Home

Statistics

Japan Higher Education Statistics

Japan International Student Statistics

Japan International Student Statistics

Japan is a popular study abroad destination for international students because of its unique culture and language. Other than that, international students find the safest environment when studying in Japan. According to the latest statistics, 242,444 international students are studying in higher education institutions in Japan.

The higher education system in Japan invites students to enroll in graduate or undergraduate studies, junior schools, preparatory courses, and Japanese language courses.

Quick Summary

  • The number of international students has decreased by 13.2% from 2020 to 2021, from 279,597 to 242,444 students.
  • The majority of international students in Japan are enrolled in Social Sciences, a total of 76,301 students.
  • 76,499 international students in Japan are enrolled in universities for undergraduate studies or colleges of technology.
  • Kanto is the region with the most international students, totaling 122,383 international students.
  • According to the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO), Japan's highest number of international students comes from China, totaling 114,255 students.
  • There are 136,111 male international students and 106,332 female international students in Japan.
  • Results from an annual survey of international students in Japan by JASSO have shown that the majority of international students self-fund their studies, a total of 231,077 students.

Historical International Student Statistics in Japan

  • The latest data shows that the total number of international students in Japan is 242,444.
  • From 2015 to 2021, the number of international students in Japan reached its peak in 2019, with a total of 312,214 students.
  • As a consequence of the COVID-19 outbreak in late 2019, the number of international students decreased by 22.3%.
  • In less than a decade, from 2010 to 2020, the number of international students in Japan increased by 120.2%, from 141,774 to 312,214 students.
  • A significant increase of 90.2% occurred in international student enrollment in Japanese universities from 2000 to 2005, from 64,011 to 121,812 students.
  • From 1980 to 1990, the number of international students in Japan increased drastically, by 529.1%, from 6,572 to 41,347.
Year International Students
2021 242,444
2020 279,597
2019 312,214
2018 298,980
2017 267,042
2016 239,287
2015 208,379
2014 184,155
2013 168,145
2012 161,848
2011 163,697
2010 141,774
2009 132,720
2008 123,829
2007 118,498
2006 117,927
2005 121,812
2000 64,011
1995 53,847
1990 41,347
1985 15,009
1980 6,572

International Student Statistics in Japan by Field of Study

  • According to the latest statistics on international students in Japan, the majority of students choose Social Sciences as their major, a total of 76,301 students.
  • After Social Sciences, the most popular field of study for international students in Japan is Humanities, with 72,954 students.
  • Engineering is ranked third among the fields of study with the most international students in Japan, totaling 41,009 students.
  • 13,361 international students study in the field of Arts, 5,990 students are enrolled in Health Care programs, 4,413 in the field of Science, and 4,159 students study in the field of Home Economics.
  • Two other popular fields of study for international students in Japan include Agriculture with 4,094 and Education with 2,941.
  • 17,222 international students are enrolled in other fields of study in Japanese universities.

International Student Statistics in Japan by Institution

The total number of international students enrolled in higher education institutions in Japan includes graduate schools, universities for undergraduate and junior studies, colleges of technology, professional training institutions, preparatory courses, and language institutions.

  • The Japanese language institutes are separate from the higher education institutions in Japan since they function as preparatory language courses prior to university enrollment.
  • Of the total 242,444 international students in Japan, 76,499 are enrolled in universities for undergraduate studies or colleges of technology.
  • On the other hand, 52,759 international students are enrolled in graduate schools, 70,268 in professional training colleges, and 2,351 in preparatory universities.
  • According to an annual survey of international students in Japan by the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO), the Japanese language institutes have admitted 40,567 international students in 2021.
  • Except for the Japanese language institutions, in 2019, there were the most international students enrolled in higher education institutions, a total of 228,403 international students.
  • International student enrollment in graduate schools decreased by 0.6% in two years, from 2019 to 2021.
  • From 2015 to 2019, the number of international students in universities and junior colleges increased by 33.9%; however, this number of international students dropped to 76,499 in 2021, a decrease of 17.7%.
  • Two decades ago, international students in Japan could enroll only in graduate schools, universities for undergraduate studies, and professional training colleges, thus, only 55,755 students enrolled in higher education studies in 2019.

The number of international students in graduate schools in Japan increased by 324.8% from 1983 (with 3,905 students) to 1993 (with 16,592 students).

