The Japanese government is starting a $96 billion fund by March 2022 to support research at the country’s universities and improve it international rankings, Bloomberg has reported.

Seed money will come from 4.5 trillion yen (£31.7 billion) in public debt financing and sales of government gold reserves, with funds growing over time to 10 trillion yen. Most of the total will probably be funded by government debt, with universities also being encouraged to attempt to raise some of the money themselves.

Last month Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s government gave the plan the green light in a bid to restore Japan’s standing in international academic rankings – the country has dropped from fourth to eleventh place in the past 20 years.

Date published: 20 January 2021

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