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EDUCATION > Study Abroad

Online exchange emerges as a new option for studying abroad

By Kamata Yu


Since 2011, the Asahi Shimbun and Kawaijuku have been conducting a joint survey entitled “Opening of Japanese Universities.” In 2021, out of the 775 national, public, and private colleges contacted, 655 responded (85%) to the survey. The survey, which was was taken from June through August, asked the colleges about the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on their programs as well as the status of their online classes at the moment. The response revealed that a substantial number of universities plan to continue or expand their online exchange programs after the pandemic subsides.


Asked about the prospects for their international exchange programs after COVID-19, heads of 295 colleges (45%) said they expect online exchange to increase, while only 3% said it will decrease. Similarly, 26% of the respondents said they expect opportunities for the students to take overseas universities’ classes online to increase. Only 5% said such opportunities will decrease.


“[Online programs] are particularly attractive as they don’t require a huge commitment in time and money,” said Showa Women’s University, which believes online exchange will “increase” further.


Many of the schools that expect online exchange to “increase” cited short-term language classes as an example. Meanwhile, Doshisha University remarked, “The pandemic also underscored the importance of the experience of living overseas.” Over 60% of respondents said they expect the number of students studying abroad after the pandemic to either remain unchanged or increase from pre-COVID levels. (Abriged)

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