More college students leave school due to pandemic

NHK -- Nov 21
Japan's education ministry has found that the number of students, who left higher education either permanently or temporarily due to the coronavirus pandemic, increased sharply from last year.

The ministry conducted a survey on universities, junior colleges and technical colleges across the country. Over 1,000 institutions responded.

The survey shows that between April and August, nearly 12,000 students dropped out and more than 50,000 others took some time off.

The biggest reason is financial difficulties, accounting for 21 percent of the dropouts and 16 percent of temporary suspension of education.

The pandemic led 701 students to give up on studying and 4,418 others to temporarily halt their studies. The combined figure is up more than 60 percent from the same period of last year.

The survey also found that almost all institutions extended tuition fee deadlines for financially struggling students.

Ministry officials say they will work with institutions to promote relief measures.