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HOME  > Past issues  > 2010 July 28 - August 3  > 10% cut in national university budget
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2010 July 28 - August 3 [EDUCATION]
editorial 

10% cut in national university budget

July 31, 2010
The government has decided on the guidelines in regard to ministries’ requests for next year’s budget allocations, targeting an across-the-board 10 percent cut for university budgets. If implemented, government subsidies to national university corporations, former state-run universities, for their running expenses will be reduced by more than 100 billion yen, equivalent of 29 small national universities’ budgets combined. The government grant to private universities for their ordinary expenses will also be reduced by more than 32 billion yen, equal to the total amount of the government grant to six major private universities.

The government has slashed the subsidies by 83 billion yen since it changed the state-owned universities into independent administrative entities six years ago. Some professors have to manage to prepare educational materials at their own expense because their research funding has sharply decreased. Some universities have involuntarily closed some courses because they could not afford to pay teaching staff due to labor cost cuts. Small and mid-sized national universities have already had difficulty surviving.

Development in education and research at universities should be the far-sighted policy of a nation in order to sufficiently invest in this field and foster young researchers while focusing on the future. The government is now required to solve the university crisis and take measures to encourage social progress in the 21st century. It should not reduce the university budget in pursuit of only short-term efficiency. It should increase the budget, which is currently at the lowest level in developed countries, to the level same as that in European nations.

The Japanese Communist Party in July published a proposal on university policy. The JCP proposes that the government restore the amount of subsidies to the national university corporations to the level before they were incorporated and substantially subsidize private universities based on the principle of public funding for higher education. The JCP also calls for the creation of a tuition exemption system and a repayment-free scholarship program as well as tuition-free high school education in a step-by-step manner.
- Akahata, July 31, 2010
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