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Whoever wrote the Sept. 18 editorial “Slow transparency of universities” does not know what he or she is talking about. While some colleges in Japan — mostly small-scale family-run operations — provide little detailed information — the real universities in Japan deluge you with information. For most institutions, there is far more public information and data available than any third-year high school student or parent is going to read.

I have not yet seen any studies for Japan, but in Britain, where the government has been pushing universities to provide more information for some decades, the only notable result has been a vastly increased administrative burden. Audits of the vast amount of data provided on line show that most of it is ignored.

Prospective students and parents are primarily interested in the general reputation of the institution and the placement prospects of graduates. Bureaucrats within universities and oversight agencies always proclaim the need for more data and more accountability because it empowers them. I have never seen any evidence whatsoever that most students and their parents are interested in anything more than reputation, placement and fees.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

earl kinmonth

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