Japan’s top science advisory body has accused the government of squeezing young researchers out of academe and hobbling the country’s research future to cut costs. A draft report on Japan’s science-and-technology activities says that the number of professors under 35 has shrunk by more than 3,000 over the past three decades, even as tenured and contract faculty at publicly financed universities has grown, according to the journal Nature.
The Council for Science and Technology Policy says that while Japan’s aging demographic is partly to blame, government policies have worsened the problem by forcing national universities cut full-time staff year by year. “As a consequence, a glut of graduates found that universities were hiring far fewer young researchers.”
The report, due out in the next few weeks, says larger research universities have been able to ameliorate the impact of the cuts by drawing on their own resources, but smaller institutions have been especially badly hit.