Year Graduate Schools Universities (Undergraduate)/Juniorcolleges/Colleges of technology Professional training colleges University preparatory courses Japanese language institutes
2021 52,759 76,499 70,268 2,351 40,567
2020 53,056 83,077 79,598 3,052 60,814
2019 53,089 92,952 78,844 3,518 83,811
2018 50,184 87,806 67,475 3,436 90,079
2017 46,373 80,020 58,771 3,220 78,658
2016 43,478 74,323 50,235 3,086 68,165
2015 41,396 69,405 38,654 2,607 56,317
2014 39,979 67,782 29,227 2,197 44,970
2013 39,567 69,339 24,586 2,027 32,626
2012 39,641 71,361 25,167 1,587 24,092
2011 39,749 71,244 25,463 1,619 25,622
2010 39,097 72,665 27,872 2,140 n/d
2009 35,405 67,108 27,914 2,293 n/d
2008 32,666 63,175 25,753 2,235 n/d
2007 31,592 62,159 22,399 2,348 n/d
2006 30,910 63,437 21,562 2,018 n/d
2005 30,278 64,774 25,197 1,563 n/d
2004 29,514 62,311 23,833 1,644 n/d
2003 28,542 57,911 21,233 1,822 n/d
2002 26,229 50,321 17,173 1,827 n/d
2001 25,146 39,502 12,324 1,840 n/d
2000 23,585 30,612 8,815 999 n/d

International Student Statistics in Japan by Region

  • The highest number of international students in Japan are located in the region of Kanto, a total of 122,383 international students.
  • The region of Kinki comes second among the regions in Japan with the most international students, with a total of 50,066 students.
  • Kyushu is ranked third among the Japanese regions with the highest number of international students, a total of 26,376 students.
  • Other regions with the highest number of international students in Japan include Chubu (21,662), Chugoku with 10,152 students, Tohoku (6,289), and Hokkaido (3,749), Shikoku (1,767).

International Student Statistics in Japan by Origin

  • The results from an annual survey of international students in Japan by the JASSO organization have shown that the highest number of international students in Japan comes from China, with a total of 114,255 students, followed by Vietnam, with 49,469 students.
  • Nepal is ranked third among nationalities with the most international students in Japan, with 18,825 students.
  • Ranked fourth and fifth among countries with the most international students in Japan are the Republic of Korea with 14,247 and Indonesia with 5,792 students.
  • Taiwanese international students make up 4,887 of Japan's international students, and 3,762 international students are from Sri Lanka.
  • Among the top ten countries with the most international students in Japan are also Myanmar with 3,469 students, Bangladesh with 3,095 students, and Mongolia with 2,619 students.
  • Some other nationalities that have brought international students to Japan include Thailand with 2,563 students, Malaysia (2,426), the Philippines (1,699), India (1,457), Uzbekistan (1,317), and the US (1,172).
  • Countries with less than 1,000 international students in Japan are Cambodia with 742 students, France (742), Russian Federation (713), Pakistan (542), Brazil (475), Italy (351), Germany (347), UK (328), Egypt (321), Mexico (275), Canada (260), Singapore (239), Leo’s People Democratic Republic (239), Spain (216), and other countries that together make for 5,573 of international students.

International Student Statistics in Japan by Sex

  • The number of female international students in Japan is 106,332. In contrast, in 2020, there were 124,461 female students.
  • There are 136,111 international male students in Japan's higher education institutions.
  • In 2020, 155,136 male international students were getting a higher education degree in Japan.
  • Of the total 242,444 international students in Japan, 56.1% are male students, and 43.9% are female international students.
  • On the other hand, in 2020, 55.5% of the total international students were male, and 44.5% were female international students.

International Student Statistics in Spain by Source of Funding

According to the Japan Student Services Organization, there are three forms of funding available for international students in Japan: scholarships by the Japanese government, sponsorship by foreign governments, and self-financing.

  • The majority of international students in Japan self-fund their studies, a total of 231,077 students, whereas 3,170 are sponsored by their home countries, and 8,197 have received scholarships from the Japanese government.
  • Within five decades of the Japanese Government giving scholarships to international students, in 2010, they gave the most scholarships, a total of 10,349.
  • From 2015 to 2020, the number of international students who self-fund their studies has increased by 36.9%, from 195,419 to 267,630 students.
  • Between all the funding sources for international students, financial help from students’ home countries is the least popular, with only 3,170 students in 2021 receiving sponsorship.
  • From 2010 to 2020, the number of international students who received scholarships from the Japanese government decreased by 15.3%, from 10,349 to 8,761 students.
  • From 2019 to 2020, the number of international students who self-fund their studies has decreased by 22.8%, from 299,453 to 231,077.
Year Japanese Government Scholarships Home Country Sponsored Self-financed
2021 8,197 3,170 231,077
2020 8,761 3,206 267,630
2019 9,220 3,541 299,453
2018 9,423 3,733 285,824
2017 9,166 3,760 254,116
2016 9,481 3,682 226,124
2015 9,223 3,737 195,419
2014 8,351 3,996 171,808
2013 8,529 3,999 155,617
2012 8,588 4,068 149,192
2011 9,396 3,763 150,538
2010 10,349 3,505 127,920
2009 10,168 3,235 119,317
2008 9,923 2,681 111,225
2007 10,020 2,181 106,297
2006 9,869 1,956 106,102
2005 9,891 1,903 110,018
2004 9,804 1,906 105,592
2003 9,746 1,627 98,135
2002 9,009 1,517 85,024
2001 9,173 1,369 68,270
2000 8,930 1,441 53,640
1995 7,371 1,231 45,245
1990 4,961 1,026 35,360
1985 2,502 774 11,733
1980 1,369 419 4,784