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Campus France Japon

Clarisse Faria-Fortecoëf

Challenges and evolutions of higher education and international mobility in Japan.

The 8th issue of the Dossiers collection especially published by Campus France the Japan day of December 2011, focuses on the higher education and its internationalization in this country.

Some context elements

On the 778 universities inventoried  in Japan (May 1, 2011), 597 are private, 95 public and 86 are national.The undergraduate degree (Gakushi) which lasts four years, is considered as the reference degree in Japan in terms of access to a highly skilled job, as well as to a responsibility position. As in France, for example, after two years for the Master (Sushi), the PhD (Hakushi or Hakase) requires three additional years.
The share of doctoral students carrying out research in their professional context and detached from their company represents 32.7% of the total of this population.
The access rate to employment after graduation being an important evaluation criterion of Japanese universities, some companies establish links with some universities in which they recruit in priority.
To meet their needs, some consortia have even created their own universities as the Toyota University which ensures since its establishment an employment within the group to 100% of its graduates.

Internationalization and student mobility

If the current structure of Japanese higher education is not particularly suited to the internationalization and mobility (for example, very few courses in a language other than Japanese), the Kokusaika is a frequent topic at Japanese universities that have a real role to play here, as pointed out by Naoyuki Agawa, Vice President of Keio University in the No. 10 of Repères, of December 2011, a publication of CampusFrance.

Among measures to encourage student mobility, Japan launched in 2008 the Global 30 program which aims to reach by 2020, 300,000 students in outgoing mobility (less than 50,000 in 2009) as incoming (131,599 mainly from Asian countries , in 2009).
Regarding the goal to welcome and train a larger number of foreign students on Japanese campuses, one of the arguments would be the experience and know-how of the country in many international issues, such as population aging and decrease, health and social protection reforms, energy saving, environmental protection or nuclear safety.

As regards France, 1,959 Japanese students were welcomed in the Hexagon in 2010-2011 mainly for short stays (one week to three months).
To attract these students, various grant programs are offered like that of the Renault Foundation which involves several prestigious Japanese universities, as the Tokyo University and  French institutions such as the Ecole Polytechnique.

CampusFrance Japon

Established since December 2009 on the premises of the French Embassy in Japan, CampusFrance helped organize the first European exhibition of higher education in Japan in May 2012 (Tokyo: May 10 and 11; Kansai: May 12).