Universities face major realignment as numbers fall

The education ministry is considering a major realignment of both public and private universities ahead of an expected drop in the number of students, according to ministry sources. It would be the first time that national public-run and private universities could face amalgamation. In past structural reviews, only those in the same categories were merged, reports The Japan Times.

While the population of 18-year-olds is expected to fall sharply amid a general decline in the national birth-rate, the percentage of those who advance to university education has remained flat at around 50%.

Both government- and student-derived revenue streams for private universities in rural areas will be reduced due to the fall in student numbers, with many failing to meet their enrolment, the sources said last week. As government subsidies for national and private universities are on the decline due to the strained state of public finances, the government may aim to curb spending by reducing the number of universities through cuts and mergers in order to better allocate funds to remaining universities, the sources said.
Full report on The Japan Times site