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MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology)

There were 138,075* international students in Japan as of May 1, 2011 which is a reduction of 2.6% from last year. Of this number, 9,396 received Japanese government scholarship.

*Number of international students by institutional type
Graduate school 39,749 (1.7% up)
University (undergraduate)/ Junior college/College of technology 71,244 (2.0% down)
Professional training college 25,463 (8.6% down)
University preparatory course 1,619 (24.3% down)

What Types of Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho) Scholarships are there?

As can be seen in below, there are seven types of Japanese government-sponsored scholarships available: those for research students, teacher training students, undergraduate university students, Japanese studies students, college of technology students, special training students and YLP students.

1) Undergraduate university students
Applicant must be at least 17 and under 22 years of age and have completed 12 years of school education or have completed courses in a school comparable to a high school (includes prospective graduates).

2) Japanese studies students
Applicants must be between 18 to 30 years old and must be enrolled as undergraduate students in faculties or schools which major in Japanese language or Japanese culture in a university outside Japan at the time when they come to Japan and must still be enrolled at the home institution at the time of their return to their home countries. Students majoring in the fields other than Japanese language or Japanese culture who wish to study various aspects of Japan (engineering, economy, agriculture, architecture, art, etc.) as part of their major studies should apply to the JASSO for admission to the Short-term Student Exchange Promotion Program.

3) Research students
Applicant must be under 35 years of age and a college graduate (including prospective graduates) or you must have completed 16 years of schooling.

4) Teacher training students
Applicant must be under 35 years old and a graduate of a college or teacher training college and must have at least five years of active experience as a teacher in a primary, secondary or teacher training college in your country. (Please note that applicants currently teaching at colleges and universities are not considered for this scholarship).

#5~7 are for your information only and not part of the "Global 30" courses.

5) College of technology students
Applicant must be between 17 to 22 years old and have completed school education comparable to high school (a minimum of 11 years beginning in primary school) education (includes prospective graduates).

6) Special training college students
Applicant must be between 17 to 22 years old and have completed 12 years of schooling or have completed school education comparable to a Japanese high school (includes prospective graduates).

7) Young Leaders' Program(YLP) students *for Nagoya University and Kyushu University
Applicants must be young public administrators and so on from Asian or other countries participating in the YLP who are expected to play active roles as future national leaders in their respective countries. The participants must be university or college graduates, who have at least 3-5 years' work experiences in public administration or enterprises and so on. The screening of the participants is based on recommendations of the recommending authorities.

How are Government-Sponsored Scholarship Recipients Recruited and Selected?

Japanese government scholarship students are recruited and selected in three ways:

  • Embassy recommendation (For those outside of Japan)
  • University recommendation (For those outside of Japan)
  • Domestic Selection (For those already in Japan)

Those wishing to apply for a scholarship should meet one of the criteria listed below:

  • Recommended by a Japanese embassy or consulate general (Embassy Recommendation).
  • Recommended by the Japanese university which will accept you (University Recommendation).
  • Selected by the Japanese university in which you are currently enrolled if you are a privately-financed student already studying in Japan (Domestic Selection).

1) Embassy Recommendation
In this type of scholarship, scholarship recipients are recruited and initially screened by a Japanese embassy (or consulate general, depending on the country).

Because the application process differs according to the country in which the Japanese embassy is located, please inquire at the Japanese embassy or consulate general in your country for details.

*Teacher training and Japanese studies student
Recruitment for the next fiscal year (for those arriving in Japan in October) is made between December of the previous year and the following February. Screening is conducted between Mid-February and March. Selected candidates are recommended to the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by end of April.

2) University Recommendation
i) Research students and Japanese studies students who will be studying in Japan as an exchange student based on inter-university student exchange agreements can be screened through the participating national, public or private Japanese university as a candidate for a Japanese Government Scholarship. The university directly recommends the selected candidates to the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

ii) Research students recommended by a university for study in Japan as government-sponsored

scholarship recipients generally arrive in Japan in October.

Japanese studies students generally arrive in Japan in October according to the university program. Universities recommend candidates to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology by mid-April.

3) Domestic Selection
i) Privately financed, full-time postgraduate foreign students, prospective postgraduate students, and full-time, prospective fourth-year undergraduate university students (prospective sixth-year students in the case of medical schools, etc.) are awarded domestic selection scholarships that begin in April. Recruitment is conducted through national, public and private universities with the exception of junior colleges.

ii) Universities carefully screen academically and individually excellent students and recommend them to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology as government-sponsored scholarship candidates by mid-December.

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