Japanese Education System

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The Japanese Education System

The Education Order of 1872 resulted in the first Modern School system being established in Japan. This system modeled European Education systems. In 1947, Educational reforms occurred. The Fundamental Law of Education emerged from the reform, which addressed new aims of the reformed educational system: to contribute towards the peace and welfare of society, to holistically develop the person, and to engender a love for truth and justice among the student population. Declarations of Academic Freedom, equal opportunity and coeducation are key principles of the system. The Education system is divided into various stages of learning, as illustrated below:

Graduate School (2-5 years)
Special Training School (more than 1 year)

Undergraduate School 
Junior College (2-3 years) 
or University (4-6 years)

Technical College (5 years)

Upper Secondary School (high school)
Full Time (3 years) 
Part Time and Correspondence (4 years or more)

Lower Secondary school (middle school) (3 years)
Elementary School (6 years)
Kindergarten (1-3 years)

Education is compulsory until Middle School, but High school education enrollment is universal. Students enter Elementary schools at the age of 6 and graduate from Middle school at the age of 15. The government provides textbooks and free tuition at these stages. There was an increase in the number of students enrolling at high schools in the mid-1960s, reaching an impressive 97.7%. An increased number of persons have also been entering the vocational training schools. At the tertiary level, in July 2003, The National University Corporation Law transformed 89 national universities into independent administrative centres. This was the most significant change in tertiary education since the establishment of the imperial university system in the late 1800s. This is aimed at developing internal self-governance and competitiveness among the Universities. The Academic year begins on April 1st each year and ends on March 31st of the following year.

Culture & Education | Japanese Education System | Study in Japan | MEXT Scholarship Programme | JET Programme