Latest News

Tuesday, 7th May 2013
In General Japan News,

Government hopes to encourage European term times in Japan

The government is offering students an incentive to study between spring and autumn if universities move their admissions to September. 

Under the current system, anyone who is studying at a Japanese university would begin their schooling in the spring, but this scholarship is just part of plans to encourage a change. 

Japanese education minister Hakuban Shimomura, said: "There will be a half-year period after (students) graduate in March until fall admission to university. The state will provide grants to those students going abroad during that period." 

Mr Shimomura suggested that the grants may not be available until 2017, but he said he hoped the money would encourage more Japanese students to go abroad. 

According to statistics provided by the Ministry of Education, the number of Japanese teenagers studying abroad is in decline and therefore an incentive to boost those figures is required. In 2004, figures reached an all-time high with some 82,945 youngsters from Japan studying abroad. This dropped to just 58,060 in 2010. 

A handful of universities in Japan are changing their admissions procedures to be more in line with American and European colleges which start their year in the autumn. 

The University of Tokyo is one such institution which was recognised in the 2013 Times Higher Education rankings system. It achieved ninth place falling from eighth in 2012 and 2011.  

As such, it is the highest ranking university excluding those from the UK and the US. 

Overall, the rankings suggest that Japan is performing relatively well as, along with Netherlands and Germany, it has five top 100 institutions. 

The Times Higher Education website reports that the University of Tokyo tops the list of Asian universities, while Kyoto University makes it in at number seven. 

Simon Marginston, professor of higher education at the Univesrity of Melbourne, suggests that Japan's superiority in terms of education among other Asian nations may be about to change. 

"Japan still has the strongest group of research universities in Asia because it had a 25-year head start on the other east Asian systems. The investments that sustain current research performance were largely made in the 1970-90 period. Many of its Nobel prize winners hail from that stellar period," he said.

Written by  Mark Smith

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