Universities criticise government's free tuition criteria

Universities in Japan have slammed the central government for its moves to set criteria for institutions that will come under student fee reduction and exemption programmes as "an intervention in university autonomy", reports The Mainichi Japan.

The administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is aiming to make higher education free as part of its slogan of ‘human resources development revolution’. Under a policy package that the cabinet approved in December last year, students from families exempted from the residential tax (mostly with an annual income of less than JPY2.5 million [US$23,000]) and who are enthusiastic about studying would be exempted from tuition at national universities, beginning in fiscal 2020.

However, the government is poised to set four conditions for higher education institutions subject to the tuition-free system, in part to comply with requests from the business community. Such institutions would be required to employ instructors who have work experience in companies and other organisations, and outsiders should account for a certain ratio of the university governing board. Moreover, these universities and other higher education institutions would be mandated to compile and disclose criteria for student achievement evaluations and release information on their financial standing and management.
Full report on The Mainichi site