Japan Data

Year-Round Hiring Aims to Spur More Japanese Students to Learn Overseas

Education

More Japanese university students are studying overseas these days, but just 2% participate in long-term programs of over one year.

During the 2017 academic year, 105,031 Japanese university students studied overseas, according to a survey conducted by the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO). The number has been increasing steadily since JASSO began to compile comparable statistics in 2009.

Around 60% of all those who studied abroad in the 2017 academic year were on short-term programs of less than one month, whereas just 2% were on courses that lasted for over one year. Many students seem to opt for short-term programs during school holidays to avoid the burden that a longer program might have on their financial situation or job-hunting efforts. Universities are also developing short-term study-abroad programs that meet the needs of students today.

Responding to the issue, the business lobby Keidanren has agreed to introduce year-round hiring of university graduates from the 2022 academic year, moving away from the current spring-recruitment system. This would allow students more flexibility in choosing the length of overseas study, so that they could go abroad without worrying about the start of the hiring season or opt to study abroad after graduation.

Asia was the destination for 38% of students studying abroad, while North America, Europe, and Oceania attracted 28%, 20%, and 12%, respectively. The main reasons for the increase in students studying in Asia were apparently the relative affordability of such programs and the rising number of students who are learning Chinese.

Waseda University had the largest number of participants in overseas programs, at 2,770 students, while second-place Kyoto University and third-place Ritsumeikan University also each had over 2,000 students who studied abroad in the 2017 academic year.

University Participating students
Waseda University 2,770
Kyoto University 2,209
Ritsumeikan University 2,049
Tōyō University 1,961
University of Tokyo 1,871
Dōshisha University 1,713
Kwansei Gakuin University 1,572
Kansai Gaidai University 1,556
Osaka University 1,521
Meiji University 1,520

Created by Nippon.com based on data from the Japan Student Services Organization.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)

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