• Kyodo

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As a way to boost Japan’s economic growth, the government plans to set up new advanced education institutions to nurture workers who can readily adapt to industry needs, the government said Thursday.

“We will create a new higher education system that will meet the needs of the real world and promote competition among schools,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at a government meeting aimed at boosting the country’s business competitiveness.

The government will possibly amend pertinent laws next year, with the aim of opening the new schools in fiscal 2019, officials said. The plan will be included in a growth strategy to be compiled this month.

In addition to high school graduates, working people will be qualified to enroll in the envisioned schools so they can develop their careers by acquiring skills in such fields as information technology, the officials said.

Under the plan, existing universities, two-year collages and vocational colleges can apply to become the new educational institutions, as a way of securing students amid declines in the number of children.

Existing universities are often criticized for not being able to offer a practical education that meets the needs of businesses, while companies do not have enough resources to educate employees.

The new educational institutions will cooperate with business entities to develop a curriculum and convey expert knowledge to respond to changes in the economy and society, the officials said.

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