Market intelligence for international student recruitment from ICEF
25th Apr 2017

Japan’s enrolment growth picking up steam

The growth in inbound student numbers that Japan began to show in 2014 has continued through 2016. Every year, the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) offers a snapshot of foreign enrolment in the country (as of 1 May each year) and the latest numbers indicate just under 240,000 students for 2016. This amounts to year-over-year growth of 14.8% and an overall increase of nearly 30% since 2013. Speaking to The Japan Times, an education ministry official credited the growth to expanded commercial ties between Japanese corporations and key sending markets, as well as increased promotion of study in Japan by local agents abroad. total-foreign-enrolment-in-japan-and-enrolment-by-level-of-study-1983-2016 Total foreign enrolment in Japan, and enrolment by level of study, 1983-2016. Source: JASSO These recent-year gains put the country on track to reach its long-standing goal to host 300,000 students by 2020. That target certainly seemed out of reach until about 2014, but growth since then has been fuelled by a more active recruiting effort on the part of Japanese institutions and by other recent measures to boost the employability of foreign graduates. As we noted recently, along with its overarching enrolment target, Japan also aims to raise the employment rate for its international graduates to 50% (from the current 30% rate) by 2020. In support of that employment target, the Japanese government is offering new incentives to both graduates and employers, including subsidised company internships, help with finding jobs on graduation, additional Japanese language courses, and more streamlined processes for work visas. For 2016, total enrolment breaks down into roughly 70% (171,000) of students enrolled in higher education and 30% in language schools.

Key sending markets

As in previous years, Japan continues to draw almost its entire foreign student population from other markets in Asia. In fact, 90% of all students come from the top ten sending markets, all of which are within the region. top-sending-markets-for-japan-2015-and-2016 Top sending markets for Japan, 2015 and 2016. Source: JASSO As the preceding table reflects, China remains the clear leader among sending markets for Japan. But Vietnam has been the big story in recent years, and was again in 2016 as the fastest-growing market with a very noticeable 38% growth from 2015. In fact, Vietnam accounted for nearly half of total growth in 2016 all by itself. Other notable gainers on the year included Nepal, the third-largest source market with a 20% increase, Indonesia (29%), and Sri Lanka (72%). For additional background, please see:

Most Recent

  • Canada: Immigration ministry tightens student visa rules and raises minimum funds requirements Read More
  • Notable government policy shifts affecting international students going into 2024 Read More
  • ICEF Podcast: How podcasting can help engage with prospective international students Read More

Most Popular

  • Canada’s foreign enrolment grew by more than 30% in 2022 Read More
  • Measuring cost of study and cost of living across study destinations Read More
  • Recruiting in the Emirates: Big goals, world-class education, and new scholarships Read More

Because you found this article interesting

Canada: Immigration ministry tightens student visa rules and raises minimum funds requirements The Canadian government has announced that it is raising the cost-of-living financial requirement for international students applying for...
Read more
Notable government policy shifts affecting international students going into 2024 Over the past couple of years, the governments of Australia, Canada, and the UK have significantly evolved their...
Read more
Germany announces new labour force integration initiatives for foreign students and graduates In a joint announcement with Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)...
Read more
Signs point to cooling demand for UK higher education in non-EU markets Universities in the UK may be facing a challenging year ahead as new data indicates that visas issued...
Read more
US increases visa handling capacity in India American universities and colleges are being supported by their federal government in ramping up their competitive offer to...
Read more
International education a focal point of debate in Australia as the prospect of further regulation looms It didn’t take long for Australian schools and universities to recover their international student numbers once Australia’s border...
Read more
Is Canada losing ground as a preferred destination for Indian students? A featured panel at the annual Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) conference in Vancouver this week raised...
Read more
How is Indian student mobility changing in 2023? The shape of outbound mobility from India has changed over the course of 2023, with the UK and...
Read more
What are you looking for?
Quick Links