Organised under the "Global 30" project which aims to invite 300,000 foreign students to Japan, the third annual Japanese education fair provided guidance and first-hand counselling to over 1,000 students from Delhi's schools and colleges. The fair will also be held in Bangalore and Pune.
"India's huge student population is a great attraction and we definitely want to increase our share in the pie," Satoshi Hata, general manager of the Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto told IANS. Acknowledging that Japanese universities were not very popular in India, Hata said that currently only about 550 Indian students study in Japan as compared to 1.5 lakh in the US.
However, "affordable higher education", when compared to the US, UK and Australia, as well as a "holistic learning environment" tilts the scale in favour of Japan, Hata said. The universities are offering English-only degree courses available at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels, as well as an improvement in student support services like opportunities to learn Japanese and chances of an internship at Japanese companies.
"Japan's relationship with India has improved significantly, especially in terms of economic welfare. We now need to take this effort one step ahead and enhance human relationships.
Education will play a major role," Japanese ambassador to India Takeshi Yagi said. According to a 2012 report by the Indian Institute of Management-Bangalore, the number of Indian students going overseas rose a stunning 256 percent -- from 53,266 to 189,629 -- between 2000 and 2009.