Yuki Higuchi, Miyuki Sasaki, Makiko Nakamuro, 20 May 2017

The quality of English language teaching in Japan is disappointing when compared with other East Asian countries or with the quality of other school subjects. This column assesses the impact of an English learning programme via Skype for Japanese high school students. Although a positive impact on English communication skills could not be established, mostly likely due to the low utilisation of the programme, it did have a positive impact on student attitudes. Policymakers may wish to consider how to combine regular English lectures and online English learning programmes to improve results.

David Deming, Claudia Goldin, Lawrence Katz, Noam Yuchtman, 05 February 2015

With the potential to bring higher education to the masses, online learning has been hailed as revolutionary. The worry is that the quality of education will be diluted. This column presents evidence that online learning can bring substantial cost savings without much drop in quality – but employers do not value an online degree as highly, especially when coming from a private institution.

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