Already struggling to keep student numbers up amid an ever-shrinking pool of high school graduates, private universities now face a new threat -- stock exchange-listed companies entering the fray of running institutions of higher learning.

Tokyo Legal Mind K.K., which runs a prep school for the highly competitive bar and other national-level exams, this month will open one of Japan's first stock company-run institutions of higher learning.

"Regular universities have not satisfied the needs of the public," said Katsuo Sorimachi, who serves as president of both the company and the newly established LEC Tokyo Legal Mind University. "The goal of our university is to enable all students to find employment when they graduate."