Thursday, May 22, 2008

Law Schools Reduce the Number of Students

"At least 10 of the 74 law schools that began operating in April 2004 are planning to cut their quota of students, a Yomiuri Shimbun survey has found.

"Among them, Fukuoka University will tell the Education, Science and Technology Ministry on Thursday that it will cut its quota by 20 students, the first such reduction among the new law schools.

"The 74 graduate schools were launched in 2004 as part of reforms to legal education. However, with so many law schools opening, many found they were unable to fill their quotas.

"A further problem has been the disappointing success rate among applicants for the new national bar examination, which last year stood at 40 percent, on average, for graduates from the new law schools. This compares with the government's initial forecast of 70 to 80 percent.

"The new law schools are now being forced to decide whether they should educate students in smaller numbers, risking a fall in income from tuition fees, in an effort to prevent a decline in standards.

"The survey was conducted between mid-April and early May. Of the 74 law schools, 72 responded. Himeji Dokkyo University and Aichi University did not respond.

"Fukuoka University plans to lower its quota for students per grade year from the current 50 to 30 in the next academic year, starting in April.

"Six of its graduate school students passed last year's bar examination, 12 percent of the school's yearly quota.

"In this year's entrance examination, 35 applicants were successful, 15 short of the quota, including applicants who were successful later on.

"In the survey, one law school in the Kanto region and another in the Kansai region said they were now deciding by how much to cut quotas, though they asked that their names remain anonymous.

"Seven other universities, including Gakushuin University, Kobe Gakuin University and Chukyo University, said they were looking at cutting quotas.

"Several officials of universities that include law schools said they would not be able to survive unless they gave priority to securing high-quality students, rather than seeking immediate gains from tuition fees by admitting more students.

"This year, five law schools reported having less than 70 percent of freshmen students allowed in their quota."

By Yomiuri Shimbun (5/22/2008), Link to article (last visited 5/22/2008)

No comments: