Growing Number of Japanese Students Choose Study Abroad as Online Education Decreases

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Growing Number of Japanese Students Choose Study Abroad as Online Education Decreases

Date: May 23, 2023


The number of Japanese students studying abroad has surged, with a fivefold increase reported by The Japan Association of Overseas Studies (JAOS) in 2022 compared to the previous year. Online education, on the other hand, experienced a decline during the same period.

According to data from JAOS, 34,304 students were enrolled in foreign study programs, including language courses and online education, based on a survey conducted among 40 education agents. The findings revealed a significant rise in the number of students traveling abroad to study, increasing from approximately 6,000 students in 2021 to nearly 30,000 students in 2022. Conversely, the number of students participating in online courses offered by foreign institutions dropped from 8,974 in 2021 to 4,799 in 2022.

JAOS attributed these trends to the easing of Japan’s border control policies in the latter half of 2022. In particular, the removal of the requirement to provide a negative PCR test upon returning to Japan in September 2022 was identified as a contributing factor to the increased participation in both long-term and short-term study abroad programs.

Despite the rise in outbound student numbers, they have not yet reached pre-pandemic levels. According to estimates, approximately 78,000 Japanese students availed themselves of the opportunity to study abroad through JAOS members in 2019. Among the traditional Japanese students recruited by JAOS members, the most popular destinations were Canada, followed by the United States and Australia.

The Philippines emerged as the leading country by a significant margin in terms of online program enrollment, with approximately 40% (2,085) of students choosing to enroll in courses there, closely followed by China. The report also highlighted Dubai, South Korea, and Malaysia as emerging destinations for Japanese students, as all three experienced notable increases in enrollment.

By 2033, the Japanese government has set forth an ambitious proposal to annually send 500,000 students abroad. JAOS emphasized the importance of involving education agents and private sector service providers in these plans, describing it as essential to achieving the goal. To promote study abroad, the government intends to increase financial support for students aspiring to study overseas, aiming to counteract the challenges posed by the depreciation of the yen and global inflation, which create barriers to studying abroad.

However, Japan’s declining birth rate could potentially impact future student mobility. Despite this, Tatsuhiko Hoshino, executive secretary at JAOS, expressed optimism about the continuous growth of Japanese students pursuing overseas study in the next decade. He believes that by targeting high school students and promoting study abroad to them, the Japanese government can surpass the declining population trend and encourage a significant number of students to consider studying abroad.

Additionally, the Japanese government announced plans in March to attract 400,000 international students to the country by 2033. This move has been seen as a potential strategy to address the declining young population and dwindling enrollment numbers at lower-ranked universities in Japan.

In Conclusion, The number of Japanese students choosing to study abroad has seen a substantial increase, while online education offerings experienced a decline in participation. The relaxation of border control policies and the removal of certain requirements have contributed to this surge in overseas study. The Japanese government aims to further promote study abroad and increase financial support to counteract obstacles faced by students. Despite Japan’s declining birth rate, efforts are underway to encourage high school students to consider studying abroad, potentially offsetting the demographic challenges.

Attribution: This news is written based on the news published by PIE INTERNATIONAL

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