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The University of Nova?

The last I checked, April 1st is still a few months away, but that's the question the Yomiuri shimbun asks in a brief article about G.communication's attempt at running a university.

According to the article, G.communication, through its largest shareholder, Inayoshi Capital Partners (ICP), is putting the final touches on plans to take over a private university in the Tokai region and may also involve changing its name to the University of Nova. The Yomiuri doesn't name the university, but I wonder if it isn't Aichi Gakuin University. Back in 2008, Nova opened a school on its campus.

While the Yomiuri calls the takeover of a university by an eikaiwa "extremely unusual" I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's unheard of. According to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, in order for a business to take over a university, it would have to fund the founding institution behind the university and then either send directors to the university's board or create a new education institution.

Why do this when the Nova brand is associated with fraud and a spectacular bankruptcy? The Yomiuri ends by noting that ICP, headed by Masaki Inayoshi, is thinking of creating such a new institution to facilitate the handover. Inayoshi would, of course, be in charge of this institution along with ICP and G.communication.

Does he really think he can run a university or is he doing this so he can say that G.communication is about higher education? If the University of Nova becomes a reality, would anyone want to study there? Would a degree from it be worth anything? I'm inclined to say, "No," but put me down for a University of Nova sweatshirt just for the sheer novelty of it.


In 2004, an entrepreneur bought Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona. The school was founded as a private university by the Southern Baptists in 1949. GCU was about to go bankrupt when it was purchased. Since the buyout, the school has flourished. It started an online division in 2007 that now enrolls over 10,000 students.

A corporation buying a private university and then turning a profit off of it can work. It has been demonstrated elsewhere. The only problem I see here is branding. Like Shawn said, renaming a university after a company associated with fraud and bankruptcy isn't the best idea. It would be as if the entrepreneur bought GCU and renamed it "Enron University." Perhaps one could even go as far as to argue that the buyout of GCU worked since the school had an excellent reputation to begin with thanks to it Southern Baptist founders.

And what was the name of that US university campus that Tsuneo Kusunoki got involved with a few years ago??? And that with the Japanese tax matters being on public record.

Well,GEOS NA now has dusted off their "Pathways" program to "university/ college acceptance." Except all it is is a glorified, dirty way to get students and their parents to turn over boat loads of cash for "acceptance" to third-rate institutions that would accept them anyway without a year at a sub-standard GEOS school. All infomercial marketing spin, people. So I would not put much faith in a NOVA university.

I think it is a great idea. I would love to work there!

There are plenty of private Universities around the world. Who's to say NOVA would be any better or worse at running one? I say they are giving the benefit of doubt until proven otherwise.

Ex-NOVA Teacher
2005 - Demise

Personally I think one should only work for an accredited institution. This is not an accredited institution, therefore you should not work for it.

Get yourself accredited like us big guys and you might be in with the remotest chance of building a big career with one of the big institutions like International House or the British Council. Stay unaccredited and you'll spend the rest of your days imitating other posters on eikaiwa-related Internet forums, developing serious complexes about them, getting fixated on their imaginary lives which you build up in your mind, all because you got stuck in Japan, stuck at Nova, with no life whatsoever, went completely crackers in the process, and can't handle having your nose rubbed in it by us big guys with big careers at the big institutions. In fact, it makes you positively psychotic and will result in you having a nervous breakdown and deluging the board with a string of crazed emails under different names.

Howver, none of this will happen if you get accredited and get a big career at a big institution. It's no guarantee, but it's a good starting point to become one of the big guys.

but "Accreditation" doesn't really mean a whole lot, unless you want to specifically work at the British Council which, in the end isn't that great a place to work, and only has about 1% of all English teachers.

This would not surprise me. Inayoshi has showed remarkable resilience in keeping his hands on some sort of English instruction or kokusai endeavor. He is probably gung-ho on the idea, just as he was for turning around Nova until his bank cut him loose.

Many of the Japanese universities are hard up for cash. Even places like Temple Japan get a hidden subsidy from Pennsylvania residents to have a place to carry out business.

The Education Ministry is happy to keep people like Inayoshi going, because he is very useful to them. He helps to destabilize the work environment for the foreign community, and he makes it look like Japan is actually a place full of vitality and innovation.

There is always something more to these headline stories, and it usually has to do with shell games and ulterior motives.

As much as I hate to say it: you make a very good point!

Accreditation of some sort (be it a masters, a PhD, a Celta, a Delta) can be worth something... I know this because I am NOT accredited and work sometimes work side by side with folks who are and quite simply S*U*C*K at what they do... Yet get roughly the same pay and better conditions than I do. Like the post says, it's a bit of a gamble, but with the right contacts*, it can pay off.

* The "contacts" bit: Don't just rush to get a MA and figure it'll open doors: Unless you actually have some sort of connection, or are drop dead charming, an MA and 290 yen will get you a cup of Starbucks coffee.

Accredited or not, your still an English teacher, aka LOSER.

Big Guys?!? HA HA- Big sacks of sh1te, with a certificate. Top turds on a pile sh!t.

There are not enough kids nowadays, and universities are failing to get enough students or get aid fund. They are on a tight budget, and many of them are closing one by one.

Given that, I don't think it's a good idea to start a new university now. What happens is, the school will close before students graduate. Then they will be on their own, maybe jobless high-school graduates.

