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Education Minister Akito Arima indicated Tuesday that his ministry may reconsider its current stance on the entrance of graduates from “unauthorized” universities to graduate programs at state-run institutions.

The ministry will examine whether graduates of these schools, such as Korean University in Japan and Japanese campuses of foreign universities, should be allowed to take entrance exams, Arima told a regular news conference.

The ministry’s move comes in the wake of last week’s announcement by Kyoto University that it has opened its master’s program in science to graduates of Korean University, allowing three graduates of the university to take entrance exams.

Under current Education Ministry instructions, graduates of higher education institutions that are not recognized as universities under the School Education Law are not qualified to try for graduate studies at national universities.

Although Arima said it is difficult to acknowledge that those graduates have the same or higher academic ability than the average graduates of “authorized” universities, he also noted the ministry will examine whether the current policy should be continued.

While he was serving as the president of University of Tokyo, Arima opened its doors to 1991-1993 graduates of Temple University Japan to take entrance exams even though this ran counter to the ministry’s policy.

“Though I was told by the Education Ministry not to do so, I did it because Temple University had an internationally good reputation then. I would like to make a consistent system by judging the level of education of both Korean University and foreign universities in Japan,” Arima said.

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