Growing International Recognition Sees Foreign Students Surpass 50% at TUJ

October 2, 2009

Enrollments for the Fall 2009 semester at Temple University, Japan Campus (TUJ) saw the number of international students exceed those of local Japanese students for the first time. Allied with consistent growth in the student population over the past decade, these new figures highlight TUJ’s success as a pioneer committed to offering a truly global education in Japan, and growing international acceptance and demand for the quality education TUJ provides.

In Fall 2009, the 440 non-Japanese students who now comprise 51% of the undergraduate body include some 56 nationalities. The greatest number of students are from North America, followed by those from the East Asia and the Asia Pacific regions (See Table 1 below for details). This culturally diverse student body contributes to an inspiring and supportive environment for local and foreign students alike, and is indispensable to providing a truly international education not only in the lecture hall, but also on campus and in the community.

In recent years TUJ’s undergraduate enrollment has increased steadily, doubling the 2001 enrollment to reach 850 in Fall 2008. In 2009, the Fall semester enrolment further increased to 863. At the same time, the non-Japanese student population, below 40% at the beginning of the decade, now exceeds 50% of undergraduate enrollments for the first time in TUJ’s history. The key to this surge in non-Japanese student numbers was the designation by the Japan Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in February 2005 of Temple University, Japan Campus as the first “Foreign University Japan Campus”, which enabled TUJ to sponsor student visas.

However, not all foreign students at TUJ are ryugakusei or study abroad students. Rather, non-Japanese students at TUJ fall into three broad categories, including two types of ryugakusei and foreign students living in Japan. The first type of ryugakusei are those who apply directly to and are admitted by the Japan Campus, with many of them completing a full 4-year program in Japan. This long-term ryugakusei comprise half of the total international students. The second type of ryugakusei are short-term study-abroad students who come from Temple’s Main Campus in the US, and study at the Japan Campus for a period from one semester up to one year. The third category comprises the many non-Japanese students living in Japan on non-student visas, such as working professionals and family members of foreign embassy officials or employees of multinational firms.

The wide-ranging backgrounds of TUJ’s international students further contribute to the diversity on campus, and the unique character of TUJ among universities in Japan where few universities have so many nationalities represented or such a high ratio of North American students. This diversity is indispensable to a truly international and global education, enabling TUJ to continue to play a leading role in the internationalization of the Japanese tertiary education system.

Table 1

Fall 2009 Undergraduate Student Enrollment by Region
North America (US and Canada) 303 (35.1%)
East Asia
(China, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong)
43 (5.0%)
Other countries in Asia-Pacific 32 (3.7%)
South America, Africa and Middle East 32 (3.7%)
Europe and Russia 30 (3.5%)
Total - International students 440 (51%)
Japanese students 423 (49%)
Total - All students 863 (100%)