Category Archives: Supplementary Education Researchers

Looking back on Jukupedia: Readership

This blog represents the result from my research on the marketization of supplementary education in Japan, funded by a grant from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC),

I and some guest authors wrote posts here for three years from April 2011 through March 2014.

One way to judge whether my research has reached scholarly as well as public audiences is to have a look at the blog access statistics.

Readership for this Blog

In total, more than 8,500 users have read almost 20,000 pages (as of September 2016).

That figure will obviously continue to grow as search results will continue to lead readers to this site.

These 8,500 readers have generally read 1.6 pages and have remaind with the site for 1.5min on average, which strikes me as a reasonable time for a blog post, given that this average would include some access by bots (preyumably) and some readers who recognized quickly that they had mis-navigated.

Rougly 20% of the readership was based in Canada and the U.S. each. An eigth  of all readers originated in Japan. The UK, Germany and India were next in terms of top originating countries.

A fifth of traffic arrived at the blog through searches, the remainder found Jukupedia through referral or unknown means.

The most-read individual post (300+ readers) focused on juku-connections in the 2011 government of PM Noda. A post that discussed university entrance examinations as the linchpin of the education system was also read nearly 300 times.

Even the least-read posts received more than 20 views.


New Book on Supplementary Education Around the World

Janice Aurini, Scott Davies & Julian Dierkes (eds.)

Out of the Shadows: The Global Intensification of Supplementary Education

(International Perspectives on Education and Society, Vol. 22)

Emerald Publishing, Bingley UK: 2013.

Vertical Banner: Out of the Shadows - The Global Intensification of Supplementary EducationTable of Contents

“Out of the shadows? An introduction to worldwide supplementary education”
Janice Aurini, Scott Davies, Julian Dierkes (pp. xv – xxiv)

Part 1: Countries With High Intensity Forms of Supplementary Education

“The Insecurity Industry: Supplementary Education in Japan”
Julian Dierkes (pp. 3 – 21)

“Supplementary Education in Turkey: Recent Developments and Future Prospects”
Aysit Tansel (pp. 23 – 66)

“Researching Supplementary Education: Plans, Realities, and Lessons from Fieldwork in China”
Wei Zhang, Mark Bray (pp. 67 – 94)

“Private Tutoring in Vietnam: A Review of Current Issues and its Major Correlates”
Hai-Anh Dang (pp. 95 – 127)

“Supplementary Education in Brazil: Diversity and Paradoxes”
Alexandre Ventura, Candido Gomes (pp. 129 – 151)

Part 2: Countries With Low Intensity Forms of Supplementary Education

“Supplementary Education in a Changing Organizational Field: The Canadian Case”
Janice Aurini, Scott Davies (pp. 155 – 170)

“But did it Help you get to University? A Qualitative Study of Supplementary Education in Western Australia”
Martin Forsey (pp. 171 – 189)

“Supplementary Education in the United States: Policy Context, Characteristics, and Challenges”
Izumi Mori (pp. 191 – 207)

“Supplementary Education in Germany: History and Present Developments”
Thomas Koinzer (pp. 209 – 220)

Part 3: Comparing High and Low Intensity Forms of Supplementary Education

“Making Markets: Policy Construction of Supplementary Education in the United States and Korea”
Christopher Lubienski, Jin Lee (pp. 223 – 244)

“Family Capital: a Determinant of Supplementary Education in 17 Nations”
Darby E. Southgate (pp. 245 – 258)

Guest Post: Juku – A Necessary Evil?

A guest post by Steve Entrich, Research Assistant at the University of Potsdam, Germany:

Who thinks that Japanese students should have gotten tired of juku classes by now is proven wrong. The hope to pass the difficult entrance examinations and get access to a prestigious university like the Tōdai (Tokyo University) and by this increase the chances to get hired for a desirable steady position in one of Japan’s big companies or government agencies, is a strong motivator for students to still give it their all. Following the unwritten rule saying that school education alone will not prepare a student sufficiently enough to let him survive in the tough business world students are more than ever supposed to take extra classes outside of school.

Nowadays parents are even told by their students’ school teachers to send their children to a juku in order to manage to get into the school or university they desire. As you can imagine foreign parents resist the idea of sending their children to take supplementary lessons at juku when they have to attend formal classes all day already – at first. In an interview survey carried out by Dr. Melodie Cook from Niigata University, which I had the pleasure to meet at a conference in October last year in Osaka, it was shown how foreign parents reconsider their view about juku. Despite having prejudices at first, in the end nearly all foreign parents enrolled their children at a juku.

When I was talking to Japanese (and non-Japanese) parents, researchers as well as juku owners one thing seemed to be consensus and commonly accepted: It cannot be helped, students have to attend a juku if they want to get a job. Therefore everybody has to accept the existence of juku and their function in the Japanese educational system. There is just no other option left for parents than to send their children to these private schools and invest a large extra amount of money for the children’s education. From a Western perspective it often seems negligently how Japanese educational policy gave way for the development of this system until it has become influential in such a way that it is perceived the formal school system alone is not able to fulfill its given educational mission anymore. In 2005 The Japan Times called it a “cash in on failure of public schools”.

