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Japan: HEI makes study abroad compulsory

Japan’s Chiba University has revealed that study abroad will become a compulsory element of undergraduate and postgraduate programs for all students entering the university from 2020.

The university estimates that from 2023 approximately 10,000 undergraduate and 3,500 postgraduate students will gain overseas study experience as a result of the initiative. Photo: Chiba U

Mobilty increased 9% in 2017 according to JASSO

As reported by British Council, students will be expected to study abroad for between one week and 2 months at least once during their degree, with tuition fees at the destination institution covered by Chiba U.

From 2023, approximately 10,000 students will gain overseas study experience

The university estimates that from 2023 approximately 10,000 undergraduate and 3,500 postgraduate students will gain overseas study experience as a result of the initiative.

Chiba U has been a leading proponent of study abroad in recent years.  In 2016, it introduced a 6-semester system to facilitate access to overseas programs.

Meanwhile, in the same year overseas study became compulsory for students enrolling in the university’s newly established College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

The success of this pilot initiative is thought to have encouraged the university to introduce compulsory study abroad across the whole university. The university has also been active in developing partnerships with overseas institutions and now has student exchange agreements with around 300 institutions.

Chiba U is one of many institutions across Japan to expand its provision of study abroad opportunities.

According to the latest statistics from the Japan Student Services Organization, more than 105,000 Japanese students chose to undertake a study abroad program in 2017, a 9% increase from the previous year.

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