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Author: Yang Liu, Fellow, RIETI
Although real-world globalization has been greatly reduced owing to the impact of the ongoing novel coronavirus infection, online projects and exchanges are being promoted. The document “About the Internationalization of Universities” (2019) by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology mentions an inter-university exchange formation project with the United States and other countries that utilizes Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) education. In addition, online education can efficiently address the problem of elementary and junior high school closures, which triggered this discussion of September admissions. In areas where the infection has already spread, such as the United States and China, online education has been greatly promoted. Additionally, smartphones, which are popular in Japan, can be used for online education, meaning that the initial investment is considered to be small. If online education can be widely implemented when a second or third wave of infections occurs, it will not only reduce the educational gap in Japan but will also contribute to internationalization in the long term through international exchange programs.