Universities in Japan

Aoyama Gakuin University (AGU)

Tokyo, Japan
Aoyama Gakuin University is a Japanese Christian university based in Shibuya near Tokyo, Japan. The school is part of a comprehensive educational institute called Aoyama Gakuin. The institution consists of a kindergarten, an elementary school, junior and senior high schools, and a women's junior college. The university itself was founded in 1874 to currently offer undergraduate and graduate opportunities in literature, law, economics, business, international politics, economics and communication, science and engineering, cultural and creative studies. The university also has specialized... See full description.

International University of Japan

Niigata, Japan
Located in the city of Niigata, the International University of Japan (IUJ) is a renowned institution of higher learning offering graduate programs leading to Masters Degrees in several subject areas under two graduate schools: the Graduate School of International Relations (GSIR) and the Graduate School of International Management (GSIM). History of the International University of Japan Below is a timeline highlighting the history of the International University of Japan: 1976- The Foundation for the Establishment of the International University of Japan was... See full description.

Kyoto University

Kyoto, Japan
Kyoto University was founded in 1897. Currently consists of 10 faculties and students are about 23,000. Of them, about 1,500, come from other countries. This University is considered one of the most prestigious in the world.

Tokyo Business School

Tokyo, Japan
The Tokyo Business School is a private university, part of the United International Business Schools organization, that offers flexible business and management studies at the Undergraduate/Bachelor/BBA, Graduate/Master/MBA, Executive/EBBA/EMBA/EDBA levels in a small-scale, cross-cultural and English-speaking environment. Undergraduate/Bachelor/BBA, Graduate/Master/MBA, Executive/EBBA/EMBA/EDBA, Business Administration, Economics.

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About universities in Japan

Post-secondary education is prized in Japan, so it’s no wonder the country boasts one of the largest systems of higher education in the developed world.  Each year more than three million students are enrolled in more than 1200 universities and junior colleges, while many more decline early enrollment to study for the very difficult admission examinations.  Japan also has one of the largest systems of private education in the world, schools that cater to close to 75 percent of the total student population.
Unlike some countries, particularly the United States, the public system of higher education in Japan, which includes national and local public universities, is considered much more prestigious than a private education, and is very competitive.  Over 90 percent of the Japanese budget for higher education is allocated to these public institutions, which include names such as the University of Tokyo and Kyoto University, both of which regularly place very high in worldwide university rankings (by comparison, in the U.S., the highest ranked schools, such as Harvard, Yale and Stanford, are all private).
Students applying for admittance into one of Japan’s public universities must pass a very rigorous entrance exam, which partially explains why the private institutions are more heavily attended.  Students who fail to achieve a passing score on this exam (nearly half of all students fail on their first attempt) have a number of options.  Naturally, they could forgo college altogether, or they could apply for admittance into one of the private institutions.  The third option, and the one that is most popular, is to wait a year while studying to take the exam again.  This option is so popular, in fact, that the students preparing to retake the exam actually have a name:  “ronins,” which translates to “masterless Samurais.” 
Each year, ronins account for approximately one-quarter of the total number of students taking the national university exam, with the other 75 percent being high school graduates taking it for the first time.  In the year these ronins spend preparing to retake the exam many of them will attend “yobikou,” private schools that ready students for the entrance exam.  Yobikou is a very popular option for students and is exceedingly successful as a means of preparation.  Last year alone ronins who attended yobikou to ready themselves for retaking the exam accounted for about 40 percent of new entrants to public universities.
Compared to the United States and Europe, the Japanese system of graduate education is surprisingly underdeveloped, with only 7 percent of undergraduates pursuing a graduate degree compared to 15-20 percent in the U.S and Europe.  Master Degree programs are available at nearly 60 percent of the public and private universities, while the number of doctorate-level programs is much smaller, and generally offered only at public institutions.  The offerings at these schools are very limited, and the total enrollment accounts for only 4 percent of the overall student population.  Of that 4 percent, the overwhelming number of students are enrolled at one of Japan’s national universities—the total opposite of the undergraduate landscape, where private school enrollment dominates.
The small percentage of students pursuing a graduate-level education can be explained by many factors, but perhaps most significant is the limited demand for Masters or doctorate-level graduates.  Large corporations in Japan prefer to hire students who possess an undergraduate degree only, and educate and train those individuals at the corporate level, providing the knowledge and skills necessary for success in that particular industry.

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