University selection: Japanese High School students viewpoint

Recently more than 800 high school students in Japan were asked by the Nikkei Shimbun on how they had made their selection of their future university they wish to attend. Honestly I was very happy to observe their maturity of the selection. Although sometimes Japanese High School students are portrayed as naive, lazy or not working as hard as previous generations, from my perspective there is no reason to complain that the present high school students don’t know what they are doing. Roughly half of the response came from males students, slightly a bit more from their female counter parts.
Below are the top 10 reasons shown as percentage on how Japanese High School students had decided their favorite university:

1. Preferred major, topic of study: 16.8%
2. Suitable curriculum: 10.0%
3. Receiving a special certificate upon graduation: 7.8%
4. University suitable for an enjoyable student life: 6.6%
Easy access to campus: 6.6%
6. University has a high record of finding a suitable job after graduation: 6.2%
7. Based on passed entry test suitable university: 6.1%
8. Suitable atmosphere on campus: 6.0%
9. Quality of the buildings on campus: 4.7%
10. Friendly teacher and staff: 4.3%

So what were the “coolest” universities to study at? The response on a national scale (809 responses):

1. Meiji University
2. Waseda University
3. Rikkyo University
4. Hosei University
5. Nihon University / Chuo University

Surprisingly the response solely for the Kanto area is rather similar (408 responses):

1. Meiji University
2. Waseda University
3. Hosei University
4. Rikkyo University
5. Chuo University

Looking at the top three choices in University selection Japanese High School students seem to me more “majime” (dedicated, serious) than usually presented in the media. I guess only a few are interested to hear that the younger Japanese generation can be considered mature for their age, which makes no noteworthy headline in the general media. So next time instead of making a quick judgment when you see some rude or immature High School students just consider them to be unusual and not representing the whole rest.

Brought to you by Sibylle Ito (シビル伊藤)

4 thoughts on “University selection: Japanese High School students viewpoint

  1. Thank you for posting a nice pic. But she looks a little bit too sexy for her age.

    They say tuition fee of universities is for free in Switzerland and even living expense is covered by the government.

    • Dear Andante,

      for this post I wanted to show a gap between the often perceived image of high school students (like the picture) and then the finding from Nikkei Shimbun. On the other hand, I think the picture shows as well a part of teenagers growing up.
      Honestly I have not heard that there are universities in Switzerland that can be attended for free, although the costs are rather low. In my case many, many years ago I attended a college (engineering school) in Switzerland and paid about CHF 300 per semester. Depending on the income of the parents there can be scholarships, but I have the say the applicable level is set rather low.
      As for the living expenses I have not heard about it either, but if applicable it must be for extremely low income cases.

      Thanks for your time to comment.

      Wishing you a great day,

      Sibylle Ito

  2. As long as I know, all of top 5 are strong in politics or business, but not in technology or science (there are a few exceptions; e.g. architecture department in Waseda). That’s my concern.

    Also, they are all private universities. I wonder why they don’t choose public universities which cost less because most of Japanese youth depend on their parents for tuition.

    • Dear Kaori,

      thank you so much for taking time to visit my blog and furthermore to comment on it. Great to connect here too and not only on twitter (o.o)P
      I agree with you that the focus is heavily on private universities and I guess as a teenager a sense of money is growing on trees is still common. Potentially on this aspect maturity is still missing.

      All the best,


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