China / Education

Tokyo campus aims to lure Japanese

By Zhao Xinying (China Daily) Updated: 2015-04-28 07:18

Tokyo campus aims to lure Japanese

Japanese students who study at Jiangsu University present a traditional tea ceremony at the school's first International Culture Day. YANG YU/CHINA DAILY

Beijing Language and Culture University has recently opened a campus in Tokyo in an effort to stem the drop in the number of Japanese students studying in China.

The campus opened in early April and aims to attract non-Chinese citizens in Japan. It offers four-year undergraduate courses, including the Chinese language, international economics and trade, and Japanese-Chinese translation.

Students can choose to spend all four years at the Tokyo campus or spend one to three years at the university's campus in Beijing. After graduation, they will receive certificates and degrees recognized by China's Ministry of Education, according to officials of the Beijing Language and Culture University.

This program is one the university is taking to tap the interest in Japan in learning the Chinese language, according to the university's website.

"With a declining number of Japanese students heading to study overseas, heading to Japan to offer courses will help encourage and attract more Japanese students, especially well qualified ones, to take short-term or long-term Chinese language courses in China," the university said on its website.

"We set up the Tokyo campus to meet the demand of students who would like to get to know China and study the Chinese language but are unable to come to the country themselves," said Li Yuming, president of the university, at the opening ceremony of the campus.

According to the Ministry of Education, more than 21,000 students from Japan were studying in China in 2012. The number dropped to around 15,000 in 2014. During the same period, Japan fell from third place to fifth in terms of the source of international students in China.

Multiple factors - political, economic and environmental - may have contributed to the reduction.

Ma Tieshi, deputy-director of Beijing Language and Culture University's International Exchange Center, said that the recent devaluation of the yen may be one of the causes. "It makes the costs of studying in China more expensive than before," he said.

Japan's Kyodo News Agency said air pollution in some regions of China is also a reason Japanese students refrain from studying in the country.

However, Chen Zhiwen, editor-in-chief of, China's largest education portal, said political and diplomatic ties between two countries play a key role.

"A not-so-good relationship between two countries will definitely affect students' will to study in the other country," he said, referring to the territorial and historical issues between China and Japan.

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