Japan is New Zealand’s third-largest source of international students and there are long-standing ties with New Zealand institutions. Relationships are at the heart of doing business in Japan and it can take many visits and several years to develop fruitful connections.
With a declining population and desire to re-ignite Japan’s economy, there is renewed focus on international education in Japan.
The Japanese government has set strong goals around internationalisation and the development of globally capable talent to support Japan’s economic growth and competitiveness. There is also increasing interest from students in products outside the traditional English language studies. Students are looking for opportunities that will enable them to develop their language skills along with other skills that will give them an advantage in their future careers.
Japan’s internationalisation goals include both doubling the number of outbound students, from 60,000 a year now to 120,000 by 2020, and doubling the number of inbound students to 300,000 by 2020. Japan has initiatives in place, such as various scholarships, to support these aspirations.
Japan is an agent-led market with a high proportion of students using agents to assist their preparations for study overseas.
The Japanese are more price-conscious than previously, due in part to the weakening Japanese yen and the strengthening New Zealand dollar, and the sluggish Japanese economy. However, there are many scholarships available for students considering study overseas.