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b. The Promulgation of the 1894 Higher School Order

Although the higher middle schools were part of the middle school system, the actual schools became preparatory schools for the Imperial University, and they differed very sharply in character from the ordinary middle schools. Due to the positive attitude toward the promotion of higher level specialized education that prevailed in the 189O's, it was decided to restructure these schools as organs of higher education, and set them up as an independent school system. At the tune of Education Minister Inoue Kowashi, the 1894 Higher School Order was promulgated on June 25, 1894, and put in force on September 11 of that year.

According to the 1894 Higher School Order, the existing higher middle schools became higher schools, and it was determined that higher schools would be places for teaching specialized courses, provided that such schools could also offer a course to prepare students for entrance into the Imperial University. In addition, a provision was made in the Order for the attachment of a lower level special course (tokubetsu gakka) to these schools. Education Minister Inoue Kowashi had studied the Western college system, and he felt it would be desirable to also make provisions for school that would teach various specialized courses. Over the next years Minister Inoue and others worked to develop several higher schools that focused on various aspects of real life.

In July, 1894, various regulations for the higher school system were issued. According to these regulations, faculties of law, medicine and engineering were established at the Third Higher School, and in the other schools, faculties of medicine and a university preparatory course were established. In all of these faculties, the chair system was adopted as at the Imperial University. The length of schooling was set at four years for the specialized courses of these faculties and three years for the university preparatory course. Entrance required in either case graduation from an ordinary middle school.

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