• Jiji


Face-to-face classes have been reduced to less than half of all classes at 187 public and private universities across Japan in the current academic year’s second half from autumn, according to a survey by the education ministry.

The survey also showed that over 80% of the 187 universities said they have won understanding and consent from many students about keeping the proportion of face-to-face lessons low to reduce the risk of infection with the novel coronavirus.

The results of the survey, covering 377 universities across the country, were released on Wednesday, with their names disclosed.

Of the 187 universities, 80, the largest number, are located in Tokyo, including the University of Tokyo, Waseda University and Keio University, followed by 13 in Saitama Prefecture, 12 in Chiba Prefecture, and 10 in Kanagawa Prefecture.

Hokkaido, Ibaraki, Aichi, Kyoto and Osaka prefectures had six such universities each.

In the survey, 18 universities said that they have won understanding and consent from almost all students regarding their ways of holding classes, while 140 said they have gained understanding and consent from a majority of students.

In late November, education minister Koichi Hagiuda met with presidents of public and private universities and asked them to give face-to-face classes as much as possible while taking measures against the novel coronavirus.

The release of the survey results was substantially delayed as many presidents asked the ministry not to disclose the names of universities that are cautious about offering face-to-face classes.

Earlier, the ministry had carried out a wider survey, covering 1,060 universities across Japan, to see how many classes are held in person in the second semester of the current academic year to March 2021. The latest survey was a followup on those that answered in the first survey that the proportion of face-to-face classes accounted for less than 50% of their overall classes.

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