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60 years on, Japan still not preferred by Indian students

Posted on October 4, 2013
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Japan failed to attract Indian students despite three-year-long initiative led by Tokyo University in Japan as only 550 Indian students have so far registered in Japanese universities for undergraduate courses.

Japan’s ambassador to India Takesh Yagi said, “The number of Indian students studying in Japanese universities is just 500. We are trying to mobilise Indian students willing to study in Japan. We have just finished Japan education fair in New Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore.”

The initiative is under pressure in view of the completion of 60 years of Indo-Japanese relations after World War Two and the forthcoming visit of Japan’s Emperor and Empress.

“Indian cooperation with Japan is increasing. The number of Japanese companies operating in India have been expanding very rapidly and have now gone up to 1,000,” said the ambassador.

The initiative coordinated on behalf of 20 Japanese universities was undertaken in 2010 and every year the education fair was conducted to brief Indian studetns to join Japanese universities, as many of them go abroad to the US or UK for higher studies.

According to a 2012 report by the Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore (IIM-B), the number of Indian students going overseas rose 256 percent, from 53,266 in 2000 to 189,629 in 2009.

Known as the “Global 30” project which aims to enroll 300,000 foreign students, the past three annual Japanese education fairs have provided guidance to over 1,000 students from schools and colleges in New Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore and Pune.

Satoshi Hata, general manager of the Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, once told IANS that Japanese universities were not very popular in India, but it is “affordable higher education” when compared to the US, UK and Australia, with a “holistic learning environment” provided in Japan.

In Japan, English-only degree courses are available at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, but students are encouraged to learn Japanese to increase internship and job opportunities.

“Japan’s relationship with India has improved significantly, especially in terms of economic welfare. We now need to take this effort one step ahead and enhance human relationships. Education will play a major role,” Japanese ambassador to India Takeshi Yagi said.

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