• Home
  • News
  • MEXT project aims to boost Japan-Europe student exchanges

MEXT project aims to boost Japan-Europe student exchanges

Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) recently launched a call for applications for its Inter-University Exchange Project initiative to encourage inter-university exchanges between Japanese universities and European universities (including UK universities). The Inter-University Exchange Project was launched in 2011 as an initiative under MEXT and provides financial support towards the formation of collaborative programmes between Japanese universities with universities in designated countries and regions, primarily study abroad programmes for Japanese students.

At the G7 Hiroshima Summit and subsequent meetings, the plan is for MEXT to enhance student exchanges and university collaborations. In the 2024 call guideline, MEXT notes the significance of fostering ties with European universities, driven by shared concerns for economic security and efforts to increase the number of Japanese students studying at postgraduate level in Europe. The initiative aims to strengthen human exchanges in master's degree programmes, focusing on fields crucial to economic security such as semiconductors, AI, quantum technology, and biotechnology.

To achieve this, the updated programme will support the development and implementation of international exchange programmes, with an emphasis on acquiring credits and fostering research cooperation. Two types of programmes are proposed: exchange-type and platform-type, with annual budgets of JPY 16 million and JPY23 million allocated respectively for the implementation period spanning from fiscal year 2024 to 2028.
UK is included as a target destination in the programme’s 2024 call - the deadline for applications is 16th May 2024.  

What it means for the UK sector
Japan is actively seeking to boost the global mindset and competitiveness of its young population through study abroad opportunities for Japanese students and is providing the funding for it. UK universities that already have a form of collaboration/partnership with Japanese universities should therefore work with their Japanese partners to tap into this Inter-University Exchange Project funding. Meanwhile, those that have yet to establish formal collaboration/partnerships should be more intentional in exploring and seeking out potential connections with Japanese universities as opportunities are ripe and student exchange programmes are simpler and quicker to set up than full TNE programmes.