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Statement on the Fiscal System Council Deliberations

2015-12-4(Fri)

 Concern over the Fiscal System Council Deliberations

Statement by the Members of Administrative Council  

AIZAWA Masuo, Adviser, Japan Science and Technology Agency

UEYAMA Takahiro, Vice President, Professor, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies

OZAKI Hiroshi, Representative Director & Chairman, Osaka Gas Co., Ltd.

KAWASHIMA Yasunaru, President Emeritus, National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center

SATO Yukio, Vice President, The Japan Institute of International Affairs

SUZUKI Naoshi, Professor, Faculty of Engineering Science, Kansai University

TESHIROGI Isao, Representative Director and President, Shionogi & Co., Ltd.

TOMONO Hiroshi, Adviser, Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation

NANBU Machiko, Chairwoman, Kobe Concerto Cruising Company

NOJI Kunio, Representative Director & President, Komatsu Ltd.

WATANABE Katsunobu, Special Adviser, Asahi Broadcasting Corporation

  We, the members of the National University Corporation Osaka University Off-Campus Administrative Council set based on the National University Corporation Act, taking advantage of our expertise and social status, have participated in deliberations of important agenda concerning the management of the university. We have played our role so that Osaka University can gain public trust and support.

  From our perspective, we can’t help but vastly doubt and fear the future direction of operational grants for national universities discussed at the Fiscal System Council meeting on October 26, 2015.

  The Fiscal System Council states that it is necessary for national universities to strengthen their ability to manage in order to continue their independent and sustainable management. Specifically, it proposes that national universities increase their self-support funds by 1.6 percent every year, while the government will decrease grants to them by 1 percent over 15 years.
  This proposal is not made considering the roles expected of national universities in the development of our nation, such as response to globalization and the creation of innovation. We have no choice but to inform them that their proposal will endanger the survival of national universities.

  To be sure, we think that national universities need to make their own efforts to secure income from a variety of sources in order to maintain high quality and continue autonomous management in our nation’s severe financial condition. However, there is a limit to growth of income of national universities whose principal business is education and research.
  The operational grants, which are basic operating revenues for national universities, have been drastically reduced since 2004, when the national university status changed to independent entities.
  Grants to Osaka University have been reduced by 10.4 billion yen since then (minus 19%).
In the first place, Japan's public financial expenditure spending for higher education as a percentage of GDP is 0.5%, which is only half of the average expenditure of OECD member nations, and the lowest among them.

  Osaka University has promoted world-class education and research in a wide range of cultural sciences, social sciences, and natural sciences and has achieved outstanding research performances, producing promising personnel who can live up to the expectations of the public.
  However, this mechanical reduction of operational grants will interfere with Osaka Univeristy's ability to continue its efforts in nurturing young people who are responsible for the future of Japan, promoting academic research that creates diverse wisdom, and continuously contributing to society through such efforts. Furthermore, it will also lead to serious problems in the future of national universities as a whole and, eventually, the future of higher education, as well as science and technology, supporting the foundation of our nation.

  Once again, we emphasize that operational grants must be enriched in order for national universities to strengthen functions in education, research, and social contribution and contribute to our nation’s sustainable development, and we earnestly hope for understanding on all sides.

  Click here to download this statement. (link in Japanese)

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