Photo: Wikipedia/Blancoyrojo

University in Kyoto offers free tuition to anyone over 100 years of age; more than half off if over 50

By SoraNews24

For some time now, schools in Japan have been feeling the crunch of their aging society, and the plummeting number of potential students that come with it. One such place is Hanazono University in Kyoto City, a modest school offering various courses in the humanities and boasting a student body of between one and two thousand.

However, in recent years they have been struggling to get more than ten people at a time to take their entrance exams. It’s a scene that paints a bleak future of possible extinction for the higher learning institute. So in dire times like these one must adapt if they hope to survive.

Hanazono has taken the bull by the horns and established the “100 Years of Learning Scholarship” aimed at wooing in the rapidly growing population of people over 50 to fill the gap left by the dwindling number of young students.

The way the scholarship works is simple: the decade of your age corresponds to the amount deducted from your tuition. For example, if you’re 62 years old, a four-year undergraduate course in literature that would cost a regular student 3,184,000 yen in tuition would only set you back 1,273,600 yen which amounts to 60 percent off.

Likewise, people in their 50s get 50 percent off, 70s get 70 percent, and so on. In the end, anyone over the age of 100 will be eligible for four years of post secondary education absolutely free of tuition. This scholarship is not currently available for graduate courses, however.

The generally younger people reading the news online were less than happy about their seniors getting great deals on the education that they are eagerly seeking themselves.

“How about giving us young people a break instead, eh?”

“Who’s going to school at the age of 100?”

“Interesting. You’d see people of all ages in school together.”

“What about raising young people to be the future of the country and all that?”

“Is the university liable when students start passing away there?”

“A university that cannot invest in the future is worthless.”

“Really, would 20 percent off for people in their 20s be so bad?”

The first recipients of the 100 Years of Learning Scholarship will begin classes next spring, and time will tell how it will affect Hanazono University. While lowering tuition for all would have appeased the disgruntled voices on the Internet, it probably only would have sped up the small school’s demise as the numbers simply aren’t there to compensate for it.

Enticing people over 50 to come study social work or Japanese history is far from a guarantee of success either, but it’s only those schools which can adapt to the times that can survive.

Hanazono’s scholarship recruitment encourages applicants by saying, “If you change yourself, you change the world,” but it seems like they’re speaking to themselves too.

Source: Asahi Shimbun, ReseMom, Hachima Kiko

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© SoraNews24

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Continuing to study helps keep the brain healthy. Good on this university.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

If you change yourself, you change the world

You certainly change your own world.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"All one really needs to prepare for university is to read and write essay!" And you think that Japanese high school kids can do that, do you?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

People over 100 study for free? Well, isn't that a generous notion! It's just a shame that nobody over 100 has the mobility or mental strength to keep up to the rigorous university study plans. It should be free for retirees over 65. And, half price for over 50"s also means very little. Most 50's people are locked into a role of senior management at a company and could not attend university. Just a meaningless publicity stunt.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

would they give 25% off for those who are 25 years old as well?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@Ashley Shiba - Disillushioned, I have seen many people over a hundred very agile and living very productive lives. A great example there is an African man in the States a 108 years I believe he lives on his own,

Big deal! That is one person out of 300,000 in the US. Furthermore, does he have any desire to become a full time university student? I'm sure he doesn't.

It would be very interesting to see a survey done on centenarians around Kyoto to see if any actually have any desire to attend university. It would also be interesting to see a survey done of over 50's who desire to attend university at a 50% discount. Bearing in mind, Kyoto is one of the most expensive universities in Japan.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

“Bearing in mind, Kyoto is one of the most expensive universities in Japan.”

Irrelevant as the article is not about Kyoto University, but rather Hanazono University in Kyoto City.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This is what happens when you screw your kids out of a future by exorbitant costs. These places are going to go bankrupt save a few.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

health and education should be free in the 21st century. In my hospital, about 50% of patients have dementia. it can be avoided by brain stimulation, exercise, social contact and diet. Studying in a university will give three of these factors.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

“Is the university liable when students start passing away there?”

The poor Professors at this school will now just not have to wake up their students but also check to see if they are alive. This is nice PR for a school that will be gone in a few years. But really if you want more students then offer something compelling to them. Sitting in a classroom with a 100 year old is frankly a little creepy. Several 100 year old types go to my gym, not a pretty picture that is. More power to them for working out but maybe they should have their hours limited to the early morning, I mean they are up then anyway. They can freak each other out at that time without driving other members away. Same thing with the school, have the 100 year olds in their own classes. Not mixed in with he younger students.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I like it! Why not? Some old people make it a goal to get an education before they die. Even if they don't do it, at least they know they blew the opportunity themselves and can no longer blame finances.for it!

And for those who are outing this as a publicly stunt, who cares, they're doing a good job! They're getting publicly! As long as they honour their promise, I don't see the problem!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Well the university does specialize in Zen, so the could just have to oldies meditate all day, whacking them on the shoulder every few minutes to keep them awake.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Good idea. There are far fewer mature students in Japan than there is in the UK. I was mature student. Education is about achievement and self discovery, not about churning out work units.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Of course give it to the elderly because they desperately need it since their lives are coming to an end.....useless

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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