According to a recent survey conducted by Japanese education agents, the number of Japanese students studying abroad has shown a significant increase. The survey, which involved 40 education agents, revealed that 34,304 students were enrolled in various study programs abroad, including language courses and online education.

Compared to the previous year, the number of students traveling overseas for their studies rose from approximately 6,000 students in 2021 to just under 30,000 students in 2022. However, the number of students taking online courses offered by foreign institutions decreased from 8,974 in 2021 to 4,799 in the same period. The report attributes these trends to the relaxation of Japan’s border control policies in the latter half of 2022.

Despite this increase, the current outbound student numbers have not yet reached the levels seen before the pandemic. In 2019, an estimated 78,000 Japanese students studied abroad through JAOS members. Among the destinations preferred by Japanese students recruited by JAOS members, Canada ranked first, followed by the United States and Australia. For online programs, the Philippines emerged as the leading country with approximately 40% (2,085) of students enrolled, followed by China. The report also highlighted Dubai, South Korea, and Malaysia as emerging destinations for Japanese students, as these countries experienced notable increases in enrollment.

The Japanese government has set an ambitious goal of sending 500,000 students abroad annually by 2033. To achieve this, the government plans to involve education agents and private sector service providers, considering their crucial role. Financial support for students aspiring to study abroad will also be increased to counteract the challenges posed by the depreciation of the yen and global inflation.

It is worth noting that Japan’s declining birth rate, which reached a record low of 799,728 births in 2022, could impact future student mobility. Nevertheless, Tatsuhiko Hoshino, executive secretary at JAOS, expressed optimism, stating that the number of Japanese students pursuing overseas study is expected to continue increasing in the next decade. He believes that by promoting study abroad to high school students, the government can encourage a significant number of them to consider studying abroad and surpass the declining population trend.

In a related development, the Japanese government announced plans to attract 400,000 international students to the country by 2033. This move is seen by some as a means to address the declining young population and declining enrollment in lower-ranked universities. Jeffrey Hall, a lecturer at Japan’s Kanda University, suggested that international students could help save struggling universities from financial difficulties.

At Educli, we have observed a similar trend in the preferences of international students based on our research. We receive close to 30,000 unique visitors per month, with the majority expressing interest in studying in Australia, followed by Canada and the USA. We have also seen a rise in the number of inquiries, confirming the trend mentioned in the article.

If you would like more information about our engagement with international students, please feel free to contact us.