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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 December 13 - 19  > Gov’t favorite decision-making boards will be installed in national universities
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2023 December 13 - 19 [POLITICS]

Gov’t favorite decision-making boards will be installed in national universities

December 14, 2023

A bill to adversely revise the National University Corporation Act was enacted in the House of Councilors plenary session on December 13 with the support of the Liberal Democratic Party, the Komei party, the “Ishin” party, and the Democratic Party for the People. The Japanese Communist Party, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, the “Reiwa” party, and the “Okinawa Whirlwind” voted against the bill.

Under the revised law, decision-making boards comprised of several members who are appointed after obtaining approval from the Minister of Education will be established, regardless of whether universities want to or not. The new bodies will have the authority to decide on university operation policies.

Japanese Communist Party member of the Upper House Kira Yoshiko criticized the establishment of government-backed organizations in national universities which will undermine the principle of university autonomy.

Kira noted that a government advisory council member had implied that figures who are good at attracting funds into universities would be desirable to engage in the new boards. She said, “The new law obviously aims to turn the present national universities into ones capable of ‘making money’ for the benefit of the business community and the government.”

She added that some universities could be compelled to step into military research or to increase tuition fees in order to “make money”. She demanded that state intervention in the autonomy of universities be stopped and that government funds to support universities’ educational and research activities be dramatically increased.

Past related articles:
> University personnel voice opposition to proposed establishment of gov’t-backed university boards [November 15, 2023]
> Gov’t seeks to infiltrate decision-making bodies in national universities [October 25, 2023]

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