About Robert DujarricRobert Dujarric is Director of the Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies, Temple University, Japan.
By Robert Dujarric. Posted December 19, 2014
The Government of Japan plans to globalize Japanese higher education. One of its flagship programs wraped up in 2014 is the Global 30 initiative to invite 300,000 foreign students to Japan, i.e double the current numbers. Global 30 stresses that there is no initial requirement to know Japanese since “the best universities in Japan are now offering degree programs in English. By doing this, these universities have broken down the language barrier which was one of the obstacles preventing international students from studying in Japan.” The top global universities project which is the continuation of this effort will follow along the same lines.
Around the world, students at the best universities are experiencing a more international upbringing than their parents. Japan, however, stands apart because of its continued seclusion. In particular, the decline of the number of Japanese students at leading United States (US) institutions is startling: In 1998–1999 there were 705 Japanese enrolled at three of the best US universities—Columbia, Harvard, and MIT—but this number had dropped to 339 by 2011–2012. Enrollment has also declined over the past seven years at Yale and UC-Berkeley. Overall, the figure of 46,872 Japanese studying in the US in 2000–2001 had dropped to 19,966 by 2011–2012. We also looked at doctoral candidates in several renowned, mostly US English-speaking universities in business, economics, and science.
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