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POLITICS

Gov’t struggling to attract applicants for overseas study aid program

  • 2016-02-18 15:00:00
  • , Nikkei
  • Translation

(Nikkei: February 17, 2016, Evening edition – p. 14)

 

 A public-private scholarship program for college students hoping to study abroad is not attracting as many applicants as anticipated.

 

 The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology launched the “Tobitate Ryugaku Japan” initiative in 2014 with the help of the business community in an effort to foster global human resources. Under this program, qualified students are subsidized up to 5.6 million yen for their overseas studies and they don’t have to repay the money. Financial support is also extended to those who want to engage in volunteer activities or work as interns overseas.

 

 Despite these favorable conditions, the program is not attracting many students. It accepts 500 applicants every six months, but the number of applicants fell below the quota for the latest three times in a row.

 

 The government has set a goal of increasing the number of students who study overseas to 120,000 by 2020. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the number of Japanese students who studied at overseas higher educational institutions fell to about 60,000 in 2012 from a peak of about 83,000 in 2004. (Abridged)

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