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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 October 1 - 7  > A student living in an apartment needs more than two million yen to enroll in private university
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2008 October 1 - 7 [EDUCATION]

A student living in an apartment needs more than two million yen to enroll in private university

October 7, 2008
The average amount of money Japanese parents pay for their sons and daughters entering private universities is 2.14 million yen, which includes entrance examination fees and the enrollment fee, if they live in an apartment away from home. The average cost for state-run university students is 1.9 million yen.

These are some of the findings of a survey published on October 6 by the National Federation of University Co-operative Associations.

For private university students, the cost includes 960,000 yen for enrollment and tuition fees, 200,000 yen for textbooks, 300,000 yen for furniture and household necessities, 270,000 yen for just finding an apartment to live in, and 150,000 yen for application and examination fees.

These costs bring to a total of more than half of the after-tax average annual income of 4.12 million yen, indicating that parents must shoulder heavy financial burdens. This clearly shows that Japan’s higher education is the most expensive in the world.

Japan is one of a few countries that have not ratified the U.N. provision (Convention for the Protection of Human Rights) calling for the phase-out of high school and university tuition fees.

A growing number of people in Japan are demanding that the government increase its budget (currently the lowest among the advanced capitalist countries) to improve education.

Hirano Yoshinao of the All Japan Federation of Student Unions (Zengakuren) said, “Some parents are obliged to borrow money from unscrupulous money lenders at high interest rates to pay for the entrance fees as well as tuition fees. There are students who travel more than two hours to go to university from home because they cannot afford to pay the rent.”

Pointing out that enrollment fees do not exist in Europe and the United States, Hirano demanded that the government take measures to ease the burden of school expenses, irrespective of private or state-run universities, so that everyone can go to school without money worries.
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