Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Daniel C. Robinson

Second Advisor

D. Michael Warren


The purposes of this study were to (1) examine processes and issues that led to the organization of several U.S. university branch campuses in Japan during the 1980s and early 1990s, (2) determine whether the manner in which they were created and developed has any relationship to their present situation, or to the prospects for their future success or failure, (3) explore reasons for the discontinuance of some programs, and (4) offer recommendations from planners and administrators for setting up overseas programs;This qualitative study is a systematic investigation of characteristics of seven U.S. branch campuses in Japan whose home institutions are state supported. The data, collected between 1990 and 1993, came from visits to U.S. Japan campuses, interviews with administrators, sponsors, organizers, and teachers, and from printed sources. This study should not be confused with study abroad programs for American students or with Japanese institutions in the U.S;This study suggests that most U.S. higher education programs in Japan were hastily developed without adequate preparation in order to capitalize on a political and financial moment in history. The success or failure of a U.S. branch campus in Japan is influenced by four major variables: (1) planning, (2) Japanese sponsors, (3) financial and academic control, and (4) the indigenous environment;Planning is complex, takes time and money, and typically culminates in a written contract specifying each partner's responsibilities. Japanese sponsors accept fiscal responsibility and provide land, buildings, and equipment. American administrators and educators are responsible for academic programs and services. Maintaining academic control may be problematic. The physical, political and cultural environment has a strong influence on the time students take to learn English, and on the survival of the branch campus;Constraints in the process include negotiations, disputes over budgetary practices, and academic control. Advantages include money and prestige for partners, and an alternative to the Japanese educational system for students. A disadvantage is that degrees earned at U.S. institutions are not recognized by the Japanese Ministry of Education, or by many Japanese companies. Because of traditional hiring practices in Japan, it may be difficult for graduates of U.S. universities to find jobs in Japan.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Margaret Elizabeth Agopsowicz Graves



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167 pages