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More than two dozen Japanese universities have announced that they will reduce or altogether eliminate their academic programs in the humanities and social sciences, following a dictum from Tokyo to focus on disciplines that “better meet society’s needs.”
The government’s proposal, which came in a June 8 letter from Education Minister Hakubun Shimomura. In it, he encouraged Japan’s institutes of higher education to take “active steps to abolish [these programs]” or convert them to scholastic opportunities in the natural sciences.
Law and economics fall within the purview of the condemned disciplines. Seventeen universities will no longer recruit students to study them; the rest will eliminate elective courses within them. The Universities of Tokyo and Kyoto — Japan’s only two universities to clear the top hundred in world university rankings — said they would not heed the government’s call.
Takamitsu Sawa, president of Shiga University, wrote an op-ed in the Japan Times denouncing the ministry’s philosophy, calling its proposals “outrageous” and its leaders “anti-intellectuals.” She cited one member of an Education Ministry panel who purportedly claimed that humanities students at most Japanese universities should study “software programming for bookkeeping and accounting in place of Paul Samuelson’s ‘Economics,’ and the skills of orally translating between Japanese and English rather than reading Shakespeare’s works.”
originally posted by: Indigent
a reply to: nwtrucker
I am more of the idea that the bigger the offering the better, and governments should have no say in superior education, the y mess primary and secondary enough
originally posted by: JIMC5499
a reply to: Metallicus
I support her right as well, but, why should I have to take courses in Romance Literature, Art Appreciation and Sociology to get a degree in Mechanical Engineering?
originally posted by: nwtrucker
a reply to: greencmp
One can indulge in any education one chooses. Just don't assume we should have to be burden with that cost.
Go to a private institution and pay for it yourself. Thus freedom of choice is maintained....