私大定員割れ 特色作りで活路を見いだせ

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Aug. 4, 2009)
Specialty key to survival of private universities
私大定員割れ 特色作りで活路を見いだせ(8月4日付・読売社説)

With the shakeout of private universities having finally begun, these institutions must seriously take to heart the fact that those among their number that cannot demonstrate a specialty will no longer be able to survive.
 大学の淘汰(とうた)がいよいよ始まったということだろう。特色を打ち出せない大学は、生き残れない時代だということを肝に銘じなければなるまい。

A survey released Thursday by the Promotion and Mutual Aid Corporation for Private Schools of Japan found that 46.5 percent of four-year private universities were underenrolled at the start of this academic year, almost the same level as last academic year, while 69.1 percent of two-year private junior colleges were in such a situation, a slight increase from last academic year.
 日本私立学校振興・共済事業団が、今年度の大学・短大への入学者数などを発表した。定員割れは昨年度と比べ、4年制大学はほぼ横ばいの46・5%、短大は微増の69・1%に上っている。

Since the beginning of this year, five private universities, including those run by joint-stock companies, have said they will stop accepting new students from next academic year.
 今年に入り、来年度からの学生募集停止を表明した大学は、株式会社立を含め既に5校ある。

Despite the fact that the population of 18-year-olds has been declining due to the low birthrate since academic year 1993, when it fell below 2 million, the number of universities and junior colleges has continued to rise, with the number of four-year private, and state-run and other public universities totaling as many as about 770. It is natural that universities that cannot demonstrate a specialty will be forced to close.
 18歳人口は、200万人を切った1993年度以降、少子化で減り続けているのに、大学数は増え続け、国公立を含めると、4年制大学だけで約770校ある。特色を出せない大学が退場を余儀なくされるのは、当然だろう。

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Students' needs paramount

Stable university management will not be ensured merely by contriving to continuously recruit students through recommendation-based admission and interview- and essay-based tests, known as "admission office exams." It is very important that private universities offer attractive courses of study and clearly present their education policy and method of developing human resources so young people will be able to envision their future after they are educated there.
 推薦入試やAO入試で安易な学生集めを続けるだけでは、経営の安定は図れない。進学したいと思わせる教育課程を用意し、その教育を受ければどんな将来像が描けるのか、教育方針と人材育成の方法を明確に示すことが肝要だ。

At some private universities, people who have had careers in corporate management serve as president, and faculty and companies in their local community discuss and decide on study goals, textbooks and other educational materials. Other universities have established unique departments, including one specializing in manga.
 企業経営に携わった経験者を学長に据え、教員と地元の企業が協議して授業の目標や教材を決めたり、マンガ学部など独自の学部を設けたりする大学もある。

To increase the number of mature students holding down full-time jobs, which accounts for only about 2 percent of the total, private universities must also provide education that meets such students' various needs.
 2%程度しかいない社会人学生が増えるよう、需要に合った教育内容の提供も必要だろう。

The government's Central Education Council is currently discussing future university education from a mid- and long-term perspective. We hope the council will thoroughly discuss the appropriate number of universities and students.
 中央教育審議会は、中長期的な大学教育のあり方について審議中だ。大学数や学生数の適正規模もしっかり議論してもらいたい。

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Safety net needed

It is noteworthy that the council's first report, compiled in June, emphasizes that the desirable size and nature of universities should be discussed from the perspective of different targets. The report lists seven such targets, including "nurturing professionals in a wide range of fields" and "social contribution."
 6月にまとめた第1次報告で注目されるのは、大学の規模や質のあり方を分野別に考えるよう強調していることだ。この中で、「幅広い職業人の養成」「社会貢献」など7分野を例示している。

In their respective proposals on human resources development, the Japan Association of Corporate Executives (Keizai Doyukai) and the Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren) also are calling on universities to increase specialization in their areas of expertise.
 大学が得意分野に重点化していくことは、経済同友会や日本経団連がまとめた人材育成に関する提言でも求めている。

However, the Central Education Council should spell out in greater detail the targets it believes an ideal university should meet. We hope the council will work out this point before compiling its final report.
 ただ、分野別の例は、もっと具体的に示すべきではないか。最終報告までに練り上げてほしい。

The council has also proposed discussions on the establishment of a new higher educational body, specializing in vocational education, other than existing universities and junior colleges. The raison d'etre of junior colleges, whose main objectives include vocational education, therefore comes into question.
 中教審は、大学や短大とは別に職業教育に特化した新高等教育機関の検討も打ち出しており、職業教育を目的の一つとする短大は存在意義が問われている。

Cultivating a specialty is necessary, but it may also be a wise option for junior colleges to actively discuss transforming themselves into four-year universities as well as realigning and integrating.
 特色作りも必要だが、4年制大学への転換や再編・統合をもっと積極的に検討してもよい。

The population of 18-year-olds is expected to hover around 1.2 million for the next decade. Should private universities remain underenrolled, their management will face an increased danger of collapse. The Education, Science and Technology Ministry should prepare measures to deal with a possible collapse of universities, including a system to protect students enrolled in universities that fail.
 18歳人口は、今後も10年間程度は120万人前後で推移する。定員割れが続けば、経営破綻(はたん)の危機は高まる。文部科学省は、在学生が保護される仕組みなど破綻処理策を考えておく必要があろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Aug. 4, 2009)
(2009年8月4日00時43分 読売新聞)
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by kiyoshimat | 2009-08-04 09:22 | 英字新聞

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