Japanese PM’s visit to India: Higher education tie-up on agenda

Collaboration in higher education is expected to be Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s agenda when he visits India on Friday as his country is keen to attract more Indian students and academics.

While there has already been collaboration between universities in the two countries, Abe’s visit could lead to inter-government collaboration in the field and an agreement could be signed on promoting the Japanese language in India’s educational institutions, especially the IITs, sources said.

“Language is a huge barrier behind Indian students not opting for education and research in Japan despite Japanese institutions figuring in the top 50 engineering colleges in the world,” an official said.

As against more than 100,000 Indian students enrolled in the US, there are just 500 in Japan, government records show.

The lower cost of education in Japan, as compared to US universities, has not been able to attract Indian students. The annual fee for an engineering course at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is over $40,000 while the same course at Tokyo University costs $10,000.

“The visiting delegation will hold dialogues with their Indian counterparts on ways to increase the exchange of students between both countries,” the official said.

There has been a flurry of activity between the two countries on collaboration in education recently.

The Japanese government named University of Tokyo the coordinator for the Study in Japan Project (India) in October last year and tasked it with delivering information about Japanese higher education to Indian students, teachers and parents. A number of India-Japan education summits have been planned for the academic year 2016-17.

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