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The education ministry is tightening its oversight of universities accepting students from abroad following revelations that the Tokyo University of Social Welfare lost contact with more than 1,600 of its foreign students in the past three years. The institution has been effectively barred from accepting new students to its preliminary program, designed to prepare students for joining its regular courses, to which most of the students who have gone missing belonged. The ministry and the immigration authorities also plan to bar other universities found to be not adequately managing foreign students from accepting more of them.

The government seems well on course to achieve its target of accepting 300,000 students from abroad by 2020 — the number of foreign students enrolled at domestic institutions reached roughly 299,000 in 2018. However, these students are believed to include those who have come to Japan for the purpose of getting jobs while staying in this country on student visas, and it’s been pointed out that some universities — desperate to secure enough students as the nation’s youth population declines — accept such students in large numbers to stay financially afloat.

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