Accreditation might just give you the edge in getting into the bigger institutions, the bigger salaries and bigger careers. Internet trolls will still think those people are "turds", but they think of themselves and everything else as turds too (I wonder why?). They would much rather swap their "bottom turd" status living off bentos at Nova for a "top turd" status of having a long-term career. Unless they'd rather do the monkey dance in the gutter, or mommy's basement.

It’s so obvious, that the Nova Lords wish to put “spark” into it’s Eikaiwa lesson sales, by generating a public perception that it’s Eikaiwa outlets are affiliated with a Japanese “University”.

Just another scam, by a well-known scam artist, residing in a notorious scam artist industry, to get crap lessons sold to unsuspecting and gullible Japanese consumers.

It just goes to show how sick things really are in Nova Land. What a desperate act.

It’s not original however. It is just a version of a common practice by Japanese Eikaiwa, which is to attach themselves by “affiliation” to off-shore universities. The only difference in this one, is that it is a DIY (do it yourself) job, with the university being local, and not overseas.

It really is just an extension of that same hollow egg game, but tailored for the current environment and current market place, which has created an increasingly:

(a) “Untrusting of things outside” perception in Japan, and also,

(b) a Japan where the consumers are no longer travelling in droves (discretionary spending is down in Japan), and that means, things like the following have no sales value / pull:

“If you sign with Nova, you get a special discount with Nova travel, and can attend a 2 hour education seminar at Oxford University, and do a tour of campus”.

Now remember in the future children, of course Nova/Geos is credible, because it is associated with a government approved university in Japan. Consumers AND you can now have trust again. These aren't "monkey in a cage monkey can do do and say boo boo" lessons, and you as an instructor, are not a "monkey doing the monkey dance". You work here, for Nova, and you are a professional instructor, working for a major Japanese corporation, affiliated with a well recognised, major Japanese private University. Yes, you can be part of that success story.

Ha ha ha ha!

Who wrote the script for this latest Nova Scam? Coburg Savoy Man? His lap dancing poodle, Whacko?

Ha ha ha ha!

Lord Nova: “What we need, it to get backing from a Japanese University, or major educational facility, so we can turn this nightmare around, and sell more farkin lessons”

Lord Nova’s Senior Executive: “Lord Nova, I seek leave to speak frankly”

Lord Nova: “Please, speak your farkin mind”

Lord Nova’s Senior Executive: “No Japanese University will back us. Unlike offshore universities back in the Eikaiwa hay day, they know our industry is a scam artist industry. They do not want to dirty their names, by associating themselves with companies like us. That is why they have always kept a distance. They know we are cockroaches, and they know we are vermin, pretending to be education providers, our aim being to snatch and grap, before the pyramid collapses. We therefore cannot hoodwink Japanese Universities into supporting us. Our methods and scams are too well known here. Always have been. We cannot move. Off-shore Universities, once a viable option, now won’t touch us due to the repeated collapses of Eikaiwa here, and the fact that our scam tactics are now known around the world, thanks largely to the internet, and well, the Japanese Universities have always known what we are”

Lord Nova: “Then we shall build our own farkin University, and it shall be called “Nova University. We will build it, and they will come”

Lord Nova’s Senior Executive: “Oh praise God, let it be so. I shall inform Lieutenant Coburg Savoy Man, and his Lap Dancing Poodle, and start the propaganda machine immediately”.

Lord Nova: “Let it be so. We shall build it, and they will farkin come, and we will snatch a grap that money, all over again. "Nova University". Let it be so. Bring me the Spin Doctors. Let us begin”

There are not enough kids nowadays, and universities are failing to get enough students or get aid fund. They are on a tight budget, and many of them are closing one by one.

Exactly. A number of the smaller Universities located outside the major metropolitan areas are struggling from what I understand. I know that a number of the big private Universities are really focusing on international students from Asia to make up for the declining number of Japanese students.

I honestly don't see a 'Nova' University happening ... would anyone really be dumb enough to sign up or become an investor?

I worked for five years at Nova and am all for the new Nova University which they are going to open. I am quite chuffed thinking about it to be honest. University Lecturer compared with Instructor on my resume? It's a no-brainer. Look, the faster this thing gets off the ground, the better it will be for all of us.

Yeah, the Nova management has made so mistakes in the past, but setting up a legitimate academic institution of higher learning might be a great opportunity to turn around their reputation. We all know the Japanese English system needs reform in the public schools, universities and eikaiwas. Hey it’s like the man says, Teachin’s a tough racket. We all need to pitch in for the greater good of teaching the Japanese English, properly. I support the Nova University and would be grateful to work there at any capacity, preferably as a full time professor of spoken English conversation.

We all need to pitch in for the greater good of teaching the Japanese English, properly.

The management of need all the help they can get with this, because they don't know the first thing about it and moreover don't care. As far as Inayoshi and those like him are concerned, University = cash cow.

Yeah, the Nova management has made so mistakes in the past, but setting up a legitimate academic institution of higher learning might be a great opportunity to turn around their reputation. We all know the Japanese English system needs reform in the public schools, universities and eikaiwas.

But no one does anything about it. If you're looking to to pioneer any reform you might be disappointed, they're still sticking with the crappy books and teaching non-system they scavenged from the old Nova Corp. There seems to be a way of thinking that a lot of people here are prone to - if something worked twenty years ago it's probably best to keep doing it exactly the same way.

It only worked in the sense that they made money then. In any other sense, it didn't work and never will.

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