Waseda University’s Policy on TuitionTue, May 5, 2020
Waseda University’s Policy on Tuition
May 5, 2020
updated May 15, 2020
Dear Students of Waseda University, and their Parents or Guardians,
On behalf of Waseda University, I would like to explain our thinking regarding tuition. However, first I want to express my sincere sympathy to those who suffer from the corona virus and my sincere condolences to those who have lost loved ones, whose friends or relatives are sick, or who are suffering financial hardship.
Waseda University has decided to start all classes online from May 11, 2020. We are planning to complete the spring semester by August 2, 2020 and to provide full credit for all courses you take this spring. However, we have closed all the campuses and all the buildings, and you are not able to use any facilities, such as the libraries and gymnasium. Probably because of this situation, some students have been asking for a reduction in tuition. Therefore, I would like to explain how the University plans to address this issue.
Waseda University will not reduce tuition. However, we have newly instituted “Emergency Financial Support” to provide financial support of 100,000 Japanese Yen to those students who are having financial difficulty due to the corona virus pandemic. In addition, “the Waseda Emergency Scholarship”, which provides 400,000 Japanese Yen, has been available to those students whose parents’ or guardians’ are facing financial difficulty. If you need such assistance, you can apply to both at the same time. Please do not hesitate to apply to “the Emergency Financial Support” and/or “the Waseda Emergency Scholarship”.
We respect the ideals of our founder, Mr. Shigenobu Okuma. One of his ideals is to foster model citizens. This ideal was conceived by Mr. Okuma as “Please have ambition to contribute the world without thinking of merit for yourself, your family, or your country.” This ideal of our founder is in accordance with one of the ideals of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations, that is “No one will be left behind.” We have made policy decisions to support our students, because we wish that “no student should give up her/his education at Waseda due to financial difficulty caused by the corona virus pandemic.”
Please permit me to provide some background about the nature of our university’s tuition. The following philosophies underlie university tuition. In part, tuition is intended to reflect the worth of the education provided for the 4-year undergraduate Bachelor’s degree, the 2-year Master’s degree, and the 3 to 6 year doctoral (Ph.D.) degree programs. The tuition is not a reflection of the particular number or type of courses or labs taken each semester, but rather the worth of the total educational program students receive as well as the programs’ costs. Furthermore, because we do not want tuition to fluctuate a lot each semester, tuition should reflect benefits and costs not just for current students, but also for students in the recent past and near future. Thus, the tuition for each university program is designed to cover the education students past, present and future receive during their 4 years, 2 years, or 3-6 years, even though it is set semester by semester.
Tuition includes the cost to maintain facilities such as the university libraries. The university libraries are now closed, and no student can use them. However, we are now purchasing hard copies of new books and journals that will be read when the libraries re-open. Also, the University libraries have been paying huge sums to several international e-journal/e-books companies for annual subscription to e-journals and e-books. These subscription enable all students and faculty to access a wide range of e-journals and e-books at home via internet. Accordingly, faculty members can prepare their lectures, and students can learn from home during the pandemic. A significant part of tuition is for this purpose.
Other facilities besides the libraries, such as the gymnasiums, labs, and offices, are maintained by your tuition payments. At the present moment, a new building is planned for completion in about three years. Other buildings will have to be rebuilt to offer new educational content and new methods of instruction. The tuition is designed to cover these costs over the years, and the new and better quality of education will be the reward for your tuition payments. However, we do not change the tuition depending on which building is being built.
Waseda University has been spending much money over the past three years to replace the old Learning Management System, “[email protected]”, with a new one, “Waseda Moodle”. After three years of preparation, we can now move all the classes online very smoothly with this new Waseda Moodle. This has been sustained by your tuition, too.
While we have been spending our budget to create these facilities and internet systems every year, we must spend much additional money to prepare the online education this year due to the corona virus pandemic. For example, we purchased two new software programs to provide online education in addition to Waseda Moodle, and we also increased the capacity of our servers. We are not adding these cost to your tuition this year, because, as indicated above, we do not want tuition to fluctuate year by year. Moreover, we do not want to burden you with extra expenses intended to maintain the quality of your education during these exceptional circumstances.
For the same reason as mentioned above, the University does not intend to reduce fees for experiments and labs. Although these fees are designed to cover each student’s experimental and lab work, a large proportion of these fees represent fixed costs that do not fluctuate year by year, and Waseda cannot afford to vary these fees semester by semester according to individual levels of use.
We understand that this year, particularly this semester, is very unusual. But, we faculty members and staff in Waseda University are placing the highest priority on the safety of your life and health, while doing our best to provide effective, high-quality education. Now, many professors are making great efforts to learn how to conduct online classes and to re-design their syllabi to adapt them to online teaching. The administrative staff are also working hard to support and help professors teach online. Also, we are in the process of shifting some lab experiments from the spring to autumn semesters so that students will not miss important parts of their education.
Our philosophy and creed about our missions lie behind these policies. The three important missions of Waseda University now under the circumstances of the pandemic are: (1) protecting the life and health of our students, (2) providing effective education to them, and (3) conducting research under these difficult circumstances.
According to our policies mentioned above, we are determined to protect our students from becoming sick with the novel corona virus, and we are preparing to provide equal opportunities for every student to receive a quality education. We hope you understand our policies and the philosophy behind them.
We at Waseda University wish to overcome, with all of you, the crisis that all human beings face. I would like to humbly request your understanding and cooperation.
Aiji Tanaka, President