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Part 1   Higher Education to Support a Knowledge-Based Society Full of Creative Vitality-New Developments in Higher Education Reform
Chapter 2   New Developments in Higher Education Reform
Section 1   Promotion of Reforms through Measures Such as the Incorporation of National Universities
3   Incorporation of Public Universities

Concerning the incorporation of public universities, on 16 July 2003, the "Local Independent Administrative Institutions Law," which stipulated provisions on local independent administrative institutions and public university corporations as a type of local independent administrative institution, was promulgated. Based on this, it will become possible from April 2004 for public universities to be incorporated based on the judgment of the local governments that establish them. The law includes an exception for public university corporations, modeled on the system design of the national university corporation and based on the special characteristics of university education and research, as well as a flexible system giving discretion to respond to the conditions in each region concerning specific organization and management of the corporations.

The public university corporation system, in the same way as national university incorporation, aims to build appealing universities rich in individuality that actively make efforts to carry out outstanding education and distinctive research that meets the demands of local communities in a more autonomous environment by introducing private sector management methods.

Furthermore, this system, as shown below, introduces a new mechanism that was not in public universities previously, and grants wide-ranging discretion to the universities by removing various management restrictions that resulted from public universities being a part of the administrative organization.

1) Mechanisms to widely employ human resources possessing rich experience and outstanding knowledge concerning management, internally and externally, and to reflect the opinions of these human resources in university management
2) Mechanisms to make it possible to select the university president, taking into account not only educational issues but also management issues
3) Mechanisms to improve operations management, increase its efficiency, and improve financial content in a planned manner, and then to check these improvements with an operations achievement evaluation system including third-party evaluation

In addition, the following advantages of incorporation with respect to management of education and research can be cited:

1) Incorporation makes independent and flexible management possible for surveys and research that require a relatively long period of time, including long-term contracts, carrying over the budget between fiscal years, and greater flexibility in modifying the uses of the budget
2) Because the status of faculty members will be "non-public servants" and the degree of their freedom to take additional jobs will increase, the abilities of the faculty members will be utilized as much as possible in the form of revitalization of research activities, contribution to local communities and industry-academia cooperation

In this way, the "public university corporation" system can be considered an effective option to carry out reform by local governments of public universities in response to actual conditions in the region, and further develop public universities as higher education institutions that fully utilize the distinctive qualities of their regions through education, research and contributions to the community by public universities.

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