About the Incorporation of the University

The University of Aizu started its history as a prefectural university in April, 1993. April, 2006 was its restart as a public university corporation, becoming independent from the Government of Fukushima Prefecture, and striving to promote efficiency and effectiveness in university management through a corporate-style approach.

Why have the prefectural universities been incorporated?

In line with changes to highly matured society, there have been growing expectations from local communities and industry for universities not only as higher educational institutions, but also as centers for dissemination of innovative knowledge and technology. On the other hand, there has arisen a concern that the number of university entrants has dropped year by year, due to a recent sharp decline in birthrates, which will accelerate competition for survival among universities. Under these circumstances, universities are facing a pressing need to enhance their value.

It is expected that incorporation of prefectural universities will facilitate deregulation of budgetary and organizational constraints on universities, so that relevant universities can foster a self-governing spirit and improve themselves to become more attractive institutions.

Incorporation of prefectural universities will also allow more independent and self-governing management than ever. However, incorporated universities continue to be financially supported by the tax-payers of Fukushima Prefecture, and thus, it is obligatory that relevant universities should increase their accountability to ensure fair and transparent management by way of active disclosure of information, invitation of individuals from outside of universities for management, or adoption of assessment processes by third-parties.

The University of Aizu's Case

The University of Aizu, since its opening in April 1993 as the first computer-dedicated university in Japan, has been active in forefront research and development in information technology, taking advantage of its compact and highly efficient organization.

Up until now, 17 venture companies related to our University were started up, and this number is the largest for public universities in Japan. (FY 2005 data from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry)

Faculty members, before the University's incorporation, were local public employees and had restrictions on their involvement in business activities. However, after the incorporation, various activities, including collaborative research and involvement in establishment of venture companies, would become possible. Such changes will consequently make it more practical for the University to give back its research results in computer science and engineering, which is a useful and practical area, to local communities and industry.

What will incorporation of the University bring to prefectural citizens and local communities?

In order to meet the expectations of prefectural citizens and contribute to local communities and people, the University shall strive to evolve itself into a more attractive institution, while carrying out its important missions regarding education and research.

Also, the University shall more actively contribute to local communities, making use of independent and self-governing systems under corporation-style management, disclosure of mid-term goals and plans, and will undergo assessment processes by third parties, so that knowledge and technology possessed by the University can be proactively given back to local communities.

What will incorporation of the University bring to its students?

organizational constraints. This means that the University can flexibly organize academic departments and curriculums in accordance with needs from students and society at its own discretion.

The University, after its incorporation, is to be assessed by third-party organizations in terms of education and research. Accordingly, assessment results should be reflected in improvement of classes.

Following this incorporation, university management will become more student-centered.