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Japan Plans Science Institute

The Japanese government is planning to build a new, publicly-financed university in Okinawa dedicated to science, reports the Chronicle of Higher Education's David McNeill. The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology will be headed by Stanford University particle physicist Jonathan Dorfan, classes will be given in English, and the faculty will be at least half non-Japanese. "It is an attempt to build an entirely new graduate institute that will attract the brightest minds from around the world," McNeill says, adding that it's also Japan's answer to critics that say the country's universities are failing to internationalize and are falling behind the rest of Asia. The school, which is scheduled to open in 2012, will offer classes in neuroscience, developmental biology, and marine science and ecology, he adds. In an interview with McNeill, Dorfan calls the venture "bold," and says it's a chance to promote international and interdisciplinary research and education.

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