Japanese universities are racing to attract international students to raise competitiveness among their ranks, as well as their global counterparts. The government is also taking steps to help them.

Young international talent tends to shun Japan — due to the language barrier — in favor of top universities in the U.S. and Europe where English is typically the language of instruction. As a result, Japanese universities generally place lower in global university rankings.

The government wants to change this situation, adopting a goal of increasing the number of foreign students in Japan to 300,000 by 2020 and having 10 Japanese universities rank among the top 100 universities in the world by 2023.