Fund to help students study overseas planned

Kyodo

The government plans to establish a scholarship fund to encourage university students to study abroad, sources said Tuesday.

The education ministry has earmarked ¥3.6 billion in this year’s budget to provide more than ¥100,000 a month to 200 students to study abroad for more than a year and around ¥80,000 for those undertaking shorter periods.

The ministry will also seek financial support from private firms to set up a public-private fund and increase the fund to ¥7 billion to ¥10 billion next fiscal year to provide scholarships for around 20,000 students, the sources said.

According to education ministry figures, 58,0060 Japanese studied abroad in 2010, down 1,863 from the previous year for the sixth straight drop.

The ministry attributes the decline to the nation’s prolonged economic recession, insufficient support systems at universities and an inward-looking attitude among Japanese.

It aims to increase the number of those studying abroad to roughly 120,000 in 10 years to foster a workforce more capable of operating at an international level.