The Government of Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT or Monbukagakusho  (文部科学省)), as of 2015, has been providing assistance in forms of scholarships to approximately 102,000 foreign students. Additionally, they have the MEXT National Scholarship program, or the Monbugakusho scholarship program, which sponsors the whole study period of Research, Teacher Training, Undergraduate, Japanese Studies, College of Technology, and Special Training students in Japan.

The Inclusions of the National Scholarship

The scholarship provides students with waived tuition fees when enrolled in a national university or the Institute of National Technology. Tuition fees are paid by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology when enrolled in a public or private university, a stipend of ¥143,000 – 148,000 per month for students who are attaining a graduate school level of education while students who are planning on pursuing an undergraduate level of education will receive a stipend of  ¥117,000 – 120,000 per month. The scholarship also provides a roundtrip air ticket to the student’s home country.

Japanese Yen

Basic Qualifications of Undergraduate and Graduate-level Students

  • Nationality: Eligible applicants must have a nationality of a country with diplomatic relations with Japan. Students with Japanese nationalities at the time of application are not eligible to receive the international scholarship.
  • Visa and Resident Status: Eligible applicants must acquire a ryuugaku (留学) or student visa to be qualified for the international scholarship.

Criteria for Prospective Grant Receivers

Recommended by a Japanese embassy or consulate general (Embassy Recommendation).

  • The student can apply for the scholarship at the Japanese embassy or the consulate of their country of nationality.
  • There is a test for the applicants to receive an embassy recommendation, with all applicants receiving a test assessing their Japanese and English abilities while the Japanese studies students only have to take the Japanese test. Undergraduate, College of Technology, and Special training college students are also given an evaluation on their comprehension on mathematics while Undergraduate and College of Technology students are given an exam to evaluate their knowledge on the sciences.

Recommended by the Japanese university which has accepted the student (University Recommendation).

  • The university where the student is accepted will recommend the applicant who has a good academic record for the scholarship.

Selected by the Japanese university wherein the student is currently enrolled in if they are a privately-financed student already studying in Japan (Domestic Selection)

  • The student, who is enrolled in the university and is currently paying for their tuition and living expenses, is recommended by the university to receive the scholarship.

Desk and laptops

Aims of the Japanese National Scholarship

The Program aims to provide the MEXT scholarship to 4,957 students in 2019, with focus on 4,042 Research students, 89 Teacher Training students, 460 Undergraduate students, 190 Japanese Studies students, 86 College of Technology students and 90 Special Training students.

Students who received the MEXT Scholarship
Students who received the MEXT Scholarship

The National Scholarship is only offered to students under 35 years old if attaining a graduate school level of education, at least 17 to 25 years old for Undergraduate, College of Technology, and Special Training college students, and at least 18 to 30 years old for Japanese studies students.  Additionally, the MEXT scholarship for Teacher training, College of Technology, and Special Training college students intend to provide the grant to students who are from developing countries while the Research, Undergraduate, and Japanese Studies student grants are available for people from countries worldwide.