Fair tax share for universities


As one who used to work for a private educational institution, I was interested in the Feb. 3 editorial “Entrance exam change needed.” It seems that it mainly refers to “software” aspects. Let me suggest a few basic things that Japan should change.

Tax distribution for national universities (including at the prefectural and municipal level) must be changed. In general, Japanese believe that their taxes go mainly to public universities. Parents who send their children to private universities pay about four times as much money as parents who send their children to national ones for human and social science programs. In the case of medical science, private universities cost about 10 times more! It is unfair, and it has been a neglected feature of Japan.

Teachers at national universities get more research money, fewer students and smaller teaching loads than private university teachers. The result is that they can do more research, guide students more carefully and help their students to find “better” jobs. National universities, therefore, have a better reputation than private ones. And it is natural to want to enter better universities.

The situation is mixed with the Japanese value judgment of “rarefied dignity.” This stimulates competitiveness in entrance exams. If tax distribution isn’t done fairly, this craziness will continue and the stress on juku (cram schools) will never perish.

masayuki aihara

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.