No subsidies, fewer applicants…the secret plan to revive the struggling mammoth school, Nihon University | FRIDAY DIGITAL

No subsidies, fewer applicants…the secret plan to revive the struggling mammoth school, Nihon University

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The former chancellor, Hidetoshi Tanaka (75), has been forced into a corner by tax evasion and a breach of trust by a former board member.

On January 26, the Japan Association for the Promotion and Mutual Aid of Private Schools decided not to fully subsidize the university’s management expenses (private school subsidies) of about 9 billion yen, the second largest amount after Waseda University. Nihon University has also had its subsidies cut by 35% in the wake of the dangerous tackle incident involving its football team in May 2006 and the fraudulent entrance examinations for its medical school. Furthermore, the number of applicants for this year’s entrance examinations has dropped by about 15,000 from the previous year (as of February 4, according to the University News Service). There is no stopping the bad trend.

As university journalist Mineiji Ishiwata explains.

This means that the number of applicants has decreased by more than 30,000 in two years. The examination fee is about 35,000 yen per session, so a simple calculation shows a loss of over 1 billion yen.

When combined with the subsidies that were rejected, this is a significant decrease in income of over 10 billion yen. Even though we are the most mammoth university in Japan, boasting 73,000 students, we are sure that we will be forced to face difficult management.

As a university with 26 affiliated schools and hospitals, it is unlikely that Nichidai will face an immediate financial crisis. However, if its popularity continues to decline due to the deterioration of its image caused by the incident, the university cannot afford to be complacent. If they don’t take some kind of action, the situation will only get worse.

Mr. Ishiwata continues.

The first is to raise tuition fees, the second is to cut wages for faculty members, the third is to curb investment in education, and the fourth is to sell off assets.

For the past 10 years, Nihon University has raised tuition by around 10%, the highest among the “Nitto Komasen” (Nihon University, Toyo, Komazawa, Senshu) of the same level. Some departments have raised their fees by more than 20%. In response to this incident, the university authorities have commented that they will not raise tuition fees at all, so the first measure will probably be self-imposed for a while. Likewise, the second one is also not realistic because of the expected fierce opposition from faculty members.

The third is to build new educational facilities, stop maintenance, and withdraw the advertisements that have been placed. They are likely to implement these measures, but the amount of money involved is small, and it would be a scorcher for a minus of over 10 billion yen.”

One thing that may be effective is the sale of assets. Unlike other universities, the assets owned by Nihon University have great merits and could be an ultra-c. Mr. Ishiwata explains.

As Mr. Ishiwata explains, “Nihon University has grown through the acquisition and integration of many single colleges. Each faculty has its own campus and is independent. If a department is to be transferred to another university, it will be a good deal for the buyer. Not only the faculty, but also the real estate, the campus, can be acquired together.

Since there are many overlapping faculties at Nihon University, it is easy to make them candidates for sale. For example, the School of Science and Engineering and the School of Industrial Engineering, the School of Dentistry and the School of Dentistry at Matsudo, and the School of Economics and the School of Commerce. If the faculties and the campus could be sold as a set, it could generate tens of billions of yen.”

Other faculties also have great appeal.

The School of Law, for example, is located in a building in Suidobashi or Ochanomizu in the heart of Tokyo. The School of Law and other faculties are located in buildings in Suidobashi and Ochanomizu in central Tokyo. Considering the good location, I’m sure there are many companies that would like to move in.

Will Japan’s most mammoth university be able to recover? The first trial of the former chancellor, Tanaka, is scheduled to take place on February 15.

  • Photo by Shinji Hasuo

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