The education ministry has conducted its first comprehensive, numerical ranking of the country’s national universities since fiscal 2004, when state-run universities became independent administrative corporations, it was learned Thursday.
The assessment of 86 national universities by the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry was taken into account when deciding the allocation of government subsidies to the universities in fiscal 2010.
A ministry committee on the evaluation of national universities and the National Institution for Academic Degrees and University Evaluation examined each institution’s midterm objectives and plans, and their achievements between fiscal 2004 and fiscal 2007. Based on its findings, the ministry assigned each university an overall grade ranging from one to 91.
The level of education and research conducted at the undergraduate and graduate levels accounted for 30 percent of the overall score, with another 20 percent determined by a university’s overall academic and research achievements. Operational management of a university also accounted for 20 percent.
The highest score–70–went to Nara Institute of Science and Technology, which received high marks for its research activities. Also in the top 20 were such medical colleges as Shiga University of Medical Science and Hamamatsu University School of Medicine.
The 20 worst entities included six teacher-training universities, such as Hokkaido University of Education. The lowest figure of 35.39 was received by Hirosaki University.
The ministry referred to the outcome of its evaluations when deciding the amount of subsidies to be used to run the different universities in fiscal 2010. As a result, 26 schools will be given higher subsidies that they would have received had they not been ranked. Fourteen universities will receive the same amount, and 46 will get less.
However, the margin of difference is not large. The subsidy to Nara Institute of Science and Technology, for example, is expected to increase by 4 million yen, just 0.06 percent of the total 6.3 billion yen to be given to the university in fiscal 2010.
Tokyo University, ranked sixth, will enjoy the largest increase of 25 million yen, but this, too, is only 0.03 percent of its 85.7 billion yen total. The University of the Ryukyus saw the largest decrease, down 8 million yen.
Nara institute tops list of national universities (Mar. 26, 2010 The Yomiuri Shimbun)