Universities take drastic action to cover electricity costs

Desperate for funds to cover their spiralling electricity bills, national universities in Japan have sold off properties and shut down facilities that are needed for education and research, write Hajime Ueno, Chika Yamamoto and Hideki Motoyama for The Asahi Shimbun.

“It is up to each university to work out its own salvation plan” to deal with the price hikes, Education Minister Keiko Nagaoka said at a news conference. She added, however, that the ministry “will thoroughly support sustainable and stable education and research activities”.

Earlier this month, Tokyo University of the Arts removed two upright pianos from two practice rooms and sold them. In a notice sent to music students on 2 February, the university cited “budget reductions” and asked those who need to practise piano to reserve a different room. The university has now sold five pianos for a total of JPY240,000 (US$1,800). The university said it can also save JPY120,000 in annual tuning expenses for the five instruments.
Full report on The Asahi Shimbun site