October 2017

Growing Demand to Study in Japan from Overseas Students

Tokyo University
CC0 Creative Commons

Japan has seen an increase in the number of foreigners traveling to its shores. While many of these travelers are tourists, the number of people looking to live, work, and study in Japan has also been increasing. According to statistics from the Ministry of Justice, there were over 2,200,000 foreign residents living in Japan as of 2015, the latest date for which statistics are currently available. This constituted an increase of over 200,000 people in the two years since 2013, and this number is set only to continue to increase.

The increase in foreign students studying in Japan has been especially dramatic in recent years. The number of international students rose from just over 180,000 students in 2014 to nearly 240,000 students in 2016, according to the annual survey of international students in Japan conducted by the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO), an independent administrative institution established under the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (Monbukagakusho). This contrasts sharply with an increase of less than 10,000 students over the three years prior to 2014. The same survey also reports that the vast majority, 93%, of these students come from Asia, followed by European students at 3.3%, and North American students, which comprised only 1.3% of the total. More than 60% of these students are in Japan to pursue a graduate degree, which the majority of students either pursuing a Humanities, 46.5%, or Social Science, 25.5%, degree.

Many Japanese corporations are looking for talented individuals who are up to the task of competing in an increasingly globalized environment. In order to remain competitive, part of the hiring strategy for many companies is to recruit foreign nationals. Examples include such diverse companies as Lawson, a major convince store chain; Rakuten, a leading Japanese e-commerce site that has made English its official in-house language; and Fujitsu, an information and communication technology company. The growing international student body in Japan is a natural place for companies such as these to recruit foreign workers.

If you, or someone you know, is interested in studying in Japan, JASSO offers information about Japanese universities and scholarships that provide high achieving students with the opportunity to live and study in Japan on their website.

Background Image: "Nara A row of Ginkgo Trees" Creative Commons Attribution 4.0

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