of teachers, and recruiting more young scholars, among others; these measures could help attract diverse and outstanding talents. The system was focused on improving the overall outcomes of Japanese university education and research.
Subsequently, reforms in personnel and salary management in universities were intensely promoted in the “Basic Policy on Economic and Fiscal Management and Reform 2018,” “Future Investment Strategy 2018,” “Integrated Innovation Strategy,” and other decision-making documents released by the Cabinet Secretariat.
In February 2019, the MEXT officially issued the “Guidelines for Reform Management of Personnel Affairs and Salaries for National University Corporations” to provide relevant guidelines for compensation management in national university corporations to improve their personnel management systems. Reforms in personnel and salary management include strengthening the evaluation system, reflecting the results of the regular appraisal of salaries, and improving the promotion and bonus systems for performance-based and differentiated treatment.
The MEXT recommended that universities adjust the allocation ratio of “fixed salary” (basic salary) and “variable salary” (performance salary) in the salary structure, decrease the fixed salary, and increase the ratio of the variable salary per the new “annual salary system” measures. It made the performance evaluations twice a year were emphasized more strongly than before, and the evaluation results correspond to differences in the salaries of university teachers, thereby leading to a salary system that offers “different pay for different performance.”
The MEXT has emphasized continuous reforms in personnel management to enable national university corporations to better satisfy societal expectations and fulfil their responsibilities and functions and to further strengthen their governance systems; the reforms included performance evaluations, the introduction of an annual salary system, cross appointments, a double-track contract system, and lifetime employment.
According to a 2021 report by the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics of the Executive Yuan, more than 60% of full-time teachers in higher education institutions in Taiwan were older than 50, and only 8.5% of teachers were younger than 39. The identity of the full-time teachers in Taiwan University was unclear, the rights and interests of the project teachers were different, the evaluation result of the flexible salary system was unclear, and the system of industry-academia cooperation was not sufficiently flexible. These problems how to solve should be addressed.
With the increase in global competition, talent recruitment and retention were no longer local issues, and competition for talented individuals from other countries was common in the world. In 2010, the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Science and Technology of Taiwan announced “The Ministry of Education Recruits and Retains Special Talents from Colleges and Universities to Implement Flexible Salary Plans,” with the aim of improving the academic environment of colleges and universities and increasing the incentives for retaining and recruiting talents. In 2013, the Department of Higher Education attempted to relax the requirements of personnel management for higher education institutions through “Measures for Unwinding the Higher Education System,” including “releasing the teacher promotion system,” “relaxing the employment of university supervisors,” “relaxing the school affairs fund,” and “recruitment flexibility.” In the following year, the Department of Higher Education proposed the Taiwan Talent Promotion Program to emphasize the goals of “attracting international outstanding talents,” “building an international talent cooperation network,” and “strengthening international academic influence and visibility.” These reforms were different from the reform policies in Japan.
This study explored the literature and documents on the strategies and effects of innovations aimed at promoting a meritocratic personnel and merit pay system in national university corporations in Japan. First, in this paper, the current personnel and merit pay system in Taiwan and the problems associated with it were described. The study analyzed the background and procedure of innovation in the personnel and pay system of national university corporations in Japan. The system of national university corporation has been implemented since 2004, with every six years considered a period. When entering the fourth period, a performance-linked pay system was emphasized. Next, in this paper, the goals and key points, situation, problems and resolutions, strategies, and effects of the innovations in the personnel system were discussed. The recent reforms in the personnel and pay systems were compared between Taiwan and Japan. The findings of this study could be summarized as follows:
1. Innovations in the personnel and merit pay system of national university corporations in Japan constituted a part of the reforms in the national university corporation.
2. Innovations in the personnel and merit pay system of the national university corporations have enabled them to transform their new positions and optimize their organizational structures.
3. The linkage between performance assessment and treatment has increased teachers’ dedication and their motivation to work hard.
4. The flow of external funds and the system of cross appointment has ensured the “employment of young teachers” and the “diversity and mobility of talents.”
The suggestions of this study were as follows:
1. Innovations in the personnel and pay system in higher education institutions in Taiwan should be implemented based on the position of higher education institutions.
2. Related measures should be adopted after implementing a pay system based on performance.

Keywords:personnel system, Japan, national university corporation, performance assessment, merit-pay system

《Full Text》 檔名

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APA FormatLee, Y.-L., & Yang, S.-W.  (2022). Innovations in the Personnel and Pay System for National University Corporations in Japan. Journal of Research in Education Sciences, 67(2), 213-242.