Tokyo University of the Arts will introduce an early graduation program (see below) for students enrolled in the Faculty of Music through an early admission program to start in the academic year of 2016, with the aim of developing young musicians who can perform on the international stage.
Students using both programs for early admission and graduation will be able to graduate at age of 20, which will enable them to transfer to leading overseas universities that set an age limit for enrollment, according to the university.
According to the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry, it is rare for a university to use both programs in Japan.
The university will introduce the early admission program in the entrance exam for enrollment for the 2016 academic year. Under the new system, students will be allowed to enter the university after finishing the second year of high school. The university will select a few particularly skilled students in piano, violin and cello by examining their documents, and giving them practical exams and interviews in November.
After entering the university, these students will take private lessons from renowned musicians invited from overseas to serve as their supervisors, at a pace twice as fast as that for other students. The university also will help the students build up their track records as musicians through such measures as creating opportunities for them to perform overseas, and have them graduate in three years, one year earlier than ordinary students.
After graduation, the university will help the students study abroad by giving them special recommendations for admission to leading overseas universities with which the university has concluded a partnership agreement, such as the Royal Academy of Music in Britain and the Juilliard School in the United States. According to the university, many overseas leading universities set age limits for enrollment. For example, the Conservatoire de Paris, a prestigious music school in France, limits enrolled students for piano to those aged 21 or younger. To enter overseas universities, some students leave Tokyo University of the Arts before graduation. However, by using both programs, students will be able to study at overseas institutions after graduating from the university.
Students enrolled through the early admission program will be exempted from paying the admission fee of about ¥280,000 and a tuition fee for the first year of about ¥540,000. They also will be exempted from paying tuition fees for the following years depending on their academic results. The university also plans to provide a scholarship of about ¥500,000 a year, while it also is considering providing financial assistance for students to study abroad.
In the hope of spotting talented young students and for other purposes, the university will start an early education project to offer private lessons for primary and middle school students in July. It will start accepting applicants for the project shortly.
? Early graduation program
Universities, except for medical and some other schools, are normally required under the School Education Law to provide four years of study before students graduate, although students can graduate in three years if they have achieved excellent academic results. The program was institutionalized when the law was revised in 1999, and 143 universities have introduced the system as of 2012. Six universities, including Chiba University, have introduced an early admission program that allows enrollment of students who have completed their second year of high school.