Although 70% of high school teachers think that studying abroad is a plus for high school students in their university entrance exams, 50% of these teachers say they lack information to support students in studying abroad, a survey indicates.
The Internet-based survey was conducted in May by the secretariat of “Tobitate! Ryugaku Japan,” a Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) project that seeks to promote study abroad. Responses were received from 407 high school teachers.
Asked if they think that studying abroad “heightens high school students’ sense of purpose and motivation and is a plus for them in their entrance exams,” a total of 68.8% said “yes,” including “yes, very much,” “yes, somewhat,” and “generally yes.”
The new standardized university admission exam system set to be introduced in January 2021 will use privately run English tests to evaluate students’ mastery of the four skills of “reading, writing, listening, and speaking.” Some 79.6% of teachers surveyed said that studying abroad “will help students master the four skills.”
When asked to identify the challenges they face in supporting students in studying abroad (multiple responses permitted), 52.8% said “don’t know how to advise students on study abroad” and 50.4% said “lack information.”
According to an FY2015 MEXT poll, 1% of all high school students study abroad, including those who go on overseas study tours of less than three months. The majority of high school student applications for study abroad are said to come through the high school where the student is enrolled. As a representative of the secretariat of “Tobitate! Ryugaku Japan,” comments, “Even if they understand the significance of studying abroad [for high school students], teachers cannot adequately support students because they lack information.” The secretariat plans to release on its website a guide for high school teachers on advising students about study abroad.