Higher Learning Research Communications

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In 2009, the Japanese government launched the Global 30 (G30) Project, a new initiative to internationalize universities. Selected universities had to create English-medium degree programs at undergraduate level in order to stimulate “internationalization at home.” The G30 Project represented a major shift in the focus of internationalization efforts from quantitative to qualitative outcomes. Using a case study approach, this paper investigates one G30 program and the attempts made to open up English-medium course offerings to the wider student body. It explores two related issues: level setting and student attrition. A mixed methods approach was used with data gathered from students and course instructors. Sanford’s (1966/2009) “support and challenge” conceptual framework, as adapted by J. M. Bennett (1993), and Vygotsky’s (1978) “zone of proximal development and scaffolding” were employed. Results showed that to maximize learning it was important to have strategies to maintain a high level of course content while also providing targeted support to students at appropriate times. Effective strategies for reducing course attrition were identified.DOI: 10.18870/hlrc.v5i1.237