Japan: Penalize universities with the highest number of foreign student dropouts

A considerable number of foreign students have reportedly abandoned their university studies in Japan. The Tokyo University of Social Welfare has recently revealed the proliferation of dropouts among foreign students currently enrolled in Japanese universities. In fact, the whereabouts of around 700 of these foreign students can no longer be traced since April 2018. In response to this alarming trend, the Japanese government intends to impose certain penalties among universities found to have a substantial number of foreign dropouts.


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If necessary, the Education Ministry will hold hearings or conduct a thorough investigation of the different universities in Japan to determine the number of dropouts among its foreign student population.Once the Ministry finds that certain universities lack proper management of their students by failing to meet the standards expected for their improvement, the Education Ministry will then report these universities to the Justice Ministry. Moreover, foreign students enrolled in these so-called problematic universities will be asked to present documentary proof such as scholarship and bank balance certificates, among others.


In addition, the Immigration Services Agency plans to implement more stringent standards with regard to the screening of visa applications from prospective foreign students of Japanese universities. The Agency has also considered the shortening of foreign university students’ visa to one year. By comparison, student visas in Japan are normally valid for approximately four years.


Japan aims to put these planned measures into effect at an early date this year after a public hearing to be conducted later this month. The Japanese government also deems it appropriate to extend these measures against foreign students who are enrolled in Japanese language schools. Its plan is to demand a detailed school report from the different Japanese language schools which reflect all their students’ part-time work that must be limited to 28 hours a week at most.


Reference: After university loses contact with hundreds of foreign students, Japan plans penalties for schools


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