On August 5, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology presented a new vision for the campaign “Tobitate! Ryugaku Japan,” which is a public-private partnership to support students studying abroad, from next fiscal year to 2027. With the goal of restoring the number of international students, which has plummeted due to the corona crisis, to the pre-corona level by the end of the 2015 fiscal year, the plan will greatly support high school students to study abroad. Specifically, in addition to greatly expanding the scholarship system for high school students supported by companies, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology will act as an advisor and provide support to local governments that support high school students studying abroad. A Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology official said, “By supporting high school students who vaguely want to study abroad, even if it’s just for a short period of time, it will lead to voluntary study abroad after entering university.”
“Tobitate! Ryugaku Japan” started in fall 2013 with the goal of doubling the number of high school students studying abroad to 60,000 and university students to 120,000. It was originally scheduled to run until 2020, but was extended to 2022 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Funds collected from private companies, etc. are provided to students who wish to study abroad as scholarships that do not need to be repaid, and a social club activity by high school students established for the purpose of fostering momentum for studying abroad, “#Sekaibu”. , etc., to encourage students to study abroad. As a result, the number of university students studying abroad nearly doubled from 52,132 in fiscal 2014 to 115,846 in fiscal 2018.
On the other hand, the number of high school students studying abroad went from 35,842 in 2015 to 46,869 in 2017, falling short of the target. A Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology official said, “Compared to universities, there are fewer options for scholarship programs for high school students to study abroad. In addition, regional disparities are becoming apparent.” According to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, in fiscal 2015 Fukui Prefecture ranked second in terms of the percentage of students studying abroad per 100 high school students, at 2.89%, while Shimane Prefecture ranked last at 0.49%. There are large gaps even among municipalities of a large scale. In addition, the study abroad business has retreated at once due to the corona misfortune. The number of university students studying abroad dropped sharply to 1,487 in fiscal 2020.
In order to develop global leaders who will lead the future of Japan, the new vision will significantly strengthen the promotion of high school students to study abroad. From fiscal 2014 to 2010, approximately 6,100 university students and approximately 3,400 high school students received scholarships. From fiscal 2011 to 2015, the proportion of high school students will be greatly increased to 1,000 university students and 4,000 high school students. Based on the concept of producing “research leaders who bring innovation to society,” 360 people a year have a “my research course” that explores themes that they are interested in, and a “social research course” that explores themes that lead to solving social issues and contributing to society. 200 students per year for the “Inquiry Course” and 140 students for the “Sports and Arts Inquiry Course”, where students participate in local lessons while exploring themes that contribute to sports and the arts.
In addition, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) are working together to create a base for providing financial support and know-how on studying abroad to prefectures in order to create opportunities for high school students to study abroad. Start a new support project. A total of 12 prefectures will be selected over the next two years. For prefectures that have been selected, we will support scholarships and necessary expenses for about 50 people a year for a total of 12.5 million yen for three years. 2 years for scholarships. As a condition of receiving support, it is necessary to secure funds for scholarships of at least 5 million yen each year from donations from 10 or more companies in principle. In the future, we will consider the method of recruitment and adoption by prefectures.
In addition, we will create a system that can visualize and share the efforts of local governments, companies, and schools that are working to increase the number of existing high school teachers’ networks, “#world club member schools,” and the efforts of local governments, companies, and schools. Details of the next vision can be found on the special page on the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology website.