Japan cracks down on Japanese-language schools
Japan’s government has announced it will make it more difficult for international students at Japanese-language schools to complete their courses quickly and spend the remainder of the year working.
The announcement comes following concerns that the rapid increase in the number of schools has led to a deterioration in the quality of the education on offer.
“What we need to do is to have Japanese language schools refocus on what they are supposed to do”
The number of Japanese-language schools in the country has reportedly risen from 461 in 2011 to about 680 as of April.
Currently, Japanese-language students are allowed to finish a school year in as little as six months at some institutions, with Asian media reporting that a number of institutions have promoted this to students as an opportunity to work.
One report revealed the revision of school licensing requirements will include a requirement that each course last at least 35 weeks a year.
According to data published by the Japan Student Services Organization, the number of international students in the country reached a record high 267,042 as of May 2017, bringing it well on its way to achieving its target of 300,000 international students by 2020.
The number of students enrolled in Japanese language institutes also increased in 2017, up by 15.4％ to 78,658.
China (27,758), Vietnam (26,182) and Nepal (6,650) were revealed to be the top three nations for students in Japanese-language institutions in Japan last year.
However, some critics argue that a large portion of these international students are chiefly motivated to work, rather than study.
Japan’s Justice Ministry said it believes the increasing number of schools has been driven by their growing willingness to accept students who come to Japan primarily to work.
“What we need to do is to have Japanese language schools refocus on what they are supposed to do, namely to provide Japanese-language learning,” a Justice Ministry official said.
It is expected the new regulations will take effect in October 2018.