Universities receive \1.7 billion in donations from power industry


How should we think about corporate donations to universities?

As more and more technological cooperation between business and universities("産学連携") have been advanced, today it's virtually unavoidable to rely on corporate money for implementation of large projects.

Moreover, with privatization since 2004, national universities have been forced to look for alternative sources of revenue.

However, we learned after the triple disasters that hit northeastern Japan in 2011 that power industries, regulatory authorities, and universities had maintained cozy ties each other.

Because it became clear that not a few professors in prestigious universities, such as the University of Tokyo, made improper remarks on nuclear meltdown and risks(now they are called "御用学者"), we can no longer naively believe corporate donations to universities are blessing.

History has shown how it is difficult to maintain academic freedom. Regarding this matter, I think as least full information disclosure should be ensured. But unfortunately, we also learned mass media had deteriorated when the disaster happened.