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Friday, April 20, 2012

Overseas studies to get funding push

Staff writer

The education ministry plans to fund about 40 universities that launch programs to encourage more Japanese to study overseas, with the aim of nurturing globally minded human resources.

A panel under the education ministry unveiled Thursday the criteria for selecting the universities, which will receive between ¥120 million and ¥260 million in subsidies a year for five years.

According to the guideline, the universities will be selected based on their plans for increasing the number of Japanese students going overseas, including adding foreign instructors, English language classes and setting up credit transfer systems with other colleges.

"I believe we are entering a time to open up (Japanese) universities," Shinichi Yamanaka, a deputy director general at the education ministry, said Thursday at a panel meeting in Tokyo. "To send more Japanese students abroad, universities need to make them more open to the global environment."

The ministry plans to accept applications from universities from June 15 to 20. The universities chosen will receive subsidies from around this fall, the ministry said.

In 2009, the education ministry launched its Global 30 project to increase the number of foreign students at Japanese universities.

With these two projects, the ministry hopes to boost the international competitiveness of its universities and nurture future global leaders.

For this fiscal year, the ministry also increased the scholarship budget for Japanese college students studying overseas to ¥3.1 billion from ¥1.9 billion the previous year.

According to the ministry, fewer Japanese students have been going abroad to study since marking a record 82,945 in 2004. In 2009, 59,923 Japanese went abroad to study.

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The Japan Times

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