|29||gI Outline of Japanese School Systemh||Previous||Next||JAPANESE|
| Under the School Education Law, eUniversitiesf are regarded as one form of educational institution, including ejunior collegesf and egraduate schoolsf. Due to declining birth rates in Japan resulting in a decreasing population of persons under 18 years old, the relationships between these three institutions have been changing. Enrollment rates in post-secondary schools reach approximately 70% of the university age population. Under circumstances in which more than 70% of students register to attend private universities and more than 90% register to attend private junior colleges, securing entrance to post-secondary education is problem to many students. The abolition of junior college and their conversion into universities, the reorganization of technical fields in response to studentsf interests and needs, the reformation and transformation of national universities into national university corporations, and the establishment of professional schools in graduate schools represent broad national trends. These trends, in turn, impact upon the quantity and quality of higher education.
The aforementioned reforms were required because of the increasing sophistication of the Japanese economy, the increasing transformation of Japan into information society, and the need for universities to respond to internationalization and globalization. Various issues that have arisen linked to this restructuring of he character of Japanese universitiesf. One is that Japanese universities have often been described as edifficult to enter and easy to graduatef. Others include the need to improve the efficiency of the distribution of of higher educational costs, and the need to develop improved evaluation systems and independent administrative systems.