TOKYO — Japan’s education ministry will step up efforts to bring in more foreign students and send more Japanese counterparts abroad, Nikkei learned Tuesday, seeking to revive cross-border study to pre-pandemic levels by 2027.
The travel ban instituted after the pandemic dealt a serious blow to such student traffic, alarming a corporate sector eager to attract overseas talent.
The number of international students in Japan slid from more than 310,000 in fiscal 2019 to 242,000 in fiscal 2021. The drop was even deeper for Japanese students going overseas, from about 107,000 in fiscal 2019 to 1,400 in fiscal 2020.
To boost the number of incoming students, the government plans to step up recruiting in targeted areas, looking to increase students in the underrepresented fields of science and engineering. Japan will seek help from previous recipients of government-sponsored scholarships to discover new talent.
In the other direction, Japan will expand the Leap for Tomorrow Study Abroad Initiative, a public-private partnership to encourage Japanese students to go overseas, funded by individual and corporate donations.
Attracting more exchange students makes Japanese universities more competitive internationally, while sending Japanese students abroad helps to nurture global talent.
By MARIE SHIMOKAWA, Nikkei staff writers