• by Emi Maeda
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The Association for the Promotion of Japanese Language Education (Nisshinkyo) held an online ceremony to announce the winners of the Japan Ryugaku Awards 2023 on Sept. 1. The awards are given to universities and vocational schools chosen by faculty members and advisers at Japanese-language schools recommended for international students. The award was established in 2012 by Nisshinkyo’s Academic Research Conference on Japanese Language Schools for the purpose of developing infrastructure facilitating the intake of international students. 

Owing to the immigration restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of foreign students advancing to higher education has fallen significantly for the past few years. Nonetheless, according to immigration statistics, the number of foreign students qualified to study in Japan in December 2022 surged notably. This year, the top 10 schools — five from the eastern region and five from the west — were selected in five categories. 

The University of Tsukuba and Osaka Kyoiku University won in the national university category. 

The University of Tsukuba’s high international student presence stands out among national universities, with over 2,600 students from nearly 120 countries. At Osaka Kyoiku University, faculty members work together to support international students in their academic studies and daily life. The university also offers financial aid, scholarships and dormitories.

In the private university science and engineering category, the Tokyo University of Science and the Fukui University of Technology received the grand prize. The Tokyo University of Science received a commendation for strong initiatives that guarantee international students a preparatory study support system and extensive assistance in daily life. 

The Fukui University of Technology, committed to the international community, offers a substantial scholarship for privately financed students, slashing tuition fees by half. 

In the private liberal arts university category, Takushoku University and the University of Marketing and Distribution Sciences won the grand prize. Takushoku University has a study support office to assist international students with Japanese, including supplementary language classes. The university provides an employment support program specifically tailored for international students. 

The University of Marketing and Distribution Sciences offers classes tailored to the proficiency levels of international students. Additionally, the university provides assistance in acquiring Japanese-language qualifications and hosts Japanese presentations and speech contests.

For vocational schools, the grand prizes were awarded to Bunka Fashion College and Ehle Institute College in the society and culture category, and to Lina me lJapan Electronics College and the Syusei Technical College in the Skills and Technology Category.

Bunka Fashion College has produced creators and designers who excel internationally. This year, the college welcomed over 600 international students. 

Since its inception, Ehle Institute College has upheld the development of global human resources as a core educational philosophy, fostering students’ growth in human skills and self-realization.

Japan Electronics College hosts 405 students from 21 countries, accounting for around 14% of the student body. The college’s commitment is reflected in its remarkable employment statistics, with over 90% of its foreign students securing jobs in the past three years. 

Syusei Technical College provides consistent support to Japanese and international students alike. Its robust system assists students in their post-graduation endeavors, be it employment, transitioning to universities or achieving architectural qualifications.

In May 2023, the Diet passed the Japanese Language Education Institution Accreditation Law to ensure proper and reliable implementation of Japanese-language education. The law is expected to help improve the quality of Japanese-language education.

These are 9 of the 10 schools that received this year’s Japan Ryugaku Awards, recognizing their excellence in supporting international students.


Yu Kimura, Head of public relations
Yu Kimura, Head of public relations

Japan Electronics College

URL: https://www.jec.ac.jp.e.aem.hp.transer.com/

Home to promising futures

Japan Electronics College, established in 1951, has seen over 110,000 of its graduates secure positions at companies worldwide. To date, it has welcomed over 4,500 international students. Currently, the campus is bustling with over 400 students from 21 countries, studying in 20 departments within nine specialized fields, acquiring skills for specialized careers. With the support of the departmental faculty and career center staff, over 90% of international students find jobs in Japan each year. 

Hiroyuki Nakagawa, Chairman
Hiroyuki Nakagawa, Chairman

Kanto Industrial College

URL: https://kanto-koudai.com/

Supporting the automotive industry

Since its establishment in 1979, Kanto Industrial College has graduated more than 12,000 students who have proceeded to the automotive industry. Our college is dedicated to training mechanics who have not only technical expertise, but also possess “a strong ability to persevere” in the dynamic world of automotive technology.
We aspire for you to become professionals who can make a meaningful impact both in Japan and globally.

