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March 28, 2003

Failing Grades For Public Uni's

According to a report by the National Institution for Academic Degrees, over 90% of Japan's universities need to improve their required liberal arts curriculum, based on a 2001 evaluation. The report was based on a survey of 90 public universities and 14 research institutions. They were asked to state their goals in 2000 and report on the results at the end of the school year. 28 institutions, including the University of Tsukuba and Shinshu University, received a 2 on a scale of 1 to 5, while another 66% could do no better than a 3. This grade indicates a program is "fairly effective but still in need of improvement." Only four universities, including Tokyo and Okayama Universities got a grade of 2. No schools received a grade of 1 or 5. Among the problems cited were that students are not developing foreign-language fluency. On the other hand, the vast majority of universities scored a top or second grade for efforts to build ties to the community or industry. A full list of schools and their grades can be seen (in Japanese) on the asahi.com site.

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