Japanese Enrollment in U.S. Universities Plunges

      April 12, 2010 09:21

      The number of Japanese students enrolling in U.S. universities is plummeting due to a preference for "the comfort of home," the Washington Post reported Sunday.

      "Once a voracious consumer of American higher education, Japan is becoming a nation of grass-eaters," the report said, using a popular Japanese expression that refers to "a person who avoids stress, controls risk and grazes contentedly in home pastures."

      According to the report, undergraduate enrollment by Japanese students in U.S. universities has fallen 52 percent since 2000, and graduate enrollment has dropped 27 percent. In contrast, Chinese and Indian students have soared by 164 percent and 190 percent respectively over the same period.

      "The construction inside Japan of more than 200 new universities has made it easy to find an affordable education without enduring jet lag and having to learn English," the daily said. "At the same time, Japan's low birthrate is constricting college enrollment, both inside and outside the country."

      Another reason for the trend is a bias among some Japanese employers against workers with a degree from the U.S. "At big Japanese companies, many bosses don't like what they see as the sometimes uppity and overly independent ways of American-educated young Japanese," the paper quoted a Japanese magazine publisher as saying.

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