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Background to the Top Global University Project

What will Japanese higher education be like ten years from now? With the shrinking of the productive-age population due to the falling birthrate and aging population and accelerated globalization of socioeconomic activities, higher education in Japan will undergo unprecedented changes.
Many countries around the world have been taking strategic measures to promote education as the key to progress of science and technology and development of high-caliber human resources. Meanwhile, the rapid globalization of society in various ways has increased the mobility of students and researchers. Consequently, competition and cooperation across national and regional borders is accelerating in the field of higher education.

Percentage of
overseas production
by manufacturers

(Source) "Overseas production ratio of manufacturers", Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (July 2014)

Purpose of the Top Global University Project for the future of Japan

Japanese universities must meet the expectations of society as knowledge hubs that play a leading role in the growth of Japan. The missions of Japanese universities include attracting high-caliber researchers and students from around the world, and increasing their presence in the world's higher education market to vie on an equal footing with the world's top universities.
Another important mission is to develop human resources with a global mindset, who are tolerant and accepting of different cultures, who can contribute to solving global problems and opening up a bright future, who can play a leading role in international society, and who are willing to work for the wellbeing of communities with a global perspective.
To accomplish these missions, universities are required to increase the international compatibility of their educational and administrative systems and organizational cultures and enhance international competitiveness by leveraging respective capacities and strengths.

Yearly change in the
number of
Japanese students
studying abroad

NOTES on the value of 2013: It cannot be compared with previous year because the objects of surveys were almost completely changed to “international students who moved abroad for the purpose of the studying” from “foreigner students, including who originally resides the country“.

(Sources) "Education at a Glance" by OECD; UNESCO Institute for Statistics; "Open Doors" by IIE;
Ministry of Education of China; Ministry of Education of Taiwan
"Survey on Japanese students studying abroad under inter-university agreements, etc." by Japan Student Services Organization

The Abe Administration places great importance on education rebuilding along with economic revival. The Education Rebuilding Implementation Council designated "university reform" and "development of global human resources" as priority issues, and recommended that intensive support be provided to universities working to comprehensively internationalize their educational programs and environment.
In response, MEXT launched the Top Global University Project to offer prioritized support to those universities that are conducting world-leading education and research and that are leading the globalization of Japanese society through comprehensive university reform and internationalization.