TOEIC drops out of Japan's new university entrance exam
Japan Today -- Jul 03
The Japanese operator of TOEIC said Tuesday it will not provide its English proficiency test as part of the country's standardized university entrance exam system due to start next April, because the process is too complicated.

Seven other tests offered by private-sector operators are still scheduled to be part of the new system.

But the withdrawal of the Institute for International Business Communication, which administers TOEIC -- the Test of English for International Communication -- is a blow to Japanese universities, and students preparing for the new exam.

"It became evident that...the process of accepting test applications, holding the tests and providing results would be far more complex than we had expected," the institute said in a statement.

"We've reached the conclusion that it is difficult to respond in a responsible manner," it said.

TOEIC consists of one listening and reading test, and a speaking and writing test. The two tests are held on different days, and candidates must make separate applications to sit them.

An IIBC official said it was asked by the National Center for University Entrance Examinations to hold the two tests closer together, but decided this would be too difficult.

The center said the institute is the only organization withdrawing, and that it plans to sign a contract by the end of July with the six operators administering the other seven tests.

An education ministry survey of high-school students last year found about 2 percent who said they would take a private-sector English test in the 2020 academic year, expected to sit the TOEIC exam.

来年度から導入される大学入学の共通テストで受験できる英語の民間試験に参加を表明していたTOEICが参加の取りやめを決めました。 今のセンター試験に代わり、来年度から始まる大学入試の共通テストではTOEICや英検など7種類の検定試験が認定され、導入に向けた準備が進められていました。しかし、TOEICを運営する国際ビジネスコミュニケーション協会がシステムの運用上、申し込みから結果の提供までの処理に対応するのが困難と判断し、参加の取りやめを決めたということです。 柴山文科大臣:「TOEICの受験を目指していた方にとっては残念なことと考えています」 文部科学省は、TOEICを受ける受験生は少ないとみていますが、受験生に不利益が生じないよう対応していきたいとしています。
News sources: Japan Today, ANNnewsCH
Aug 08
With a rising number of sexual violence cases on and off campus in recent times, some university students have begun signature-collection campaigns to petition their schools to deliver safer learning environments. (Japan Times)
Aug 03
The overwhelming majority of middle and high school students in Japan are required to wear uniforms, and so it’s no surprise that Japanese schools tend to have lots of other rules governing students’ personal appearance. One that’s been attracting controversy in recent years, though, is a requirement at some schools that all students must have black hair. (Japan Today)
Aug 02
Third-year students in Japan’s junior high schools struggle with speaking and writing in English, according to the results of this year’s nationwide achievement test conducted by the education ministry. (Japan Times)
Aug 02
Japan’s Immigration Services Agency said Thursday it will toughen eligibility standards for Japanese-language schools that can accept foreign students, effective Sept. 1. (Japan Times)
Jul 31
The average life expectancy reached a record high for both male and female Japanese people last year. It was more than five years longer than in 1989, the year the three-decade Japanese era of Heisei started. (NHK)
Jul 17
School-related matters led to more suicides last year among youth aged between 10 and 19 than any other issue, the government said Tuesday in its annual paper on the topic. (Japan Times)
Jul 15
Japan's Princess Mako has visited the ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu in Peru and a village that once had a Japanese immigrant as its chief. (NHK)
Jul 11
The population of Japanese nationals has fallen for the 10th straight year, while the ratio of foreign residents topped 2 percent for the first time. (NHK)
Jul 08
A log boat set off from Taiwan on Sunday on a journey of more than 200 kilometers to Yonaguni Island in Okinawa Prefecture, southern Japan. (NHK)
Jul 07
A male junior high school student died Saturday after being stabbed the previous day by a fellow student in Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture, according to police. (Japan Today)