12 universities to launch forum on fall enrollment

Kyodo

Twelve leading universities have agreed to establish a forum of their presidents to discuss switching the start of the academic year to fall to conform with educational institutions overseas, the University of Tokyo said Thursday.

One of the university’s seven executive vice presidents, Takao Shimizu, made the announcement during a news conference to unveil the final report by an in-house panel on switching the start of its academic year from spring to fall.

Among the 12 are 10 national universities — the University of Tokyo, Hokkaido University, Tohoku University, the University of Tsukuba, Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo Institute of Technology, known as Tokyo Tech, Nagoya University, Kyoto University, Osaka University and Kyushu University.

The other two — Waseda University and Keio University — are private.

The panel said it filed the final report with Junichi Hamada, president of the University of Tokyo.

In the report, the panel called for studies on implementing fall enrollment and establishing a fresh scholarship system for students affected by the change.

The panel called for cooperating with other universities to achieve the change, noting the need to prepare activities for students during the six months between graduation from high school in March and enrollment in universities in September.

It also noted the need to review various national examinations.

The panel said there would be many difficulties for a single university to switch to fall enrollment and urged the University of Tokyo not to jump to a hasty conclusion.

The school plans to set up a formal in-house council for full-fledged discussions on whether to make the switch.