Tokyo Tech, TMDU to merge in FY24

Yomiuri Shimbun photos
Tokyo Institute of Technology, left, Tokyo Medical and Dental University

The Tokyo Institute of Technology and Tokyo Medical and Dental University announced plans to merge by the end of fiscal 2024 at a press conference in Tokyo Friday.

The merged institution will conduct interdisciplinary research in fields such as medicine and engineering, aiming to gain recognition as a “research university of international prominence,” which would make it eligible for government funding worth tens of billions of yen each year.

Students will be invited to submit suggestions for the name of the new institution, which is expected to be decided in the near future.

In the initial phase of the merger, no changes will be made to the institutions’ current academic degrees, educational curriculums, quotas and entrance exams.

According to the universities, the mission of the new institution includes “developing ‘convergence science’ based on comprehensive knowledge that can be obtained by integrating academic fields such as science and engineering, medicine and dentistry and art and science, aiming to tackle various social issues” and “establishing a facility for the development of human resources and the creation of knowledge that is open to the world.”

The two universities announced the start of merger talks in August. Two proposals considered involved operating the universities under the management of one corporation or becoming one university under the management of a single corporation.

The latter option was adopted because of the anticipated synergistic effects of collaboration among academics in the fields of medicine, dentistry, science and engineering. It also provides an opportunity to build an organization from the ground up that can take on challenges without fear of failure, and without being bound by constraints inherited from the predecessor institutions.

The government plans to provide several tens of billions of yen per year to universities recognized as outstanding learning institutions. A ¥10 trillion investment fund will be utilized to finance the initiative, with the fund expected to generate returns of about ¥300 billion a year.

The government will seek applications for funding from the end of the year through spring 2023, select eligible universities before the end of fiscal 2023 and begin providing financial assistance in fiscal 2024.

Tokyo Tech and TMDU plan to file an application for financial support on the basis that the merger will be completed.

Tokyo Tech has six departments and about 10,000 students. TMDU has two departments and about 3,000 students.