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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 October 8 - 14  > JCP issues proposal calling for improvement in scholarship program
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2014 October 8 - 14 [WELFARE]

JCP issues proposal calling for improvement in scholarship program

October 8, 2014
The Japanese Communist Party on October 7 published a policy proposal that the state scholarship programs should be improved in order to ease the financial burdens placed on university students.

The proposal points out that among OECD member nations, Japan is the only country where public universities charge students tuition fees and the government offers them only education loans and not scholarships. It states that while one in two university students depends on the public student loan program, 75% of the total amount of loans given to students are to be paid back with interest.

The proposal notes that under the most common scenario where a student who borrows 50,000 yen a month for four years and 600,000 yen in the first year under the loan-type “scholarship” program, he/she will face three million yen in debt and his/her debt could accumulate up to ten million yen by the time he/she finishes a doctoral course. It states that as young workers have to accept low-paid, unstable jobs, one in eight scholarship recipients fall behind in loan payments or are temporarily exempted from paying back their debts.

In the proposal, the JCP called on the government to abolish interest payments in the public student loan program, allow students more flexible ways for repaying their loans, and set up a grant-type scholarship program without delay.

The JCP proposal stresses that the government has a responsibility to improve the public scholarship program in order to ensure equal opportunity in education.

JCP Policy Commission Chair Koike Akira at a press conference in the Diet building held the same day said, “We drew up this proposal to squarely tackle the financial difficulties being faced by university students and high school students, as well as by their parents.” He expressed his willingness to seek cooperation from organizations and researchers related to education. JCP members of the House of Representatives Miyamoto Takeshi and the House of Councilors Tamura Tomoko joined in the press conference.

Past related articles
> Japan’s low education budget places financial burdens on students [September 17, 2014]
> Student loan collection agency like a cold-blooded debt collector [February 23, 2014]
> Create grant-type scholarship system at once: JCP Miyamoto [February 18, 2014]
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