Statistics - Japan
RegionEastern Asia
Population127 253,075
Statistics - Education
Popularity rating in the world7
Ranking of universities in the world4
Statistics - Universities
Universities in top 100 5
Universities in top 200 8
Universities in top 500 15
Universities in top 1000 41
Universities in top 5000 278
Japan is recognized as one of the most developed countries in the world and it opens doors to international students offering new challenges and extremely interesting admission condition for international students who wish to study for higher education.

Higher education in Japan

Advantages to study in Japan

If an international student searches for study abroad, Japan is the right country to suggest one of the best education programmes globally. And this is well-argued for the reasons as follow:
  1. Development of science in Japan is ranked top in the world and annually USD 130 billion is invested from governmental budget to science researches with Japan ranking 3rd in the world when it comes to investments to research activities, especially in the sphere of Electronics, Medicine and High Technology. This makes easier for the applicant to find well-paid employment upon completion of study in here.
  2. Such fundamental sciences as Physics, Chemistry and Math are arranged in Japan on such high level that most Nobel laureates are known to have Japanese credentials in disciplines they are awarded the Prize.
  3. Opportunity to learn Japanese culture and way of thinking is also appealing for most international students.
The attitude to its culture is stipulated due to the fact, that the Japanese lived on itself for a long time and further on they did not let anything from abroad to come in. Today Japan uses the best traditions of the world community in terms of education as a guide, and created its own unique approach based on the latter to study each particular discipline with the researches as the major principle. Profound knowledge of Japanese university graduates is attributable to this principle exactly.
Foreigners, especially those who come from western countries, may find some aspects amazing since the Japanese endows the mystique peculiar to this country, too. Study is in Japanese language. It can be learned at special courses based on state institutions only. This is how the Ministry of Education in Japan sets regulations and accredits the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Scienceand Technology to offer prep courses at their places. It might sound amazing but the Ministry of Justice is also involved in such aspects of education. Such diversified authority attributable to the Ministry of Education is due to that the tertiary education in the country is absolutized to refer to such sacred concepts as family, community and nation on the whole. That is, the qualified person is the guarantee to the nation prosperity. There are more schooling and universities in Japan that are willing to offer education even for those who are not completed with elementary school though such is classified as secondary specialized education to allow lower opportunities for career promotion.
So, an applicant is allowed to choose among the following in Japan depending on the institution addressed:
  • short-term language proficiency courses. As a rule, such courses are appropriate for applicants who are rather interested in specialized education but not tertiary. The course facilitators assure that a person with tourist visa will manage to properly master the language to adapt to the country.
  • long-term prep courses. These are ideal for those who aspire to get complete tertiary education and may plan to stay in the Land of the Rising Sun in the perspective.
Obviously, long-term courses take far more time though one-year or two-year period is adequate to spend if the applicant intends to get employed in any country of the world.
Japanese business language courses. These classes pursue to provide business management skills and knowledge to have business negotiations on the Japanese party, so applicants who seek to study Economics may find it rational to start this course before university admission.

Enrollment procedure

Japanese education system is unified for both native and international students in terms of two-stage exam:
  • Applicants should submit documents to prove on completion of secondary school and pass entry exams. The elementary school education in Japan lasts for 12 years so if the international students has a Certificate of 10-year study at school at home (as per the national requirements), the latter is obliged:
    • Either to attent additional specialized courses in Japan to qualify the knowledge, or
    • Submit a document on completion of 2-year study of qualification at higher education level institution in the applicant’s home country to assess it as part of qualification.
    In addition, those who are in their full 18 years are eligible to apply for tertiary education in Japan.
  • Japanese language proficiency three-stage exam should be passed (familiarity in hieroglyphs and vocabulary, comprehension in hearing, reading and grammar).
  • That’s good that at private university places the applicants might attend two-year pre-university courses which make it easier to enroll at universities without compulsory exams.
    About 80% of all students in the country study for their own resources and only 20% are eligible to scholarships allotted by the government (Japanese Government Scholarship). There are any other options to get grants though they are based on the programme of International Understanding or Private Funds. To the point, private funds make allowances for international students in the amount of up to 40 000 Yen per month (and up to 100 000 Yens for post-graduates). If the applicant fails to get the grant the permit for work might be received at the Immigration Service that often required by employers. In virtue of the legislation, a student should devote full time to study which means only 4-hour employment a day.

    Academic Degrees in Japan

    Bachelor’s Degree (Gakushi). Applicants who are not defined with the qualifications should seriously consider the study in Japan since the first year of bachelor degree programme will be the most appealing. Students learn Literature, Philosophy, Social Science and foreign languages in the first two years. At the end of the 2nd course they are eligible to transfer to other disciplines, if necessary, to study their major in the following two years. Such sciences as Medicine and Veterinary are studied for six years, on the whole.
    Master’s Degree (Shushi). Upon completion of Bachelor-level programme, it takes two more years of study to get Master’s credentials. This degree is the key and warranty of further career promotion.
    Doctoral (Hakushi). This programme takes three more years upon acquiring Bachelor’s Degree though this qualification is found challenging for people highly interested in researches.
    Academic curriculum in Japan, as in most countries, is per semesters though successful exams and requisite scores of total advancement are also important: at least Scores 124 of progress for Bachelor’s degree, Score 30 – for Master’s degree and Score 50 – for Doctoral degree and thesis defense based on student research work results.

    How to get Student Visa

    A Student visa can be classified by categories as follow:
    Tourist visa. This is a short-term permit to stay in the country and learn Japanese language and culture. It is not feasible to apply for the college or university study with such visa.
    Shugaku – visa for college study applicants. This visa is valid to stay in the country for up to 4 years and request for work permit, if necessary.
    Ryugaku – visa for university study applicants. It gives the opportunity to stay in Japan for longer period.
    At the same time, visas for students are arranged by the guarantor; that is, the education institution to which the applicant is enrolled to. Visa is issued within three to four months providing that the guarantor is able to submit the documents as follow:
    • Valid foreign passport of the applicant
    • A copy of the first page of valid foreign passport
    • Photographs 3х4 – at least 8 copies
    • A notarized copy of Diploma and transcript of progress from the latest place of study
    • Proof of Japanese language proficiency
    • Birth certificate (original and a notarized copy)
    • Proof of employment by one of parent (in case the applicant is under age by the home country law)
    • Given that the applicant pays for the study, a bank statement to prove at least 15000 USD on the account
    It is worth noting that all application forms should be completed by hand only and all documents are eligible only when they are accompanied with translated version in Japanese language.