• Kyodo

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Fukuoka Prefectural University has revoked a decision to open its special admissions quota to candidates from non-Japanese schools after a warning from the prefecture that the measure is illegal, sources said Friday.

The university allows graduates of non-Japanese schools to take entrance exams through regular admissions.

In May, the university senate decided to open its special admissions quota, in addition to the regular quota, for graduates of non-Japanese schools starting with the 2004 academic year.

The provision benefits mostly students from ethnic Korean schools, which form the bulk of non-Japanese schools in Japan.

The university revoked the decision on the special admission quota in June following a warning from the prefecture’s educational affairs department.

Officials at the university said after a review of the policy, the university found it difficult to open the special quota to non-Japanese school candidates.

As the special admissions quota is determined on a school basis — unlike the regular quota, which is open to individuals — the university concluded that ethnic schools are not eligible for the quota.

“The decision was inevitable. It’s not a question of whether the prefecture has infringed on our autonomy,” said Katsuhisa Hashiguchi, head of the university.

Prefectural officials said they just told the university to follow the law in making changes in admissions policy.

“In the end, it’s up to the university to decide,” an official at Kukuoka’s educational affairs department said.

University admissions policy for students from non-Japanese schools has been a matter of contention in recent years.

Last month, the principals and parents of students of Korean schools in Fukuoka filed a complaint with the Fukuoka Bar Association on the legal limitations on the qualification of non-Japanese school students for admission to national and public universities.