(8)University Reform

University disruptions were largely quelled by the end of1969, but the prolonged struggles had revealed the problems  that existed both inside and outside of the universities and  produced a debate over university reform. One of the goals of the reform of the university system after the war had been to expand university facilities and thereby open access to the universities for a wider public. The system, however was not capable of coping with the sharp increase in applications and the popularization of university education in the years following 1965. In addition to the greater number of students seeking admission to universities, pressures for expansion of the system also arose from societal needs in the wake of the scientific innovations and rapid economic growth of the preceding decade. As a result the universities came to be overloaded without making the necessary adjustments in administration or educational structure. Astute observers of the university system had warned early on that the system would have to be reformed if it were to withstand these pressures.

The Central Council for Education in response to the request from the Minister of Education had begun a study of basic outlines for an overall reform of school education in July, 1967.However the outbreak of campus disturbances impressed the nation with the need for immediate reform of the university system; the shape this reform should take came under intense discussion within each university and by various bodies concerned with higher education, such as the National Universities Association, the Science Council of Japan (Nihon Gakujutsu Kaigi), and a number of organizations concerned with private universities. The Central Council for Education also intensified its investigations and in June, 1971, submitted its recommendations for reform to the Minister of Education. The report confirmed the observation that the existing university system could not meet contemporary demands. Reforms were recommended across the educational spectrum: l) diversification of higher education; 2) curriculum reform; 3) improvements in teaching methods; 4) opening of higher education to the general public and establishment of a system of certification; 5) organizational separation of education and research; 6) establishment of "research institutes" (kenkyuin);7) rationalization of the size of higher educational institutions and their administrative structure; 8) improvements in per-sonnet policies and treatment of teachers; 9) change of the form of establishing national and local public universities; 1O)improvements in the governmental financing of higher education, system of the costs being borne by the beneficiaries, and scholarships system; 11 ) a national plan for the coordination of higher education; 12) improvements in the students' environment; and 13) improvements in the selection procedures of students.

The Ministry of Education is currently considering a "University of the Air" whereby accredited university education can be obtained primarily via television broadcasting.


(C)COPYRIGHT Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology

((C)COPYRIGHT Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology)

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