Daisei Yamano, Principal
Daisei Yamano, Principal

Nihon Kogakuin College, Hachioji Campus

URL: http://ncie.neec.ac.jp/en/

Education in optimal environment

Our International Exchange Salon promotes peer interaction, cultural events and daily advice. The Education and Student Support Department and International Student Center assist with applications. The Health Support Center offers health advice, while the Career Support Center guides on post-graduation paths. We also support international students through special programs and scholarships. Each school is equipped with its own dormitory.

Shunichi Ikeda, Principal
Shunichi Ikeda, Principal

Yokohama Design College

URL: https://www.ydc.ac.jp/

From design, fashion to manga

YDC is celebrating its 75th anniversary. It is an institution of higher education that provides professional education under the School Education Law. It offers courses on visual design, fashion, manga and illustration, among others, and has dedicated departments for international students. Both Japanese and international students share the same academic space, participating in exchange activities such as festivals, sports events and graduation project exhibitions. 

Shoichi Suzuki, President
Shoichi Suzuki, President

Takushoku University

URL: https://lang.takushoku-u.ac.jp/en/

Human resources for tomorrow

Takushoku University is highly acclaimed by international students and Japanese-language institutions. By sharing most of their classes with Japanese, international students engage in daily interactions, which dramatically enhances their Japanese skills. The university also provides scholarships exclusively for international students to ensure they can study without financial concerns, and the learning support office for Japanese-language instruction offers comprehensive support when needed. 

Makoto Shishido, Director, International Center
Makoto Shishido, Director, International Center

Tokyo Denki University

URL: https://www.dendai.ac.jp/en/

Our core value is practicality

Students aiming for a science or engineering degree in Japan need proficiency and thinking skills in Japanese and an understanding of its culture. At TDU, aligned with our belief that “In the technology breathes its creators,” we offer Japanese courses for international students. We aim to nurture students who experience personal growth while pursuing higher education in Japan. We hope that our international students can contribute to the future of people and society through technology.

Masayoshi Noguchi, Vice President/Executive Director of the International Centerr
Masayoshi Noguchi, Vice President/Executive Director of the International Centerr

Tokyo Metropolitan University

URL: https://www.tmu.ac.jp/english/index.html

Pursue an ideal state of humanity

TMU, as the only public university in the metropolis, offers quality education based on research prowess backed by rich academic resources in Tokyo. 

We offer a full degree program in English at the Department of Biological Sciences. Applications for the fall semester will begin in April. Almost all international students are granted tuition waivers and scholarships.
We look forward to welcoming you!

Hideaki Sakata, Vice President
Hideaki Sakata, Vice President

Tokyo University of Science

URL: https://www.tus.ac.jp/en/

Pushing sustainable development

Since its founding in 1881, the Tokyo University of Science has maintained an education policy of “achieving excellence.” 

Many graduates are actively working for high-technology companies. To support international students, we provide freshman-specific guidance, assign a senior student as an adviser to each, manage an international dormitory and help students maintain legal residency in Japan.

Keigo Fujii, President
Keigo Fujii, President

University of Marketing and Distribution Sciences

URL: https://www.umds.ac.jp/

Realize your business life in Japan

UMDS has a rich history of hosting international students. Over the years, it has developed a deep understanding of the skills and aptitudes Japanese companies seek. To ensure a comprehensive experience for them, it has established a department dedicated to offering extensive support in academics, daily life and finding employment opportunities in Japan. For those with ambitions of working in a Japanese company, choosing UMDS is the first step toward fulfilling that aspiration.

For more information on the Japan Ryugaku Awards,
please visit https://www.ryugakuawards.org/
Association for the Promotion of Japanese Language Education

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