In addition, the ones partly responsible for this and simultaneously beneficiaries of this system are, of course, the juku themselves. Surprisingly, the heads and leaders of juku are blaming the government for missing engagement in the education sector for so many years; they also explain their concerns about the well-being of the children. Here juku heads told me that they would like a change in this system as there was too much pressure on the students. The yutori education reform was not so bad one said, but carried out in the wrong way giving way for critics of the conservative forces resulting in increased pressure of students. It is considered too much weight on the small shoulders of students, if they first have to sit in school all day and following this, they have to attend their “second” school until nine or ten in the evening.

Nevertheless, a change might be coming in time said the leader of a big chain juku trying to paint a brighter picture. He finds it reasonable to believe that education as a whole might also be suspect to change in the near future including the private education and juku sector. Parents nowadays are questioning more for what purpose their children are studying, if there is no perspective for many of them after getting into university. The fundamental achievement principle might lose ground, since long given guarantees are not existing anymore. The strict organization of the school system is crumbling slowly due to the increasing internationalization resulting in a general, greater openness of education.

Still, until this change is starting to bear fruit students in Japan cannot possibly achieve their educational and career goals without the investment in juku – or so it seems.

Mark Bray Visiting UBC

Under the auspices of the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies International Visiting Research Scholar Program, Drs. Mark Bray and Ora Kwo (University of Hong Kong) are visiting UBC.

On May 13, they will be presenting some of their research under the title “Shadow Education: Comparative Perspectives on the Global Growth and Local Implications of Out-of-School Supplemental Education” (12:30-14h, Room 310, Neville Scarfe Building)


Husaina Banu Kenayathulla: Household Budgeting for Education, including Tutors in Mayalsia

Husaina Banu Kenayathulla. 2012. An Economic Analysis of Household Educational Decisions in Malaysia. PhD Dissertation: Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Faculty of Education, Indiana University.


Through econometric and economic analyses, this dissertation addresses three key issues in the household educational decisions in Malaysia. First, by addressing selectivity bias, it provides new and more accurate information about the private rates of return to education in Malaysia. Second, using the Engel curve framework and the Hurdle model, this study examines whether there are significant gender differentials in intra-household educational expenditures in Malaysia and whether gender differences vary by ethnicity or geographical region. Third, this dissertation investigates the determinants of private tutoring expenditures in Malaysia using the Hurdle model.

The findings suggest that for both males and females, the average private returns to education are highest at the secondary (16.5 percent and 27.2 percent, respectively) and university (15.5 percent and 16.1 percent, respectively) education levels. The results also suggest that even after controlling for kind of work, there are substantial returns to education for both men and women at different levels of education. Additionally, the findings suggest that while there are no significant gender differences in intra-household educational expenditures nationally, these do exist in some regions, for the 5 to 9 and 10 to 14 age groups. However, such differences typically occur once children are enrolled in school. In terms of ethnicity, there is evidence of a pro-male gap in non-Bumiputera households’ decisions to enroll children ages 10 to 14 in school. Further, the results indicate that total household expenditures, household head’s level of education, household head’s gender, number of school-age children, home ownership, ethnicity and regional characteristics are important determinants of private tutoring expenditures in Malaysia.

Based on an understanding of household schooling decisions from econometric and economic analyses, this dissertation outlines some policy recommendations targeting children from low income families, children from middle income families with multiple school-age children, children with less-educated parents, and children from rural areas.

See also Dr. Kenayathulla’s Asia Pacific Memo: “Private Tutoring in Malaysia: Regulating for Quality” (January 2012)

Supplementary Education in Vancouver

Some years ago, I coordinated a mini-census of supplementary education institutions in Metro Vancouver. I reported on this project in an article in Education Canada in 2008. I have continued to keep an eye out for the appearance and growth of supplementary education in Vancouver since then. (See the appropriate Canada/Vancouver category in Jukupedia).

In June 2012, Janet Steffenhagen, the education reporter for the Vancouver Sun has written a nice piece on supplementary education in Vancouver.

Ms Steffenhagen reports on her visits to two supplementary education schools in Vancouver. She draws on my research on Japan in looking at the possible factors not just in the global growth of supplementary education, but also in the motivations for students/parents in Vancouver to begin to avail themselves of supplementary education.

If you’ve been reading other entries in the Jukupedia, you will not be surprised that I disagree with some of the implications of an explanation for participation in supplementary education in Canada as rooted in “cultural” preferences, as one interview in this article with a Vancouver Sylvan Learning Centre director notes. There are many institutional and structural reasons for the growth of supplementary education and any explanations that emphasize culture (by which most people seem to mean, national origin, coupled with some kind of immutable preferences for certain social interactions over others) neglect the mediation of any cultural preferences by the institutional conditions of schooling.

