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EDUCATION > Educational Reform

Japan biz world seen welcoming Sept. school enrollment plan

  • April 30, 2020
  • , Jiji Press , 7:51 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, April 30 (Jiji Press)–Japan’s business world is expected to generally welcome a proposal to move the start of the academic year from April to September, which is being considered by the government as schools continue to be closed amid the coronavirus epidemic.


Pushing school enrollment to September, and subsequently moving the start of employment for new graduates to autumn, is expected to put Japanese companies on par with global corporations in the race for talent. Many Western countries adopt the autumn enrollment system, and some Japanese companies have even introduced year-round recruitment to make it easier to hire new graduates from foreign universities.


“Many can basically agree” with the proposal, a senior official from the Japan Business Federation, or Keidanren, said.


“The fact that the timing (for employing domestic applicants) will be the same as those from overseas is one merit,” Masayoshi Fujimoto, president of Japanese trading house Sojitz Corp. <2768>, said of the proposal in a press conference Thursday. “I think we should actively strive to do it.”


Changing the start of the academic year from spring to autumn was last seriously deliberated in 2012, when an investigative commission at the University of Tokyo proposed in an interim report in January in the year that all undergraduate students be enrolled from autumn.


Although the chairman of Keidanren at the time, Hiromasa Yonekura, welcomed the move, the plan did not get off the ground as other universities were wary of the change.


The university’s plan did not seek a change in the academic year for primary and secondary education, and called for keeping the current dates for university entrance examinations, which makes it distinct from the proposal currently discussed. The 2012 plan sought to allow students graduating from high schools in spring to spend half a year studying abroad or engaging in other activities before entering university.


The business world is keeping a close eye on where discussions on the current proposal will lead. For now, university students expecting to graduate next spring and human resource personnel at companies are caught up in confusion over job-hunting schedules.



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