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Planning studies in Japan

Japanese Educational System

In Japan, higher education starts upon the completion of 12 years of education: elementary education (6 years of elementary school) and secondary education (3 years of lower secondary school and 3 years of upper secondary school). There are 5 types of higher education institutions that international students can be admitted to, which are 1) Colleges of technology, 2) Professional training colleges (postsecondary course of specialized training colleges), 3) Junior colleges, 4) Universities (undergraduate) and 5) Graduate schools. Depending on the founding bodies, these higher education institutions are categorized into three types: national, local public and private.

Japanese Educational System
  • After completing your major at a junior college or college of technology recognized by the National Institution for Academic Degrees and University Evaluation (NIAD-UE), you can obtain your "bachelor's degree" if you pass the examination set by the NIAD-UE. Please check for further details from the school you are applying to.
Japanese Educational System
academic year
The long holiday seasons are usually in the summer (end of July ~early September), winter (end of December ~early January) and spring (February ~March).

Most higher educational institutions in Japan set their academic year from April to March of the following year. Many higher educational institutions adopt the semester system, and most start their academic year in April, although there are also some that begin in autumn.

Number of higher education institutions
National Local public Private Total
Colleges of technology 51 3 3 57
Proffesional training colleges 9 189 2,962 3,160
Junior colleges - 17 314 331
86 93 603 782
Graduate schools 86 83 467 636
Data from the 2018 School Basic Survey by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
※ The Open University of Japan is categorized as a private university.