National universities have played significant roles, such as promoting advanced academic research, systematically fostering human resources, contributing to regional revitalization and ensuring equal opportunities for higher education.

 Since they were incorporated in 2004, national universities have endeavored to strengthen their own functions voluntarily and independently while respectively taking advantage of their unique characteristics and strengths. Amid rapid social and economic changes in recent years, expectations of society regarding national universities are further growing. They are expected to serve as bases for strengthening industrial competitiveness and creating innovation, function as core bases for regional revitalization, or otherwise actively contribute to the growth and development of Japan as a whole.

 National universities have been in the third medium-goal period since FY2016. The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) has established the framework for support based on three priority points with regard to basic expenses for operating expense grants to national university corporations and will offer support meticulously and intensively based on evaluation of respective universities' initiatives for strengthening their own functions.

 Towards 2040, MEXT will advance reform of management of personnel affairs and salaries, reform of evaluation and allocation of resources, and reform of governance including collaboration and integration so that national universities will properly fulfill their roles in fostering human resources and creating innovation.

 MEXT will further strengthen education and research infrastructure of national universities that are truly ready to take on a challenge, while endeavoring to ensure opportunities for higher education and promoting educational reform and enhancement of research quality in an integrated manner.