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[tlug] OT: falling intake (was: Linux Quiz: Call For Questions)

Darren Cook writes:

 > Is this dropping enrollment as an absolute number, or as a percentage of
 > the number of potential applicants? (i.e. after allowing for falling
 > birthrates.)

For college, it's in absolute numbers.  Starting up a college was a
booming business up until the end of '80s and a lot of those schools
are failing.

 > And is it just graduate recruiting, or are fewer 18 year olds also
 > going to university in Japan now?

For graduate school, it's worse.  Both the absolute number and the
percentage of the population going to graduate school are dropping,
while the Big 3 (Todai, Kyodai, and Handai) have taken advantage of a
Monkeyshow initiative to concentrate research effort (both general
funding and graduate education) to expand many of their graduate
programs dramatically.  This latter has resulted in the quality of
education at all graduate programs dropping, except for the very best
students at the top 5 programs in any given field (the Japanese "zemi"
system means that the rest of the students tend to get poor guidance
even in the top programs -- not unusual in America, either, Chicago is
famous for accepting twice as many PhD students as they plan to award
degrees to).

The only thing that saves the other programs is rapidly increasing
demand for graduate education from abroad, mostly China, some from
other East Asian countries.  But the quality of preparation for
graduate work (eg, math) those students receive isn't terribly high;
it's hard to accept most of them as-is.  It's like an undergrad
English lit major applying to a EE grad program.  Doesn't matter how
smart they are, they're not coming out the other end, except for the
few capable of picking up calculus, linear algebra and basic
statistics on their own over the summer.

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