To handle a surge of Japanese applicants for its masters in business administration (MBA) program, the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University has hired native Japanese to answer telephone calls from Japan. The hotline is open on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Some 356 Japanese applied to the MBA program this year, compared to 328 from New York City. Although the Japanese applicants have studied English, ``our goal is to be as welcoming and helpful as possible,'' says admissions director Nancy Milne.

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