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A:We are currently examining the issue ofturning national universities into indepen-dent administrati-ve bodies from the perspective of achieving a global standard ofeducation and research.
A Cabinet decision of April1999on turning national universities into independent adminis-trative bodies resolved to"investigate the matter as part of the reform of universities while re-specting the autonomy of universities and reach a conclusion by2003."To this end,MESSC has been moving forward with its examinations,holding the Roundtable on the Future of Nation-al Universities and Other Institutions-a kind of"private roundtable"for the Minister of Educa-tion,Science,Sports and Culture-which heard opinions from learned individuals with broad-ranging viewpoints.Further,in Septem'ber1999,the Conference of National University Presi-dents and Interuniversity Research Institute Pre-sidents developed the following points concern-ing the basic direction for examining the trans-formation of national universities into indepen-dent administrative institutions.Education and research at national universities should be carried out on the basis of autonomy,independence and self-responsibility.The inves-tigation into making national universities into independent administrative institutions must devise special measures which take these char-acteristics into consideration.By devising these special measures,the transformation of national universities into inde-pendent administrative institutions will have the following benefits compared to the current sys-tem.
The transformation of national universities into independent administrative institutions will grant juridical status to each university,includ-ing research institutes attached to universities and university hospitals.Broadly speaking,it is therefore necessary to consider the following points as specific extraordinary measures.
Meanwhile,with the increase in university inde-pendence and autonomy,the management re-sponsibilities of the universities will naturally increase.In addition,while the independent ad-ministrative system of corporations does not assume self-supporting status,it will require more efficient and effective management than in the past.Therefore,it is necessary to review the management structure to facilitate timely and appropriate decision-making under the leader-ship of university Presidents,with administrative viewpoints taken into account.In relation to this,we will investigate the method of selection for university Presidents and the makeup of Vice-Presidents and management inquiry committees.In future,we will continue to examine the spect-fic orientation for special measures while hear-ing opinions from related parties,including the National University Association of Japan and plan to reach a conclusion as early as possible in FY2000.In light of this,it will be necessary to spend sufficient time to carefully consider the details of the system.
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