This study aims to clarify the distinguishing characteristics of the Japanese results from two international surveys, “The Changing Academic Profession 2008”and “The Changing Academic Profession in Asia 2012”. We asked faculty members how they perceive their academic professions.
The results were as follows:
1 . Japan has a high rate of awarded doctoral degrees. This is considered a basic requisite for becoming an academic. Academics are receiving doctoral degrees at an increasingly younger age.
2 . Faculty members show a strong inclination towards research. However, the amount of time spent on teaching duties is increasing for academics and this could lead to scheduling conflicts.
3 . Facilities and support for academics at Japanese universities are not as favorable as they are overseas. Personnel support is lacking; many academics have to cope with a high workload with minimum or no support. This is believed to be linked to stress among
4 . Japan lags behind international institutions in implementing institutional initiatives to improve education and provide professional development for management and
administrative teams in academic institutions.
5 . Japanese faculty members have a high degree of job satisfaction. Around 70％ of surveyed faculty members were satisfied with their job. However, when asked the question “If you could live your life again, would you still choose to become a faculty member?”, the responses included many neutral or negative responses. This indicates that change in the academic working environment is needed.
As professionals, faculty members take on new tasks throughout their careers and they face a daily struggle to perform well in all duties. The tasks vary according to the individual’s age and position. We conclude that faculty members need individualized support networks to help them advance at every stage of their career.