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July 26, 2004

Two Osaka Universities Plan Merger

Osaka University and Osaka University of Foreign Studies (known as Osaka Gaidai), plan to merge in 2007, according to the presidents of both schools. Both state-run, the universities have a combined total of 23,500 undergraduate and graduate students. Gaidai, the smaller of the two with about 3,600 students, has seen declining annual government subsidies and has been having difficulty keeping its 24 language courses going. After the planned merger, the school wants to increase the number of courses and open a research center. With reforms of the third-level education system picking up steam, twenty-four national universities have already merged, but this would be one of the largest in terms of students and faculty. "The merger will upgrade our human resources and allow us to set up new departments and research programs that are in line with the times," Osaka University President Hideo Miyahara said.

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