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In Japan, Limited-Term Faculty Shoulder the Workload

A nationwide survey of foreign professors in Japan reveals that those who do the most work are younger, less experienced teachers either on limited-term or part-time contracts, rather than tenured professors.
The survey also found that nearly a third of all such professors are not covered by public pension programs because of either a lack of information on the plan or a feeling that they will not be in Japan long enough to collect benefits, and that many of them have no health insurance.

The Tokyo-based University Teachers’ Union, an affiliate of the National Union of General Workers, conducted the survey earlier this year among 1,500 foreign professors. There were 330 responses, more than half of which were from North American teachers, followed by Europeans.

Three groups of professors and teaching staff were surveyed—those with tenure (26.3 percent of the respondents), part-timers (45.4 percent) and limited-term professors without tenure (28.1 percent). Both public and private universities were covered.

On average, the study found that universities tend to hire older professors for the tenured and part-time groups, and younger professors for the limited-term group.

The average age of tenured professors was 48.3, and 44.7 for part-time instructors, but only 38.7

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