Saturday, February 03, 2007

Student Services in Japan

SideLines, February 2007

The Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) is responsible for managing student loans and scholarships as an "Indpendent Administrative Agency" (Int. Herald Tribune, 9th Jan. 2007). This means it has balance its own books and somehow be profitable, although its mandate is to provide interest-free or low-interest loans to students.

Despite the fact that student numbers are falling throughout Japan - because of demographic decline (low birthrates) - the number of students seeking loans has been increasing.
According to the article, tuition fees are still rising. Why not cut fees and cut lending at the same time? And provide scholarships for parents who wish to return to their studies after having children?

With a wider range of encouragements, student numbers might eventually stop declining, and a healthier research and teaching system could be nurtured in Japan.

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