Asia is becoming progressively a very attractive destination for international students not only because of its exotic characters, but also due to the quality of education, offered in many Asian countries. Japan is one of the most interesting Asian cultures and the third largest economy in the world after US and China. The high emphasis on quality, particularly in education, is proven by the Japanese presence in the top positions of the university rankings.
The Japanese government has set the goal to welcome 300 000 international students in their universities. The following steps are being taken to encourage foreign students: financial aid, study programmes in English, international teachers and increasing the exchange programmes and cooperation with universities overseas.
There are approximately 780 universities in Japan and they are categorized as national public (80%), state public and private. Not all of them offer Masters programmes, because graduate degress are not in such demand as in Europe. The reason is that corporate companies don’t require graduate students as much and that the unemployability in Japan is low. Also, Masters education exists in Japan only since the end of the World War II.
Japanese universities are among the best universities in the world, whereby the public ones are more prestigious than the private ones. Five universities in Japan are listed in the Top100 of the QS World University Ranking for 2015.
English is widely spoken in Japan and there are many Masters programmes entirely thought in English. For those of you who would like to learn Japanese while studying, there are courses for international students, mostly offered for free.
If you choose to do your Masters in Japan, you should keep in mind that the academic year starts in April, respectively the second semester – in October. Anyway, this is a good possibility for Bachelor graduates to take a break before continuing with the next education step. Normally, a Masters in Japan lasts 24 months.
Most of the Japanese universities have entrance examinations. There is a standardized test for foreign students, called Examination for Japanese University (EJU), whereby skills in relevant academic areas are tested. Additional required application documents are an application form, an academic transcript, a Bachelor diploma and an English Language Proficiency certificate (or a taken English test). Sometimes a proof of sufficient finances, references or an academic essay (personal application letter) are required additionaly.
Tuition fees in Japan are among the highest ones in Asia, but they are reasonable compared to those in Western countries. International students also have the opportunity to gain a financial support by the Japanese governance.