According to the ministry’s survey, the Tokyo University and Graduate School of Social Welfare lost track of 1,610 international students between 2016 and 2018, more than double the 700 initially reported missing since April 2018.
At the time, the university said the students had been expelled but were unaware of their whereabouts.
“We can’t overlook the problems of the university having easily accepted foreign students”
“The university bears a huge responsibility for the large number of missing students and illegal aliens,” education minister Masahiko Shibayama said in a press conference.
“We can’t overlook the problems of the university having easily accepted foreign students and allowed increases in the number of missing students and illegal overstayers due to inappropriate enrollment management.”
The ministry’s survey, submitted after five site visits, concluded the university had accepted overseas students without adequately managing enrolments, and found many of the premises were inappropriate for study.
In one example, restrooms were located in temporary classrooms and were often used by students while others were using the room for study. Other learning facilities came from repurposed apartments.
The university will now be required to show evidence that it has improved its international student recruitment practices by the end of July, with no further visa applications accepted for the university until then.
Shibayama reiterated the government’s position to tighten scrutiny of providers enrolling international students and said broader investigations would occur to determine if other education providers were in the same position.
Launching its initial investigation in March, the government also signalled broader changes to student visas, which would see providers who fail to improve their standards referred to the Justice Ministry.
Japan currently hosts 299,000 international students and is targeting 300,000 by 2020.