An Analysis of Recent Internationalization of Education in Japan: A Case Study of Nepalese Students

Monday, July 14, 2014: 4:15 PM
Room: 315
Oral Presentation
Saori YASUMOTO , Human Sciences, Osaka University, Osaka, Japan
Lai Ming LAM , Human Sciences, Osaka University, Osaka, Japan
In this paper, we discuss the experiences of Japanese language school students from Nepal, as a case study, to understand the emerging new trends and issues surrounding the internationalization of education system in Japan. In 2008, the Japanese government proposed the goal to recruit 300,000 international students by 2020. Due to the effort of the Japanese government and school systems, the number of international students has been increasing; however, the patterns of international students have been changing simultaneously. For example, Chinese and Korean students, who used to be the most popular group of international students, are now less likely to choose Japan as their destination country to pursue their education. Instead, the number of students from Nepal, Vietnam and Myanmar has been increasing in the last five years.

To explain the new trends, we discuss the push-pull factors for the changes. Also, the international students need to acquire Japanese language skills to be enrolled in the Japanese university system, the Japanese language school often serves as the first school for many international students. For this reason, we focus the role of Japanese language schools to discuss students’ perspectives on life in Japan. Based on the case study of Nepalese students, we found that the most of them are “self-funding” students. Although they hope to pursue higher education and better career prospects, providing financial support to their families in Nepal has become the top priority. Nepalese students have to work double or even triple jobs to manage the heavy debt from study abroad, high living cost in Japan and support families in Nepal; consequently, many students face challenges to pursue their dreams. In addition, some of them expressed cultural differences and isolation from the society. Based on the analysis, we propose social implications of the emerging trend of international students.