This paper points out the features of US higher education, especially 4 year university educations after analyzing their bulletins and other materials, and then deliberates the historical and philosophical back ground
behind it. Also this paper draws a comparison between USA and Japan in the university education.
US universities deal with their students realizing that they are now experiencing the age of the transition from mass to so−called universal higher education. On the other hand, Japanese universities, especially governmental
ones, have been content with the tradition from Meiji Era, when elite higher education prevailed and each student was treated as a matured and independent gentleman. In US universities, of course, from the first line of bulletins, it is clearly indicated that students themselves are
responsible for each decision. However, they also demonstrate that attending classes regularly is a minimal student responsibility. On the other hand but more importantly US universities are committed and well prepared to support students who appear in danger of falling into, or who do fall into, academic difficulties. The existence
of ample academic advisors in the universities is very important. Another feature of US universities is that they are affirmative to honor students with outstanding academic
performance. There are plenty of honors and scholarships of various kinds. On the contrary, Japanese universities are not very enthusiastic to honor their students and their scholarship systems are generally poor. In conclusion, entering into the age of mega−competition among universities and of transition from mass to
universal higher education, Japanese universities have to transform themselves to cope with and to survive these changes, learning many excellences from US higher education system.