International Students Face Higher Costs in Japan as University Tuition Fees Increase

Japan Asia International Studies Higher Education News International Studies by Erudera News Mar 22, 2024

people in Japan

The Japanese government has authorized 86 national universities to raise fees for international students up to 20 percent above the current average tuition of 535,800 yen (US$3,500 or €3,267).

Over 200,000 international students choosing Japan as their study abroad destination will now be obliged to pay more than usual. Previously, international students paid the same tuition fees as local students, reports.

The reason behind this decision is the difference in costs between domestic and international students, given that the latter need additional support when they move to Japan, including assistance with accommodation, language training and other academic help.

“The merits for foreign students will be significant, so we don’t expect tuition hikes to discourage overseas applicants,” a Japanese university official told ICEF Monitor.

According to the government, the change is not expected to affect the international student numbers in the country because the increase it is applying does not put Japan on the list of the most expensive countries for international students to study.

Decline in International Student Enrollment, Lowest Figures in Years

Despite the government’s optimism, Japan’s appeal to international students has already diminished, with the country experiencing the lowest number of students in years.

According to data by the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO), as of May 1, 2022, the total number of international students is 231,146, a 4.7 percent decrease from the previous year.

Universities enrolled 72,047 international students in 2022, slightly 2 percent lower than the number of students enrolled in 2021, which stood at 73,715.

Most international students in Japan hail from China, which is evidently the most significant contributor with 103,882 students. Chinese students are followed by those from Vietnam (37,405), Nepal (24,257), Korea (13,701) and Indonesian students (5,763).

In 2022, Japan saw a 9.1 percent decline in Chinese students or 10,373 fewer students than in 2021, bringing the total number down from 114,255 in 2021 to 103,882 in 2022.

Previous data indicate another decrease in international student enrollment in Japan recorded in 2021, from 279,597 in 2020 to 242,444 students in 2021, a 13.2 percent decrease.

Japan’s Plans: Over 400K International Students by 2033

Despite these developments, the Japanese government is committed to attracting 400,000 international students by 2033, up 30 percent from 2019. The aim is for these students to stay and work in the country after graduation.

Earlier, in 2008, the target set by the government was 300,000 international students in Japan by 2020 - a goal achieved. However, enrollment decreased amid restrictions imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

More from Erudera News:

>> Japan to Certify Universities & Lure Talented International Students

>> University of Tokyo to Launch Combined Bachelor’s & Master’s Program, Targets 50% Int’l Students

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