Economics 101

As the only Japanese college that could boast a course on the culture of golf, Hagi International University shouldn't have had that much trouble attracting applicants. Yet not even putting precepts taught by a pro golfer could save Hagi from recently becoming the first university in Japan to apply for bankruptcy protection because of a lack of students. The international-relations school, located in southwest Japan, opened in 1999 at a cost of $58 million, but was never able to get off the ground. Today, it has 194 students—16% of the target class size. "The school was undercapacitated from the start, and...

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