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Japan is an island country that adopted a constitutional monarchy and sovereign state in its political nature, where the monarch or the emperor act as a ceremonial figurehead of Japan. Japan runs by the prime minister and his cabinet as an executive government body together with a legislature body known as a National Diet, while the sovereignty is held by the Japanese people. Japan is one of the economic powerhouses in Asia, ranked third in terms of nominal GDP and ranked second in Asia just right after China.
Not only in terms of economy Japan is also one most innovative countries in the world and one of the lead countries in terms of technology. Japan has the largest electronics industry in the world and ranked third in the automobile industry just after the US, which contributes around 28% of Japan’s GDP. Because the Japanese economy relies heavily on innovation and technology the labor market in Japan demands people to have higher education, especially in science and technology.
Education in plays a very important role in Japan’s economy, it is also to maintain a competitive edge in industrial sectors as the country’s economy relies heavily on technology and innovation. Japanese students ranked highly among OECD countries as they have outstanding performance in literacy, science, and math compared to their peers from other countries. However, Japan spends less money from its national budget on education compared to other OECD countries, in 2015 Japan only spend 3.5% of its GDP where other OECD countries on average spend 4.7% of their GDP.
Education from primary to secondary level is compulsory in Japan. Most students attend public school until secondary level and it’s compulsory for the students to learn English at secondary school, along with additional foreign language offered by their schools. It is not mandatory for Japanese students to attend senior high school, but more than 90% of Japanese students attend senior high school, where more than half of students go to private high schools, which are twice expensive as public high school. To know more about Japan education system check here.
Japan has many universities scattered across the nation. In 2008 Japan launched a program to attract more foreign students called the “300,000 Students Plan” the main is to attract foreign students to study in Japan. Aware of the cost to study in Japan is expensive the program provides foreign students with financial support and various scholarships program will be introduced to help the students.
Japanese Governments (MEXT) Undergraduate Scholarships
Japanese Governments (MEXT) Scholarship is a scholarships program funded from the Japanese national budget under the direction of Ministry Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
The Scholarship provided with 117,000 yen monthly allowance and additional allowance will be given for students that study or conduct research in the specially designated region, the tuition, entrance, and matriculation fee will be paid by the scholarship program, in most cases, the selected students will be provided with an international economic airway ticket to Japan and returning the ticket to their home countries.
Eligibility and Requirements
The students must be 17 years old or no older than 25 years old by the time of admission and already finished their senior high school diploma or equivalent, The home country of the students must have bilateral ties with the Japanese government, the applicants must submit the health examination beforehand stated that candidates do not have any physical illness or any mental health problem, the applicants must also willing to learn Japanese in preparation prior to their study.
For the undergraduate scholarship program, the applicant must choose one of the designated field studies, the courses are divided into Social science and Humanity courses and Natural Science courses that also divide into many majors program for each course.
The applicants must take an examination in the screening process, the examination topics for undergraduate are Japanese, English, Math, and Science. The study process will take 5 years or 7 years for medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, and veterinary discipline, including one year of Japanese training. The selected candidates can not change their study subjects regardless of any reason, the student must study their chosen study fields that already approved by the scholarship system.
The selected students who have enough proficiency in the Japanese Language may apply for direct enrollment without taking a preparation course, the decision for direct enrollment will be made by the ministry of education together with the related university.
The application process for the undergraduate scholarship program begins through a screening and recruiting process done by the Japanese Embassy in the applicant’s home country. The requirements might be different for each country and it is advised for the applicants to inquire about the requirements needed for this first screening process. Here you can see the list of The Japanese embassy in foreign countries. The deadline for the application may vary for each country.
And for the privately funded international students who have already enrolled in a full-time undergraduate program in Japan is still eligible to apply for the scholarship. The students can apply through domestic selection for a scholarship that begins in April, the universities will evaluate the applicants and do the screening process for excellent students then later will submit a recommendation to the Ministry of education, culture, science, sport, and technology for further process.
The documents that are generally needed are the following:
- Application Form (do not fill out by hand)
- Direct placement form
- Transcript records of last school years
- Graduate certificate
- Recommendation letter from the principal or teacher
- Medical examination certificate
- Certificate Enrollment (only for those who already enrolled)
- Certificate University enrollment qualification examination (if applicable or for those who already pass the exam)
- Certificate Language Proficiency (only if applicable)
It is also important for the candidates to understand that they are expected to be on track and demonstrate high performance during the time of the study. Otherwise, the students might expect the suspension of the scholarship program during the study period and even may be ordered to return part of the scholarship depends on the decision on disposition for the matters.
For excellent students who demonstrate outstanding academic performance, they may apply to extend the scholarship if they happen wanting to continue their master’s study in Japan. Please follow application guidelines for undergraduate students for more information and for general information regarding Study in Japan and other scholarships program.