The Mext scholarship, also known as Monbukagakusho (文部科学省奨学金 Monbu-kagaku-shō Shōgaku-kin) is a scholarship aimed at foreign students who intend to study at Japanese universities and is being offered by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT).
The scholarship program covers the tuition, the Japanese language studies and monthly stipends for living expenditure.
There are 7 types of scholarships available:
- Research students: under 35 years old and college graduates or sixteen years of schooling completed; allows recipients to apply for a Graduate Degree Program (Masters and/or PhD) provided they passed their assigned University's entrance examination.
- Teacher training students: under 35 years of age and a graduate of a college or teacher training college; at least five years of active experience as a teacher in a primary, secondary or teacher training college in the home country (college and university teachers currently in active service are not considered for this scholarship).
- Undergraduate university students: between 17 and 22 years of age, with twelve years of school education (courses in a school comparable to a high school) completed; every year 120 students are enrolled by embassy recommendation; they have to accomplish a one-year preparatory program at Osaka University Center for Japanese language and culture and Tokyo University of Foreign Studies before entering a four-year undergraduate program at one of 87 Japanese national universities.
- Japanese studies students: applicants must be between 18 and 30 years of age, and enrolled as undergraduate students in faculties or schools that major in Japanese language or Japanese culture in a university outside Japan at the time of coming to Japan; they must be enrolled in the home institution at the time of departure to their home countries; students majoring in other fields who wish to study about Japan (engineering, economy, agriculture, architecture, arts, etc.) as part of their major studies need to apply with JASSO (Japan Student Services Organization) for admission to the Short-term Student Exchange Promotion Program.
- College of technology students: applicants need to be between 17 and 22 years of age, and have completed school education comparable to a high school (a minimum of eleven years beginning in elementary school) education.
- Special training students: between 17 and 22 years of age, and have completed twelve years of schooling or have completed school education comparable to a Japanese high school.
- YLP (Youth Leadership Programs) students: applicants must be young public administrators, etc. from Asian and other countries participating in the YLP who are expected to "play active roles as future national leaders" in their respective countries; the participants must be university or college graduates, who have at least 3-5 years of work experience in public administration or enterprises. The screening of the candidates is based on recommendations of the recommending authorities.
- Embassy recommendations: candidates are recruited and screened by a Japanese embassy or consulate general. Research student, undergraduate student, college of technology student, and special training college student recruitment for the next fiscal year
(April, October) is made between March and May. The initial screening (documentary examination, written test and interview) is made at the embassy between June and August. The embassy then recommends
the selected candidates to the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) through the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) by the beginning of September. Teacher training and Japanese studies
student recruitment for the next fiscal year (for those arriving in Japan in October) is made between December of the previous year and the following February. Screening is conducted between
mid-February and March. Selected candidates are recommended to the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by end of April.
See the information on embassy recommendations by the University of Hiroshima.
- University recommendation: research students and Japanese studies students who will be studying in Japan as an exchange student based on inter-university student exchange agreements can be screened through the national, public or private Japanese university (Japanese Government Scholarship). The university directly recommends the selected candidates to the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). Research students recommended by a university for study in Japan as government-sponsored scholarship recipients basically arrive in Japan in October according to the university program. Universities usually recommend candidates to the Ministry by mid-April.
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