In possibly the worst decision in higher education since the RIAA sent letters encouraging students to admit illegal file sharing, a Japanese university is handing out free iPhones to improve attendance.

Today, Aoyama Gakuin University will begin distributing iPhone 3Gs to all 550 staff and students in its School of Social Informatics, using its built-in GPS to track whether they are in class or 'studying' in the bar.

The incredibly naive college hopes that allowing teachers to take a virtual roll will increase attendance at lectures.

Phone presenteeism

While students might be present in person, the university is presumably convinced that its lecturers will prove significantly more interesting than getting a high score in iFighter, texting their mates or just watching videos.

Apparently, the university also has plans to use the iPhones to set tests and questionnaires, submit assignments and review class multimedia materials.

Even more incredibly, the school will pay all the basic charges for the iPhones, allowing the students to save their pennies for Flight Control, Myst or Tweetie.

Via Engadget.