The government said Tuesday it will approve within the month applications filed by two local governments to allow stock companies to set up a university and the equivalent of a university graduate course, paving the way for such educational institutions to open next spring.

The applications to allow Tokyo Legal Mind K.K. to set up a university and Digital Hollywood Corp. to set up the graduate course equivalent were filed by Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward and the Osaka Municipal Government, government officials said.

Tokyo Legal Mind runs a network of cram schools to prepare university students and graduates to pass the bar examination, while Digital Hollywood runs schools offering courses on computers and information technology.

Tokyo Legal Mind plans to set up a university to prepare students for the bar examination, while Digital Hollywood envisions setting up the equivalent of a graduate course specializing in advanced IT-related education.

The government plans to speed up authorization of their requests in order to ease regulatory curbs on the establishment of schools by stock companies, because the deadline for filing applications to set up schools with the education ministry is Oct. 31, the officials said.

The government has given precedence to the requests over dozens of other applications filed by local governments seeking to ease the range of regulations on business activities.

In addition, the government plans to speed up proceedings to grant a similar application by the town government of Mitsu, Okayama Prefecture, to allow a stock company to set up a junior high school next April, they said.

The junior high school to be established in Mitsu would be created by a stock company set up by Asahigakuen, a legally incorporated educational institution. The plan is for the school to emphasize intellectual excellence and prepare students for entry into top-notch high schools, they said.

Until recently, regulations limited the entities qualified to set up private schools to legally incorporated educational institutions.

But the recent deregulation has enabled stock companies and nonprofit organizations to set up schools, motivating Tokyo Legal Mind, Digital Hollywood and Asahigakuen to apply, they said.

An official at Tokyo Legal Mind said establishing a university “would enable us to provide high-level educational services at lower costs.

“Such an establishment would enable students to obtain a bachelor’s degree while preparing for the bar examination,” the official said.

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