Takeshi Yagi, the Japanese ambassador to India, discussed the possibility of boosting collaborations with Indian institutions and invitational programmes for Indian students wanting to study in Japan at the India-Japan Education Summit. Excerpts:
Are there any new policies that the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Government (MEXT) has devised for Indian students?
MEXT has designated The University of Tokyo India office as ‘Coordinator in India for Higher Education in Japan’. MEXT has also designated four universities, such as the University of Tokyo (UTokyo), Nagaoka University of Technology, Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and Ritsumeikan University, as representatives of the Re-Inventing Japan project, especially for India. Though there are no direct policies for students, these attempts will make Japanese universities more familiar with Indian students.
Tell us about the Coordinator of Study in Japan project (India).
Its task is mainly to deliver the information about Japanese higher education to Indian students, teachers and parents; build a good relationship between them and to gather information about Indian situation of education.
Are Japanese universities ­collaborating with Indian universities?
UTokyo has collaborated with IIT Kharagpur in the field of railways. RITS signed an MoU with IIT Hyderabad to promote educational and academic exchange. Nihon University sends students to Goa University every year. We also have a student exchange programme with Delhi University.
Have Japanese universities announced initiatives to attract more Indian students?
Recently, many Japanese universities have started offering the English medium course recognising the fact that one of the biggest barriers for Indian students to study in Japan is language. The Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), working closely with MEXT, has launched a new short-term invitational programme for Indians up to 40 years of age. The Sakura Science Exchange Programme in Science will invite some 300 Indian university students and young professors to Japan for up to three weeks in 2015-16 with the necessary costs borne by JST. All the applications should be submitted by a Japanese host institute. Details at ssp.jst.go.jp/EN/index.html.