Japan is an important market for U.S. schools that would like to recruit more international students. Japanese students learn about opportunities to study abroad through Study USA fairs, the Internet and media, and study abroad agents.
Study abroad agencies play an important role in this market. To assist U.S. schools and programs, CS Japan can introduce you to appropriate agents through our Gold Key Service (GKS).
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New Student Loan
A non-profit organization, the Japan Scholarship Foundation, which was founded in 1943, and is run with funding from the central government, has been in charge of implementation of low interest student loans. These loans have been only available to those who enroll in high schools, colleges and universities in Japan. This organization will be reformed into a new organization, “Nihon Gakusei Shien Kikou” in March 2004, and will take over the student loan services and possibly expand it to studies abroad. The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in Japan (MEXT) has submitted this plan for reform and $11 million fund for legislation, and it is expected to pass the Diet in March 2004. If this new plan is approved, Japanese students will be able to avail themselves of a low-interest loan to study abroad starting in April 2004.
Japan's "Silver" Market
Japanese society is aging quickly. One fourth of the population of 127.5 million will be 65 years or older in the year 2015, or possibly earlier, compounded by ever-shrinking birth rates of recent years (1.3 level). The retirement age in general is 60, and company employees and civil service personnel usually receive a lump sum retirement payment accrued over nearly 40 years of service. Under the current pension system, senior citizens, who are called "Silvers,・have good disposable income. These senior citizens have time and money to spend to lead an enjoyable life ahead. The potential of the "Silver" market, has attracted a lot of attention as a big prospective market for home care products, nursing homes, and hospital products. Yet the needs of the senior citizens in good health who are looking for enjoyment of life have been attracting surprisingly little attention. Senior citizens in their 60s and 70s have a variety of interests, and many express interest in travel including overseas travel. Many are also interested in study abroad programs. This short briefs about the major potential of Japanese market for elderly citizens with focus on travel/study abroad markets.
2-Year College Market for U.S. Schools
Recently, the number of the Japanese students who wish to enroll in U.S. colleges straight from Japanese schools is increasing. Japanese students・interest in studying in colleges in the U.S. is strong, but the Japanese high school seniors・English proficiency level is not good enough to enroll in most of the 4-year U.S. universities. Japanese student/parents and the study abroad industry have become aware of the merits of U.S. 2-year colleges where the required TOEFL score is generally lower than that for 4-year colleges, and where the tuition and living expenses are often not more than what would cost them for college education in Japan. There is rapidly growing market for U.S. 2-year colleges, especially for those with transfer programs.
This short report briefs the readers on the profile of a total of about 1,500 visitors to Study USA Japan fairs in March 2002 in terms of the male/female ratio, programs of interest, and intended length of stay. The e-learning market is growing rapidly and is expected to reach 1,000 billion yen ($8 billion) in 2010.
There are opportunities for U.S. companies in this emerging market, (1) by jointly developing programs, or (2) by joint venture partnerships with appropriate Japanese companies, or (3) by preparing Japanese versions of existing products and selling them directly to the Japanese population.