International student growth continues for Japan

The number of international students in Japan increased by 11.6 per cent to a new industry peak of 267,042 students in 2017, according to data recently released by government body the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO).

The figure comprises of 188,384 international students at higher education institutions - a 10.1 per cent rise - and a further 78,658 long-term students at Japanese language institutes, which represented a 15.4 per cent jump compared with the previous year.


Data for 2017 represents the third consecutive year of double-digit growth for Japan's international education sector, as the government pursues a headline target of 300,000 international students by 2020.


China remained comfortably the largest source market with 98,483 students, an increase of 8.9 per cent compared with the previous year, while second-placed Vietnam registered a 14.6 per cent rise to 61,671.


The top five was completed by Nepal (21,500, up 10.4 per cent); Korea (15,740, up 1.8 per cent); and Taiwan (8,947, up 7.4 per cent).


The largest growth came from six-placed Sri Lanka at 66.2 per cent, while all of the top 10 source countries increased.


Within the higher education sphere, the majority of international students were enrolled on undergraduate programmes (80,020), with 58,771 pursuing programmes at specialised training colleges, 46,373 enrolled at graduate schools and the remainder on university preparatory courses.


Waseda University, a private sector institution in Tokyo, retained its status as the largest host institution with 5,072 international students, an increase of 6.4 per cent compared with 2016.


Waseda was followed by Tokyo University of Social Welfare (3,733) which leapfrogged the University of Tokyo (3,618) into second place.


Japan was the subject of a special StudyTravel Magazine tertiary focus article in 2016 which examined options for international students in the country and institutions' recruitment methods, including the usage of agents.



By Matthew Knott

News Editor