Study in Japan
Japan: The rising sun for education
Yuji Nishikawa, India Liaison Representative, Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), shares his views on why Japan is slowly becoming a preferred education destination for Indian students.
Do you know how many Indian students are studying in Japan? According to a statistics by Japan Students Services Organisation (JASSO), there were only 541 in 2011, but the number had doubled to 1,015 in 2015. isn’t it amazing? It is much more amazing to know that the number of Chinese students in Japan is 98,483 and furthermore, 19,471 from. Nepal and 3,976 from Sri Lanka in 2015. Everyone wonders why?
I have visited so many universities and schools in India, starting with top ten llTs and five llSERs, University of Delhi, Bombay, Bangalore, etc., since JST is promoting joint research programmes with Indian research institutes. JST is also inviting hundreds of students and young researchers from India to Japan on our Sakura Science Plan (SSP) every year since 2015.
When I visit schools and universities, I always ask them why only a few students prefer to go to Japan for higher education? The answer is always the same, “Japanese language and food are the major barriers to go to Japan.” Is that true?
In fact, students from China, Nepal, Sri Lanka ,etc., face the same language barriers.
In addition, Muslim students from Malaysia, for example, face food barrier, since they eat only Halal food. Still, why there are three times the number (2,734) of Malaysian students studying in Japan. Strict vegetarians may have some difficulty but there are many Indian restaurants and all sorts of Indian food materials are available in Japan. So, if they learn to cook a little, I am sure they can manage.
As for the language, Indian people have a strong advantage because they are multi- linguals and many people say that the grammatical structure of Japanese and Hindi is quite similar. In graduate courses of top universities, you can study/research in English only and English-media courses are increasing even in under-graduate courses as well.
As commonly known, Japan is one of the safest and cleanest countries in the world. People there are very kind and friendly to foreigners. There are many non-Japanese TV talents. Bollywood movies have gained popularity in Japan. Everyone injapan knows about Yoga.
I also ask two questions to Indian students –
- When did the first Indian reach Japan, according to an official record?, and
- What is the most favoured dish (food) in Japan?
Very few can answer correctly. The answers are
- In 736 AD, an Indian high priest, Bodhisena, visited Japan and lead the eye-opening ceremony of the great Buddha statue in Nara, and since then the Buddhism is the centre of Japanese spiritual culture, and
- All Japanese people love curry-rice. Of course, it originates in India. Likewise, very little is known to India about Japan, although we have such a long and deep-rooted historical and cultural relation.
At present, diplomatic relations between India and Japan are extremely good. Japanese government and industry are keen to strengthen and widen their ties with India. I believe India side is also seeking the same. Japanese Government, industry and academia now provide a lot of support to Indian students in the form of scholarship and exchange programmes to study in Japan.
As for the standard of higher education in Japan, just look at the number of Nobel Laureates of Japanese origin, which is 26. it is the largest in Asia, of course. The number of those in natural science in the 21st Century is the 2nd largest, just after the USA. Needless to say about the high standard of engineering and manufacturing technology of Japan.
The number of Japanese companies investing in India is increasing year by year, providing huge job opportunities in India. In addition, Japan needs many talented engineers, especially in IT industry.
Japanese Government, industry and academia now provide a lot of support to Indian students in the form of scholarship and exchange programmes to study in Japan.
Japan has achieved an almost perfect employment rate. Anyone can be employed if s/he really wishes so. Some companies have even been forced to shut down their business due to shortage of manpower. Getting a work-visa is not difficult for those who studied in Japan.
Recently, I met a young man who graduated from IIT Hyderabad, got a Japanese government full scholarship and got a Master’s degree in Japan. He then got a job at Suzuki Motors. He confidently said, “If l go to the USA, I may be just one of many, but if I go to Japan, I am one of few and therefore have more value and chance.”
If talented, hard-working and aspiring Indian students come to Japan to study and learn Japanese language, I am sure they will have a bright future.
In 736 AD, an Indian high priest, Bodhisena, visiled Japan and lead the eye-opening ceremony of the great Buddha statue in Nara, and since then the Buddhism is the centre of Japanese spiritual culture. As far as food is concerned, Japanese love rice-cun y that originates Irom India.