4 Japanese universities to apply for 10 tril. government funds in yen: investigation

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This file photo shows Nagoya University in central Japan in March 2018. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) — Four Japanese national universities plan to apply for a 10 trillion yen ($79 billion) fund set up by the government to bring institutions up to par with the world’s top universities, according to a recent survey by Kyodo News. .

Tohoku University, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, Nagoya University and Osaka University intend to apply for the funds, established as part of the government’s efforts to promote the science and technology in Japan.

Another 27 institutions, including the University of Tokyo and Kyoto University, said they were considering applying, but the number could increase after further details of the selection process are released.

Applications are expected to open in this fiscal year, and the fund will begin distributing funds as early as fiscal 2024.

A related bill was passed and signed into law in a plenary session of the House of Councilors on May 18.

Universities receiving funds will be required to establish decision-making bodies with management authority and to achieve approximately 3% business growth per year.

Meanwhile, many regional universities and normal schools said they would not apply for funds due to qualification criteria.

Some fear that leading universities will get preferential treatment, with some calling for more support for universities that fail to make the cut.

The 10 trillion yen fund will provide tens of billions of yen annually to a number of national, public and private universities in Japan recognized as possessing world-class research standards, with the aim of bringing them up to speed eminent United States and British. the universities.

Tohoku University, one of the schools intending to apply, said the fund “will create an environment in which we can meet the social expectations of universities”, while Nagoya University expressed the hope that financial support would help it become a world-class research centre.

Osaka University, which has not yet made a final decision on its application, stressed that raising the standard of Japanese universities “will contribute to the further development of higher education in Japan”.

But Kobe University and Toyama University remained uncertain about their application, respectively saying the system had not yet been clarified and qualification would be difficult.

Of the 42 universities that do not intend to apply, Miyazaki University expressed concern about what could end up being an exclusive fund for some universities, saying it could “weaken regional universities”.

The Naruto University of Education in Tokushima Prefecture said the government should recognize the diversity of universities and less distinguished universities should also receive support.

The survey of 82 national universities in Japan, excluding graduate schools, garnered 73 responses between March and April 25.

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