Nepal has had a friendly relationship with Japan for a long time. The diplomatic relations between Japan and Nepal was established in 1956. To further strengthen the alliance between the two countries, Japan has been providing Official Development Assistance (ODA) programs in several sectors in Nepal to support its development. It has helped foster human resources, technology transfer and infrastructure development through various technical cooperation projects.
As part of its cooperation in the capacity building segment, Japan supports in dispatching Nepalese students to Japan for further education courses such as masters, doctorate etc. So far, many Nepalese students have undertaken various courses, pursued degrees in various fields, and have benefitted immensely.
Ekai Kawaguchi, a Buddhist monk, was the first Japanese to visit Nepal. He had visited Nepal in 1899 at the age of 34 and stayed at Boudhanath temple for a few months, on his pilgrimage to Tibet. The cultural ties between Nepal and Japan began from 1899 when people-to-people contact started. In 1902, a few years after Ekai’s visit to Nepal, the history of Nepalese students in Japan started with eight Nepalese students. Since then, Nepalese students have started going to Japan for higher study.
When we think of Japan, we think of discipline, courteous nature, and hard work, innovative and advanced technology etc. Japan was able to grow economically and become a leading country in manufacturing precisely because of the advanced knowledge and technology fostered by its excellent education system. Using its state-of-the-art science, technology and medicine, Japan has introduced many products to the world, including electric vehicles, digital cameras, optical fibers etc. The practice of transforming innovative ideas into creative products goes far back into Japanese history. Japanese schools focus not only on academic achievements but also on the development of human quality. This aspect of Japanese schools is highly appreciated by international students who think the studying experience in Japan helps them immensely after they start working.
Japanese universities are well reputed and world-renowned which is why any international student who gets an opportunity to study in Japan considers it a great achievement. Japan is also known as a good place to live, providing a conducive living environment with safe and secure infrastructures. Any foreigner living in Japan will tell you great things about living in the Land of the Rising Sun. Even international students who feel anxious after leaving their home country can find some peace of mind while staying in Japan. Japanese people are known to be hardworking and attach importance to discipline. The attitude of caring for guests by giving them the highest priority is second nature to Japanese people, and thus international students are always welcomed warmly.
“I was able to make many friends from Japan and other countries, actively communicate, participate in lots of extracurricular activities, and enjoy a full lifestyle.”
“I was able to engage in fulfilling research activities surrounded by fantastic professors as exceptional guides and in an outstanding university environment!” – Excerpt from a previous international student in Japan.
Studying in Japan has been quite a popular choice among many aspiring students who want to study abroad or overseas. The number of foreign students from Nepal is increasing year after year, with approximately 18,500 Nepali foreign students coming to Japan in 2021 making it third globally. The Japanese government has also been encouraging foreigners to seize opportunities in the country.
Japan is always known for its excellent quality of education. The country has appeared in the top-tier list of the best education system in the world for the past several years. Considering how great the education is in Japan, it will not be surprising to see them continue to be one of the world’s best when it comes to the academics aspect.
Human Resource Development Scholarship (JDS)
The Japanese Grant Aid for “The project for Human Resource Development Scholarship (JDS)” to Nepal began in 2016. Currently, JDS offers 20 seats for 2-year Master’s degree and 2 seats for Doctoral degree for government officials of Nepal to study in renowned universities in Japan, with an objective to resolve development challenges in Nepal. The selected participants enhance their expertise in respective professional areas ranging widely from judicial sectors, economic policy, industrialization, to infrastructure, and develop a broad network at the global level. The project enables the young leaders to catalyze the development agenda back in Nepal.
The objective of the JDS is to strengthen the government’s administrative capacities in Nepal for the young and capable government employees who are expected to engage in formulating and implementing social and economic development plans and thus play leadership roles to contribute to the development of the country.
JDS has built its wide alumni network amounting to more than 80 JDS fellows across key ministries of Nepal building a strong alumni network. At present, 42 civil servants are undertaking Master’s and PhD courses in prestigious Japanese universities. JICA always has and always will aim to contribute to strengthening human resources in Nepal, which is indispensable for delivering better public services to the people.
This year, 2022, is the 120th anniversary of the International Student Exchange between Nepal and Japan. Nepal is celebrating the 120th anniversary in the year 2022 since the first Nepalese students were dispatched to Japan and Japan marks this anniversary as one of “Japan-South Asia Exchange Year”.
To commemorate the occasion JICA Nepal has produced a promotional video highlighting the experience of studying in Japan focusing on the implementation strategy applicable in the workplace and the impact it has had on the career of various Nepalese individuals.