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JCP calls for a hike in state funding for universities

The Japanese Communist Party on June 3 published a proposal to overcome the university crisis and pursue an appropriate reform for higher education.

JCP Policy Commission Chair Koike Akira at a news conference explained the key points of the proposal while criticizing the gstructural reform policyh promoted by the previous government and the present gshort-term efficiency policyh for causing the crisis in financial difficulties and the resultant high tuition fees at universities.

Koike pointed out that the government has cut its subsidies for university operating expenses by 75 billion yen although the Diet had decided to secure the government share of contributions before transforming national universities into independent administrative corporations. gThe JCP will make efforts to restore the initial decision and increase public funds for universities,h said Koike.

As for private universities, Koike explained that the Diet in 1975 approved to cover 50 percent of the operating expenses of private universities with state subsidies but it has never implemented this measure.

The JCP proposal calls for an overhaul of the system of national university corporations which has undermined university autonomy. gOur party will work to establish democratic rules free from dogmatic management by university presidents and directors,h stated Koike.

The proposal also calls for measures to ease the burdens of high tuition payments and create more posts for young researchers. Koike said, gIf the government increases state spending on universities to the same level as European nations do, it can establish a system to provide a tuition-free education for needy students and a scholarship program which does not require students to pay back the stipends received.h

- Akahata, June 4, 2010



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