There’s Never Been a Better Time to Study a Master's Degree in Japan.

'Education' is the heart of modern Japan. It is an emerging 'study abroad' destination. If you are seeking a high-quality study abroad experience, filled with unique opportunities, a master's degree in Japan can be a very good choice. It has a lot to offer, with regards to quality in teaching and research.

Stand by the  Japanese Government:

The Internationalization Agenda, by the Japanese Government, with regards to higher education, gives extra funding to 37 Japanese universities that have been singled out for their work in globalization, aiming to help them build relationships with foreign universities and attract international academic talent.

It is Necessary to Know their Language.

This enhances the chance to immerse yourself in the local culture although there are good numbers of Master's degree programs taught entirely in English. Graduate schools will also offer Japanese language classes, which don’t count towards your course credits but are often free of charge.

Universities and How They are Categorized

Currently, there are about 1,300 universities in Japan, the Oldest one is 'Keio University' established in 1858. At least 75% of the universities are private universities. Graduate schools have been the pillars of Japan’s internationalization strategy. With a relatively small proportion of the student population currently engaging in postgraduate study, the professional and personal development of students has become central to graduate schools.

There are 3 categories - private university, national university and public local university. All of them offer postgraduate degrees.

National universities are established in equivalent of local councils in the UK to ensure that there’s no regional imbalance in terms of the provision of higher education. Local public entities and public university corporations establish and manage 'Public local universities'. They are important intellectual and cultural centres for providing higher education opportunities to local people.

Private universities are established by independent organisations, and not by local or national government. Each has its own unique education and research strengths. Over the years, they have greatly contributed to the development of Japanese higher education.

University of Tokyo, Kyoto University, Osaka University, Tohoku University, Tokyo Institute of Technology are the leading universities. The institutions in Japan is not just train researchers, but also offer skills training as part of a well-rounded education for the future generation of teaching and research staff.

Academic Calendar:

This is an area that hasn’t been addressed by the Japanese higher education sector’s internationalization agenda, and there is no consistency with the semester system of countries such as in the EU or the USA and Singapore further afield. Japan’s academic year starts in April whilethe second semester begins in October.

Outline of Course information

Master's degrees are usually, two years long. The minimum number of credits to achieve is 30. You can gain credits from delivering lectures, tutorials, group works and practical performace, research courses and elective courses, if applicable. In addition to passing final exams, you will submit a Master’s thesis or present your research results if you decided to conduct a Master's research project. You will be allocated a supervisor for your final semester but there is no harm in starting to discuss your dissertation plans early.

Fee Structure

In national universities, tuition fees is USD $4,700 per year and the USD $2,474 for admission fees is usually arranged by the Ministry or by local authorities for public universities, while local public universities fee is USD $4,718 per year and USD $3,179 admission fee.

In private universities, annual tuition fees range from USD $5,665 to USD $10,679 per year and the admission fee is around USD $2,000

Other expenses

All international students are required to enroll in the National Health Insurance system. The annual premium is around USD $220- $250. Also, university student health insurance, personal accident insurance might be some of the other expenses you might incur.

Scholarship available:

1.      Japanese Government (MEXT) Postgraduate Scholarships

You need to apply for this through the Japanese embassy in your home country. It is a highly selective scholarship. It provides return air fare, university fees, a monthly grant of USD $1,340 and an optional 6-month course in Japanese and helps find accommodation. The scholarships are tenable at selected institutions but in all subject areas.

2.      Monbukagakusho Honors Scholarship for Privately-Financed International Students

These scholarships provide a monthly allowance of USD $590 for graduate students who do not hold a scholarship.

3.      Japanese Grant Aid for Human Resource Development Scholarship

A Master's scholarship available to students from Bangladesh, Cambodia, the Kyrgyz Republic, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.The scholarships provide tuition fees, admission fees, traveling and seminar allowance, book allowance, arrival allowance, accommodation allowance, stipend and shipping allowance.

4.      Asian Development Bank-Japan Scholarship Programme

These scholarships are available to people from borrowing member countries of the ADB who want to study Economics, Management, Science or Technology. Full tuition fees, a monthly subsistence and housing allowance, an allowance for books and instructional materials, medical insurance, and travel expenses are provided for one year, renewable for a second year.

5.      Scholarships provided by JASSO

JASSO is the Japan Student Services Organization is an independent administrative institution established under MEXT.

Quality of life in Japan, is good and has a welcoming environment for foreign students. Education is supported by plenty of funding programs available for international students.