Known for making things smaller, faster and first, Japan was until recently the second-largest economy in the world. It’s now third, behind the US and China. Its economic strength is at least partly due to the strong research and development industry that underlies successful international brands such as Nissan, Toyota, Panasonic, Canon and Sony as well as producing robots for every need imaginable. Unsurprisingly, an excellent higher education system lies behind all this innovation. If you fancy studying in Japan, the homeland of the bullet train, Nintendo Wii, instant noodles in a pot and of course karaoke, you’ll be pleased to know Japan wants you too. The government is keen to attract more international students, and has set a target of having 300,000 foreign students in the country by 2020. As a result, universities are focusing on making life easier for foreign students, from the application process all the way through to finding a job after graduation. One thing that will certainly help to attract international students is the introduction of more courses taught partly or entirely in English.
Aware that living and studying in Japan is expensive compared to many countries, the government has also introduced additional financial support for foreign students. Various university scholarships and grants are available through the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO). There are approximately 780 universities in Japan, of which about 80% are private. There are also specialized schools and colleges that provide more vocational types of degree.
The nation’s strongest global ranking is currently claimed by the University of Tokyo. The University of Tokyo , or ‘Todai’, overtakes Kyoto University in 2016 as Japan’s highest entrant in the overall world rankings, and has a very strong global reputation across a wide range of disciplines. Featured in 38 out of 42 subjects in the QS World University Ranking by Subject 2016, the University of Tokyo performs very well, ranked among the global top 100 for every one of these subjects. Most impressively, it appears in the world’s top 10 for modern languages, physics and astronomy, chemistry, civil and structural engineering, and the new mining engineering ranking.