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Japanese students lack interest in private dental schools

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Japanese students lack interest in private dental schools
Japanese students lack interest in private dental schools

TOKYO, Japan: Enrolment in private dental schools in Japan has decreased again during spring term, a survey by the Japanese Association of Private Dental Schools has found. Figures released by the organisation last month show that almost 70 per cent of the schools missed their intake quota. The total number of people who took entrance examinations for private dental colleges was 4,318, a sharp fall from over 10,000 in 2006.

The institution that suffered most from the lack of new students was Ohu University in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture, which only had 32 new students enrolled for a quota of 96, according to the reports. Matsumoto Dental University in Shiojiri, Nagano Prefecture, had 35 students enrolled compared with its quota of 80, while the dentistry department of Health Sciences University of Hokkaido in Tobetsucho, Hokkaido, admitted just to have enrolled half of its 96-student quota.

Private dental schools in Japan have been struggling to attract enough students in recent years due to the fact that despite no rise in total dental care costs, oral manpower in the country has increased significantly in the last 20 years. In 2006, Japan had 96,000 dentists compared to only 71,000 in 1990, according to figures of the Ministry of International Affairs and Communications.

Dental experts said the drop in private dental institution applicants suggests that less young people have a positive image of dentistry for being a lucrative and desirable profession. They pointed out that if the trend continues, private dental colleges and schools will not be able to choose students with sufficient academic quality.


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