From Scandals to Surges – The Unlikely Rise of a Mid-tier Women’s University Amidst Admissions Turmoil | FRIDAY DIGITAL

From Scandals to Surges – The Unlikely Rise of a Mid-tier Women’s University Amidst Admissions Turmoil

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The number of applicants increased by more than 170% over the previous year.

This year, the fate of universities became clear-cut due to their popularity among prospective students.


Nihon University, plagued by a series of scandals, saw a decrease of nearly 30% and over 20,000 applicants compared to last year. University journalist Ryoji Ishiwatari explains the background behind Nihon University’s struggles.

“In recent years, Nihon University has faced various troubles, but they didn’t have a significant impact on applicants. The malicious tackle incident by the American football team in May 2018 and the arrest of then-director Hidetoshi Tanaka in November 2021 on suspicion of tax evasion and concealment of income didn’t feel like personal matters to prospective students. While it’s true that there was a decrease in applicants, it was only about 10,000.

However, the marijuana incident involving the American football team members that came to light in August last year was different in nature. The quality of the incident was different. There are suspicions that the university concealed the issue, and executives criticized each other repeatedly. The uproar not only remained a temporary scandal but escalated rapidly. Prospective students began to question, ‘Is this school okay?’ and as the scandal continued to be reported repeatedly, parents also formed a negative impression. This is why more than 20,000 applicants withdrew from Nihon University due to the poor response,” explains Ishiwatari.

On the other hand, there is a university that saw a staggering 1.7-fold increase in applicants compared to the previous year. It’s a surprising mid-tier women’s university with a deviation value of 45.0 according to Kawaijuku’s research. Ishiwatari continues,

“It’s Gakushuin Women’s University located in Shinjuku, Tokyo. In the 2022 academic year, there were 1,143 applicants, 1,425 in the 2023 academic year, and this year, it increased to 2,486. That’s a 174% increase from the previous year and more than double compared to two years ago. Considering that many women’s universities, such as Keisen Jogakuin, Kobe Seishin Joshi Gakuin, and Sophia Junior College, have stopped recruiting in recent years, this is exceptional.”

Why did Gakushuin Women’s University see an increase in applicants while many other women’s universities struggled?

“It’s because Gakushuin Women’s University is merging with Gakushuin University. The integration is scheduled for 2026. Students admitted to Gakushuin Women’s University this year will become third-year university students by 2026, and with the consent of themselves and their guarantors, they will transfer to Gakushuin University. In other words, although they will be students of Gakushuin Women’s University at the time of admission, they will become students of Gakushuin University from the third year.

Gakushuin University has a deviation value of 52.5 to 57.5. In a way, for applicants to Gakushuin Women’s University, the cost-performance ratio is better compared to the difficulty level at the time of admission. This is the biggest factor behind the increase in applicants. Next year will be the last entrance exam for Gakushuin Women’s University. It will likely be even more competitive than this year,” says Ishiwatari.

The trends of Gakushuin Women’s University may have a significant impact on the future of the university industry. There is a possibility that the integration of women’s universities and famous universities will further progress.

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