How many students does Japan send to the UK, and for how long?
In 2017, 13,579 Japanese studied in the UK, staying an average 5.8 weeks. In all, they accounted for 4.4 per cent of student weeks.
Numbers in private sector centres continued to decline slightly, by 4.9 per cent, but with an upturn of half a percentage point in student weeks. (Student Statistics 2018)
Where do Japanese ELT students study?
Most Japanese students head for private sector centres, with 11,025 compared to 2,554 in the state sector in 2018. However, Japan represents a more important sending market for the state sector where it is the third biggest, behind China and Saudi Arabia. Japan is the ninth most important sending market for the private sector.
(Student Statistics 2018)
Who are the Japanese ELT students?
The market is changing with juniors becoming much more important.
(QUIC executive summary)
What's the English UK view of the Japanese ELT market?
Jodie Gray, English UK's Director of Strategic Development, says: "After a dip, Japan is seeing numbers recover again with been a drive by Japanese government to encourage study abroad. There are some scholarships - not enough in numbers to change the market – but it's the sign of the direction of travel and I think that's leading to a trigger for growth especially in the junior segment."
"A lot of this is about Japanese parents wanting to give their children the edge by sending them overseas. But there is still an adult market, and still a market for different types of courses such as English with fashion. Courses for older Japanese people are popular as well.
"This is a market that is massively safety-conscious."
How is English UK helping to support members in the Japanese market?
This year there was a delegation of Japanese agents at StudyWorld in September, brought in by English UK member Shoko Doherty of Celtic English in Cardiff.
The English UK Asia Pacific Roadshow in November will introduce members to agents in Osaka, Japan and Bangkok, Thailand. Each event will include a networking dinner, agent training sessions and a full day of one-to-one business meetings. English UK members and services providers can attend one or both events.
Though published in 2013, the English Language Market Report: Japan may give some useful pointers to members who want to explore this market further. At our Marketing Conference in 2018, Shoko Morimoto gave a presentation on the ELT market in Japan.
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