Fall in birth rate hits prep schools

December 10, 1999

TOKYO. A fall in the number of applications for places at universities in Japan is forcing the closure of exam preparatory schools, which have made millions from the intense competition for places.

The number of 18-year-olds is down 23 per cent on ten years ago and the prolonged economic recession has also led many families to cut back on exam preparatory school expenses. It is predicted that by 2005 the number of applications for university places will equal the places on offer.

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