There are several routes available to students after they graduate from a Japanese middle or high school. Some students choose to look for work, while others continue on into higher education.
In this video we will be introducing the choices available to students continuing into higher education. You can choose your path based on your own strengths and interests.
University and Junior College
Like schools, university and junior colleges can be national, public or private. In some regions there are also universities founded by companies. Courses at universities take four years to complete, while the courses at junior colleges require only two years of study.
To enter a university or junior college you need to pass the entrance exam set by each individual institution. There are also universities who have recommendation-based admission systems. Each university will also have different qualifications they require from applicants and different school fees. You should enquire with each university about their specific requirements.
The following are the basic requirements necessary to sit a university or junior college entrance exam. If you meet one of the criteria below then you are eligible to sit the exams:
Specialized Training School
A specialized training school is a vocational school where students are equipped with the knowledge and technical skills to pursue a particular profession upon graduation. There are different types of courses for specialized training schools, such as Upper Secondary courses for students who are the equivalent of middle school graduate level, and Specialized Technical Training courses, for students who are the equivalent of high-school graduate level. Depending on the course you take, studying at these schools can take from one to four years.
While theory is emphasized at university and junior college, the emphasis at vocational schools is on the practical, with lessons concentrating on hands-on expertise. The subjects you can study at a vocational school are varied to reflect the needs of modern society, with content including manufacturing, agriculture, medicine, health and hygiene, education, social welfare, commerce and business, fashion, home economics, culture and education.
Specialized High School
Specialized high schools are generally referred to as kousen in Japanese and offer training in engineering. Their courses last for five years (or five years and six months in the case of maritime technology colleges). Graduates of middle school (or those who have achieved the same or higher education level) can enter a specialized high school, and graduates of a high school can transfer into a specialized high school.
In order to enter one of these schools, you must pass the entrance exams held every year in January and February. Admission practices vary between schools so be sure to enquire directly to the school you are interested in for more detailed information.
Business Skill Development School
The Mie Prefectural Tsu Advanced Vocational Technical Training School is a business skill development school which aims to equip its students with the knowledge and skills required to enter manufacturing businesses and achieve professional qualifications.
The school’s short-term courses last between six months to a year. There are many different types of short-term courses, including courses for foreign residents, for unemployed workers or for people looking to change jobs.
For more information please visit the school’s homepage: http://www.tcp-ip.or.jp/~tsutech/index.html）
Most schools operate open campus days and school seminars where you can learn more about what the school offers. These will be useful when deciding what you want to do next, and we recommend you attend as many as possible. There are also many other ways to learn new skills which were not introduced in this video. We also recommend talking to your teachers or parent or guardian when making your decision. This is your chance to make your dream for the future a reality through higher education.
This video is based on material from CLAIR’s “Multilingual Living Information (http://www.clair.or.jp/tagengo/)” and others materials.