What is the YKK Leaders 21 Scholarship?

The YKK Leaders 21 Scholarship is an international scholarship for foreign students hoping to study in Japan at the graduate level in the field of natural science. The scholarship has been formulated by the Yoshida Scholarship Foundation. There are four qualities in which applicants need to be able to prove in order to gain acceptance: quality academic grades, clear purpose as to why they wish to specifically study in Japan, the intent to in some way give back to society via their research, and leadership qualities.

This scholarship offers ¥2,500,000 for graduate school expenses as well as ¥200,000 per month for living expenses for the term of the scholarship.  Round trip tickets to Japan are also provided.  A family allowance may be granted if the applicant is married and their spouse is not working and will cover ¥20,000 per month should the spouse decide to live in Japan as well.  The length of the scholarship covers two years for master’s students and three for doctoral.

Tokyo Sky Tree, Japan

There are only certain schools in Japan that this scholarship pertains to, and there will only be one scholarship recipient per school.  Those schools are as follows: (Public Schools)The University of Tokyo, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Nagoya University, Kyoto University, Osaka University, Kyushu University, (Private Schools) Keio University, Waseda University, Doshisha University, and Kwansei Gakuin University.

Who is eligible for the YKK Leaders 21 Scholarship?

This scholarship specifically targets nationals of Asian and African countries only.  These countries are as follows: Countries in Southeast Asia
(Indonesia, Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos, East Timor), Countries in South Asia
(India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives), Countries in West Asia (Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, United Arab Emirates, Armenia, Yemen, Israel, Iraq, Iran, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Georgia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, Bahrain, Jordan, Lebanon), Countries in Central Asia (Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tadzhikistan, Turkmenistan), and Countries in Africa.

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Those who wish to apply must have also graduated from a university within a nation within the scope of the scholarship, however, it does not need to be a university from their country of origin.  Candidates for a scholarship in a master’s program cannot be more than 30 years of age and candidates for a scholarship in a doctoral program cannot be more than 35 years of age.

How to apply for the YKK Leaders 21 Scholarship

Firstly, applicants must be accepted into one of the universities listed above.  In order to do so, an entrance examination might be necessary.  If a candidate has been recommended by a Japanese institution the Yoshida Scholarship Foundation is willing to pay for travel costs, including airfare, 3 nights in a hotel, and the examination fee.  Two letters of recommendation are required, one written in Japanese from a professor at the desired school of enrollment and one written either in English or Japanese from a professor from the applicant’s prior school of enrollment.

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Additionally, during the course of their studies, recipients are required to provide periodical reports (twice a year), as well as a final report once graduated to to Yoshida Scholarship Foundation.  Academic transcripts must also be provided to the foundation yearly.  Recipients are also encouraged to participate with YSF activities including cultural exchange events and study excursions.  Though not required, the aim is to create long lasting relationships within the Foundation’s community, primarily between other scholarship recipients, both current and previous.