Student and mobility data
Due to the demographic decrease, the higher education student population in Japan declined by 3.9% between 2004 and 2009 to reach 3 874 224 students in 2009. The decrease in the number of students studying abroad over the same period is even higher. Study abroad students make up 1.2% when considered as a percentage of all students enrolled in Japan.
However, with 44 677 Japanese students registered abroad, Japan is among the top ten sending countries of international students worldwide.
In Europe, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Austria are among the top host countries of Japanese students. European countries face strong competition from the United States which host 64% of all Japanese students abroad and from Australia.
While the total number of students at Japanese higher education institutions decreased, the enrolment in ISCED* level 6 programmes (leading to an advanced research qualification, such as a PhD) increased by 4.2% between 2004 and 2009. In 2009, 74 395 students were registered at this level of study.
According to UNESCO statistics for 2009, students in Japanese higher education are mainly enrolled in social sciences, business and law (29% of all students), sciences, engineering, manufacturing and construction (18%) and the humanities and arts (16%).
*International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED), designed by UNESCO