Japan’s Education Ministry vs. Humanities and Social Sciences

Times Higher Education reports:

Many social sciences and humanities faculties in Japan are to close after universities were ordered to “serve areas that better meet society’s needs”. Of the 60 national universities that offer courses in these disciplines, 26 have confirmed that they will either close or scale back their relevant faculties at the behest of Japan’s government. It follows a letter from education minister Hakuban Shimomura sent to all of Japan’s 86 national universities, which called on them to take “active steps to abolish [social science and humanities] organisations or to convert them to serve areas that better meet society’s needs”.

According to THE, 17 national universities in Japan will stop admitting students to study humanities and social sciences. Two universities so far, Tokyo and Kyoto, have said they will not comply with the order.

The article is based on a blog post at Social Science Space, which also reports:

Science Council of Japan put out a statement late last month expressing its “profound concern over the potentially grave impact that such an administrative directive implies for the future of the HSS [humanities and social sciences] in Japan and the very idea of the university itself, irrespective of whether it is privately or publicly funded.”

Any readers who are more informed about this story are encouraged to share what they know in the comments.

(via Thomas Brouwer)

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