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Position, Mission and Features of NIER Research Activites

In April 2006, the National Institute for Educational Policy Research drew up mid-term goals.We have been working towards realizing those goals by clarifying the mission at hand, while taking into consideration the institute's position.


NIER, as a national research body for comprehensive educational policy, is responsible for collecting and analyzing academic research data. The data is needed to plan and design educational policies. In addition, NIER represents Japan in international society, and provides necessary advice, support, and information for domestic institutes and bodies related to education.


As mid-term goals, NIER is aiming to achieve the following

(1) To present findings obtained from scientific surveys, analysis, and predictions of worldwide situations surrounding education for Japan's future policies. The findings should be used to plan and design strategic educational policies in the mid and long term.
(2) To conduct scientific surveys of and analyze the current situation and social background for solutions to urgent political issues. The outcomes should be used to plan and design educational policies which flexibly address social needs.
(3) To give help, support and advice about social and school education activities where necessary.
(4) To gather, compile and store educational information, data, and documents and make available to interested parties in Japan and abroad.
(5) To collect knowledge and promote information sharing for educational research with bodies in Japan and abroad. This can be done by implementing international education cooperation, holding conferences, and conducting joint research studies.

Features of NIER Research Activities

  With regard to educational administrative policy agenda, NIER actively conducts basic research to plan and design policies, as well as a variety of joint research and activities.

List of Basic Research to Plan and Design Educational Policies

(1) Collaborative research projects by researchers inside and outside NIER.
(2) International research and cooperation such as OECD-PISA and IEA-TIMSS, in which NIER takes part as the Japanese representative .
(3) Research based on research interests and original ingenuity of NIER researchers by external competitive funds such as the Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research, provided mainly by Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

Development of Projects and Joint Research

(1) The national survey titled "National Assessment of Academic Ability" is carried out in cooperation with MEXT in order to ensure equal opportunities in compulsory education and the standardized level of education and to examine the issues and outcomes of learning. Besides, "Courses of Study Implementation Survey" and "Designated Experimental School Project" are conducted to compass the status of implemented curriculum based on the national curriculum guidance and to contribute toward an improvement of curriculum guidance.
(2) In order to improve the quality of social educational leaders, who vitalize social education such as community learning, NIER carries out joint projects in cooperation with MEXT.
(3) NIER holds joint research and symposium based on challenges which schools face, in cooperation with National Federation of Educational Policy Research Institute, which is consisted of local governments, private institutions and education centers.
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