National

Tokyo rounds up enough staff to open university

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government said Friday that 95 percent of more than 500 professors at four public institutions have agreed to teach at a new public university, paving the way for the institution to open in April.

“We have secured enough professors to hold classes for all the subjects planned at the new university,” said Masakazu Omura, a senior metropolitan government director in charge of the project.

The metro government was able to submit the signed agreements, which specify the subjects the professors will teach, to the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry the same day, in time for the Friday deadline.

It hopes to get final approval for the new university plan by the end of the month, enabling it to begin accepting admission applications in August, according to metro government officials.

The new university will be created through the merger of four institutions: Tokyo Metropolitan University, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Technology, Tokyo Metropolitan University of Health Sciences and Tokyo Metropolitan College.

About 120 professors at TMU’s faculty of humanities and social sciences had refused to sign the agreements, saying the metro government did not respect the institutions’ autonomy.

In the end, all but 20 of those professors submitted their documents after the metro government said it would hold further discussions with them about the details of the plan, according to the metro government and a TMU professor.

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