Japan Seeks to Attract More International Students

Thursday, 5 Nov 2020

Japan Seeks to Attract More International Students

The education ministry in Japan has set out plans to increase the number of international students at the country’s national universities from the 2022 academic year.

It is expected that Japan’s national universities will receive notice from the ministry by next summer that will allow them to increase their foreign student enrollment for the following year – the move will increase the universities’ international competitiveness and further shore up finances.

There were a total of 13,070 international students studying at the national universities during the 2019 academic year, approximately 3% of the total student population. Meanwhile, private universities in Japan have a higher ratio at 3.7%.

Among the 13,070 foreign students were those from China (41.2%), Vietnam (19.8%), Nepal (8.2%), South Korea (7%) and Taiwan (3.3%). 

Currently, any university that wishes to increase its internationals student numbers must apply to the Council for University Establishment and School Corporation which will then conduct an investigation to ensure the enrolment change is appropriate.

Japan has been experiencing a drop in the number of 18-year-olds among its population since the 1990s and the Ministry has maintained that bringing in students from abroad should only be reserved for special cases, saying increases could place a burden on the finances of competing private universities. 

According to the Times Higher Education World University Ranking 2021, the University of Tokyo and Kyoto University are the only two Japanese universities in the top 100. Japan is aiming to have 10 institutions amongst the ranking by 2023.

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