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June 21, 2005

Hagi Int'l Uni. Files for Rehabilitation

Hagi International University is to become the first third-level institute to file under the Civil Rehabilitation Law due to a lack of students. With an aggregate debt of over ¥30 billion, the school plans to file today with the Tokyo District Court. Established in 1999, the Yamaguchi Prefecture school received financial support from the prefecture and Hagi city. It has relied heavily on Chinese exchange students and has seen dwindling student numbers and revenues over the last few years. With a maximum enrollment in the international communications department of 300, the course currently has 194 students, 116 of whom are Chinese. The international studies department has just two courses, communications and a course in "golf culture" introduced in 2004 - the school has its own golf course. There is also a business department. In the spring of last year, the faculty was cut from 50 teachers to just 23 in an effort to cut costs. The school decided to file with the court before reaching financial meltdown, in order to protect the students' ability to continue their studies. it is currently operating thanks to financial aid from a Hiroshima company.

According to the education ministry, in the 2003 academic year there were 556 private universities and 436 private junior colleges nationwide. Of those, 30% of the former and 40% of the latter failed to achieve full student enrollment. In April 2003, Risshikan University in Hiroshima Prefecture closed. Most students were able to transfer to other schools nearby. It is not yet known what will happen in the case of the Hagi Int'l U. students.
Hagi International University web site (Japanese)
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