a system of advancement based on merit


New Member
I was reading the article called How Do Japan's Students DO it?

and I was curious what a system of advancement based on merit means in the following sentence:

The rise of jukus is praised as one of the secrets of Japanese success, a healthy reflection of a system of advancement based on merit. It is also criticized as forcing a new generation to surrender its childhood out of an obsession with status and getting ahead.
  • Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    The short name is "meritocracy". In post-war Britain, the cleverest pupils would be given university places regardless of their ability to pay. A university education would give them better-paid jobs. The nation would benefit from their education in the form of improved skills, greater productivity and higher taxes.

    Then came Margaret Thatcher... :(


    Senior Member
    Let me have a try. Merit means goodness, excellence and advancement genrally means rise or a move forward and in this case a rise in social classes.

    I think what this sentence conveys is that as long as one works hard and get good results no matter in schools or their own organisations, he or she could lead a better life as if he or she make a higher step in a ladder.

    As I know, graduates from top three Japanese universities are more likely to get a good job or secure a more reputable social status in Japan. I think it is also true in China and Korea. Specifically in politics, it is known as 'meritocracy', the best people ruling the country.

    At time of writing, I was not aware of Keith's post.
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