Venture education – Japanese school joins buyout fund

Keio University, Japan’s oldest and most prestigious college, hopes to boost flagging revenues and a shrinking endowment by investing in a new $138 million management buyout fund, Bloomberg News reports.

Donations to Japan’s richest university fell 18 percent from 1990 to 1998, while income from examination fees decreased 32 percent during the same period.

Keio University – as well as other Japanese universities – are seeking ways to diversify their earnings in response to increasing financial pressures, Bloomberg reports.

Buyout funds, which specialize in helping managers to buy the firms for which they work, may prove to be lucrative for universities.

Keio University is teaming up with JAFCO Co., the country’s biggest venture capital firm, as well as other finance companies, to launch the first university management buyout fund.

Other universities are likely to follow suit as student enrollment declines.  The number of students who will graduate high school in Japan is expected to fall 25 percent from a decade ago.

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