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Part2 Educational Reform Q&A
Q39: For a variety of reasons,I dropped out of upper secondary school,but I would like to study history,which I have been interested in since I was a child,at university.Are there any ways to go to university despite not graduating from upper secondary school?

A:If you pass th.e University Entrance Qualifi-cation Test(Daiken),you can earn the entryqualifications to go to university.

The Daiken is a national examination that certi-fies whether or not people without the qualifica-tions to go to university because they did not graduate from upper secondary school have the same academic ability as upper secondary school graduates.Successful candidates are tho-se who pass all the required subjects.In the event that such a person is under18years old,they will be declared successful on their18 th

birthday.Successful candidates may sit for the en-trance examination of whichever national,public or private university,junior college or profes-sional training college they wish to attend.In addition,successful candidates receive the same treatment as upper secondary school graduates in sitting for a variety of national examinations.There are eight compulsory subjects,includ-ing Japanese Language and Mathematics I(nine subjects if taking Ethics or Politics and Eco-nomics)and three elective subjects,making a total of11(or12)subjects.To be successful does not require the student to pass all subjects at one sitting.A pass in a subject remains valid,so it is possible to sit ex-ams over a number of years until the necessary11(12)subjects have been passed.In FY1999,approximately18,000applicants took the Daiken,with around9,000passing.Roughly80%of the successful candidates were dropouts from upper secondary school.There-fore,the Daiken plays a significant role in providing another chance for people who drop out of school to go to university.For details,contact the Daiken Office at your local board of education or the Lifelong Learn-ing Promotion Division at the Ministry of Edu-cation,Science,Sports and Culture(Tel:03-3581-4211,Ext.2643).

It has become easier to sit for the Daiken

In the past,people who had passed the Practical English Proficiency Test or the Practical Book-keeping Proficiency Test were exempted from sitting in those subjects.Since April1999,those who have passed the Practical Mathematics Proficiency Test and the Practical Word Processing Proficiency Test are eligible for exemptions.We are moving forward with expanding the scope of eligibility for exemptions.In addition,we will also increase the range of exemptions for subjects studied at upper secon-dary school and colleges of technology.

Increase in those eligible to sit for the Daiken

From the Daiken to be held in August2000(university entrance in April2001),it will be possi-ble for people who did not graduate from lower secondary school to take the Daiken examina-tion as long as they are16years or older.This will open up a way for proceeding to higher education for a wider range of people,in-cluding those who have previously been barred from taking the examination,such as graduates of international schools and schools for foreigners and people who did not graduate from lower secondary school for whatever reason.

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