September 19, 2008

Temple University, Japan Campus (TUJ) announced today that the 2008 fall semester undergraduate enrollment reached 850. This marks a doubling in the number of enrollments since the 2001 fall semester when it received 425 enrollments.

The growth in undergraduate numbers has been dramatic in recent years. While enrollments were stable or experienced slight growth between 2001 and 2004, between 2005 and 2007 annual growth was in the double digits, and easily passed the 800 level in 2008 (see Table 1 below). The key reason for this significant increase was TUJ’s designation by MEXT as the first “Foreign University Japan Campus” in February 2005, which enabled foreign students to apply for student visas. This has resulted in a major increase in students from North America and Europe, which now comprise of one-third of the student body. In the fall 2008 semester, the ratio of Japanese and non-Japanese students is close to 50:50 (see Table 2 below), and some 50 nationalities are represented in the student body.

An indirect contributor to the surge in foreign students in recent years is the dramatic expansion and deepening in interest in Japanese society and culture around the world that goes beyond the traditional Mt. Fuji and geisha image. While Japanese manga and anime have been attracting growing international attention, the current interest in Japanese Pop culture is much wider in scope, including music and drama, which is attracting surprising numbers of the younger generations around the world. For foreign students who are interested in contemporary Japanese culture, TUJ offers a very attractive environment where they can study side-by-side with the Japanese youngsters who embody the culture AND study in English (often their first or second language) AND obtain an American university degree.

At the same time, the number of Japanese students is also increasing. Contributing to this trend are the many Japanese students choosing to stay on our Japan campus rather than transferring to the Temple main campus or other universities overseas. For them, TUJ not only provides a study-abroad gateway, but also offers an attractive environment in which they can have a truly global experience without leaving Japan. This virtuous circle looks set to grow ever stronger, with more foreign students further contributing to the internationalization of the campus, which in turn is attracting greater numbers of Japanese students.

Providing the solid foundation for these growth trends is the same top-quality American style education that TUJ has offered since its establishment in 1982. The value of the education we provide is now widely recognized and appreciated in the context of recent changes experienced in Japanese society. Looking to the future, TUJ is committed to continuing to offer a truly global education in Japan and playing a leading role in the internationalization of the Japanese tertiary education system.

(Table 1)

Growth in Undergraduate Enrollment at Temple University, Japan Campus
(Fall semester. Number in parentheses is year-on-year change.)
2001 425
2002 446 (+4.9%)
2003 484 (+8.5%)
2004 496 (+2.5%)
2005 575 (+15.9%)
2006 678 (+17.9%)
2007 778 (+14.8%)
2008 850 (+9.3%)

(Table 2)

Student body by nationality (Fall 2008 semester)
Japan 52%
US and Canada 31%
China, Taiwan, and Korea 5%
Europe 3%
Others 9%