Yet, even a more complex understanding of cultural factors as they play into more general institutional conditions, would note that there are real differences in expectations of education across demographic categories, including ethnic communities and origin-of-immigration. As the BC government is considering revisions to the BC curriculum through the BC Ed Plan, it would be well worth considering the impact that such revisions could have on schools (public and private) via supplementary education businesses.

Shadow Education Private Supplementary Tutoring and Its Implications for Policy Makers in Asia

Mark Bray and Chad Lykins have just published the definitive current statement on supplementary education in Asia, “Shadow Education -Private Supplementary Tutoring and Its Implications for Policy Makers in Asia” as a book (PDF, available for free) through the Asian Development Bank.

Here’s a paragraph from their introduction that offers a flavour of the book:

Private supplementary tutoring is widely known as shadow education, since it mimics the mainstream. As the content of mainstream education changes, so does the content of the shadow. And as the mainstream grows, so does the shadow. This study shows that shadow education has a long history in parts of the region, but in recent decades it has greatly expanded. In the Republic of Korea nearly 90% of elementary students receive some sort of shadow education; and in Hong Kong, China, about 85% of senior secondary students do so. Figures are equally striking in less prosperous parts of the region. In West Bengal, India, nearly 60% of primary school students receive private supplementary tutoring; and in Kazakhstan a similar proportion of students do so at the senior secondary level. Proportions are lower in other countries, but throughout the region the shadow is spreading and intensifying. (p. X)

Countries covered in the book include: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Georgia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taipei, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam.

The report was released just as co-author Mark Bray was awarded was awarded a UNESCO Chair professorship in Comparative Education. Congratulations on the chair and the publication!

CIES 2012: Hidden privatization of public education in Cambodia

Comparative and International Education Society

William Brehm, This Life Cambodia; Iveta Silova, Lehigh University, USA

“Hidden privatization of public education in Cambodia: equity implications of private tutoring”

The 1990s international construction of a new political economic order in Cambodia after two decades of civil unrest has had contradictory effects on education. The rhetoric of democracy thrives alongside corruption and human rights abuses; and the Education for All initiative exists alongside privatization of public education. In this context, private tutoring has emerged as an essential part of the public education system. A mastery of the required curriculum is now possible only through a careful combination of public schooling and private tutoring. Only those who can afford private tutoring thus receive access to the complete national curriculum while those who cannot are stigmatized. This paper draws on an analysis of qualitative and quantitative data, including 28 classroom observations (evenly split between private tutoring and public school classes), 20 focus groups with a total of 100 participants, grade and attendance tracking of 444 9th grade and 200 6th grade students, and informal interviews with 20 participants. The presentation concludes by explaining how a seamless combination of public schooling and private tutoring in terms of curriculum and pedagogy creates a public-private educational arrangement that stratifies Cambodian youth along socioeconomic, interpersonal, and familial lines.

CIES 2012 Panel: Comparative Perspectives on Shadow Education

This panel will focus on the phenomenon of private supplementary tutoring, which is widely called shadow education. Research on this topic has expanded in the last decade, but much more work is needed. As in other topics, a great deal can be learned from comparative analysis. The panel will analyze patterns in different parts of the world, with particular focus Asia and the Arab States. It will also address methodological issues.
1.  Patterns of shadow education in the Asian region: learning from diversity and commonality
Mark Bray, Comparative Education Research Centre, The University of Hong Kong
2. Methodology in research about shadow education
Chad Lykins, Comparative Education Research Centre, The University of Hong Konk
3. Payoffs to private tutoring in the United Arab Emirates: a gendered affair
Samar Farah and Natasha Ridge, Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation, Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates
4. Drivers of shadow education in The Gambia: Addressing private provision of the public demand for quality education
Colleen King, Center for International Education, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
5. Hidden privatization of public education in Cambodia: equity implications of private tutoring
William Brehm , This Life Cambodia; Iveta Silova, Lehigh University, USA

CIES 2012: Patterns of shadow education in the Asian region: learning from diversity and commonality

Comparative and International Education Society

Mark Bray, Comparative Education Research Centre, Univ of Hong Kong

“Patterns of shadow education in the Asian region: learning from diversity and commonality”

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has commissioned a study of shadow education (private supplementary tutoring) in its regional member countries. The ADB region is wide and diverse. It includes prosperous countries in East Asia such as Japan and the Republic of Korea, and poor countries in South Asia such as Bangladesh and Nepal. Equally it includes countries shaped by a Soviet heritage and as well countries shaped by European colonial heritages. From a comparative perspective, the benefit of this diversity is that it brings a range of models and variables for analysis. This paper examines patterns in the scale and content of shadow education, noting changes over recent decades and likely future trends. It is mainly based on existing studies, and as such notes gaps as well as strengths in the literature. Finally, the paper remarks on the implications for the work of ADB, which is dedicated to reduction of poverty and which is concerned about social disparities while pursuing economic growth in the region.