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University of Tokyo considering autumn start to academic year


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But the change could make it hard for students to find employers, still hiring new graduates in April

That's why Japan needs to get rid of the absurd notion of only hiring or starting new things in April and allow entry any time of year.

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It's surely a sign of the Apocalypse..! Japan open to change!

What's next??? Japanese pro baseball will warm to the international rule of play of calling balls first, then strikes...?

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Newsman, it already does, at least in some departments. Same with the MS thesis and PhD thesis, both are in English (including the defense). if there will be a serious increase in foreign students, more departments and maybe even the undergad school will follow suit.

the discussion about starting in fall became about 2 years ago, but it's a very serious decision and it took time to crystallize. because if Todai does it, basically it will force the entire educational system to change. and this may also extend to the companies. Ironically, the April FY started because of the British tax system...

Change, Todai also has the September graduation system in place, it is optional. but they want to make it the general rule, that is all the fuss about.

MaboDofu, the special thing about Todai is that it is ranked the best uni in Asia and somewhere in top 20 in the world. the research level is high, facilities are good, research funds are generous, that's why it attracts many international graduate students, PDs and researchers (and I've been there for the last 12 years, so I know what I'm talking about). They are trying to make everything more international, but of course it takes time.

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Only 1.9% of some 14,000 undergraduate students at the university are from overseas, compared with 10% for Harvard University in the United States.

The language barrier could also be quite a significant factor in that - not just the April start.

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Wow, some forward thinking for a change. Anyway, it would be good move that will allow them to compete properly with other international institutions, hope they get the support to see it through.

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Exactly. I wonder if Todai is going to require professors to teach in English, too, as that is probably the main reason many schools in the world have foreign students rather than a start date. I've had several students go to graduate school in France but don't speak a word of French because the teachers teach in English.

hard for students ... to prepare for exams

If they graduate in June and the professional tests are in April or May, they'll have eight or nine extra months to study OR, and I know this is too drastic of a change, they can take them in the April of their fourth year. A student? Taking a professional test? Is that even possible?

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If Tokyo University is considering autumn start, why not make all schools (elementary, junior-high and high-schools) in Japan start the academic year in the fall.

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Any change that overturns big institution or traditions/habits is worth trying, as a Japanese I am excited if they will really do this.

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'But the change could make it hard for students to find employers, still hiring new graduates in April'

With the reputation that Todai has I don't think it will make it hard for graduates to find good jobs! Surely companies will have to consider this in the HR planning? 'Planning' thats a scary word to use in Japan... Good on you Todai! Follow the lead Japan!

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While I welcome this kind of activity, it sure looks weak compared to other universities in the World. If I look for example at the German university RWTH Aachen - they have currently 35800 students, and among them are 5000 international students from 120 different countries in other words 14 percent.

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Right... they float the idea... discuss if for a few years and then decide against it. I've been holding my breath for years over Daylight Savings. What a waste of sunlight. Its not the energy savings, its lifestyle overall that is a waste.

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put aside the pride and aligning/not aligning with the rest of the world, it's about being practical, I suppose.

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Won't happen...Japan is adverse to change.

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I had a good laugh watching this on the news last night. Basically the only reason why Todai want to do this is because they are getting their butts kicked when it comes to international students. They figure that if they change the times, there will be a surge in international students wanting to study there. As Nicky said, they don't seem to be thinking about the language issue - though the guy who did the ceremony at Todai did use English.

They also don't seem to be thinking about the issues in Japanese society about how foreigners are treated here. Why bother coming to Todai to study and when you'll never been accepted by society or a place of work? These kids aren't dumb and know they have no hope in hell of reaching their potential in Japan like they could in the US or the UK.

I am going to love watching all the other unis scramble with this. We all know that every uni follows what Todai does. Japan will probably all being starting in Sept - ele, Jhs and HS to follow suit.

And yes, the hiring... perhaps Japan should undate its methods? My 3rd and 4th year students have ALL complained about the way job hunting is done in this country.

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Why do you guys think this is something new to Japan. Or is it because Todai is planning it? There are universities here in Japan that has this system already. With September graduations and still doing well on employment rate. Todai is just behind time.

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If Tokyo University commits to this change, you can bet your mochi that a lot of other schools will follow suit, both at the tertiary level (competitors) and the secondary level on down (the feeder schools.) My guess is that it will happen, unlike some of the other "plans" that get bandied about and are never acted upon. Kyushu University is already offering master's degree courses in English; no reason why Todai can't do the same.

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what is exactly the education year in Japan? I mean when it start, when it ends. In Malaysia we starts our term in January until November when most of big examination would be held. Then the students would have like few months before the results announced and the race to get into the best university/college starts. within the period (between the last paper and the result) they would do all sorts of things, working part time, taking other kind of courses, vacationing etc. and job hunting is done through out the year. say if I want to quit my job, I just look it out in the local newspaper to find one. As for the graduation days, some unis have it once a year. some might have twice. some Malaysian students who managed to get a place in Japan unis have to go straight to Japan right after their graduations sometimes.

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While it probably will make it a little difficult to get hired in japan during hiring season, students need to remember that Japan is not the only job market in the world. Many students i talk to feel that they only have one choice in life...office worker. Also, when some hear the idea they think like if they study abroad they have to stay abroad.

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It's already possible to enter (some) Japanese universities in the autumn semester. Here, we also have a one year international exchange programme that starts in the autumn. Tokyo university claimed that the change in term times would allow more Japanese students to study abroad, but I think that by the time students are ready to go overseas they are too busy with job hunting, so they stay here. That won't change any time soon.

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Al StewartJAN. 19, 2012 - 01:07PM JST While it probably will make it a little difficult to get hired in japan during hiring season, students need to remember that Japan is not the only job market in the world. Many students i talk to feel that they only have one choice in life...office worker. Also, when some hear the idea they think like if they study abroad they have to stay abroad.

what's wrong with working abroad? many people in many nations does that and they thrive. I have an uncle who currently staying in USA, raising family there, and 2nd cousin who used to study in USA and worked in Switzerland.

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borscht: so work no play? they don't have time to explore other options? like studying abroad or doing something else?

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This idea of bringing the university school year in line with other countries was in the news some 20-odd years ago — along with the prospect of re-introducing daylight savings time and moving some universities and research organizations outside of Tokyo. Yet, there were no changes.

Starting off the school year in September would make it easier for more Japanese people to study abroad, and more students from abroad to study in Japan. Let's hope change does happen this time around.

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If Tokyo University is considering autumn start, why not make all schools (elementary, junior-high and high-schools) in Japan start the academic year in the fall.

Because that would make too much sense

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Most unis around the world have at least 70% foreign students from China, India and the Middle East, a lot of programs are a little out dated and its just becoming a mass produced factory of degrees and masters, good cash cow model, may as well build an airport in each university campua :P

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There's a change to J-universities that needs to be implemented and it's not the start date. They need to stop making it so easy for students to coast through their 4 years and graduate with minimal work. If J-universities want to attract more overseas students, create educational programs that...you know, educate.

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School starts in April in Japan and finishes in Feb/March. Graduation is usually in the middle of March and jobs start April 1. Students start looking for jobs in the middle of their third year and generally have an offer by the middle of their fourth year.

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It will never happen. Japan is set to stagnate while the rest of the world moves forward.

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I was talking about this with a woman this morning and she told me that apparently Japan USED TO start the school year in Autumn (around the start of September), but it was later changed to start and end in line with the fiscal year.

Going back to the system of starting the school year in September is a great idea, though more for students in general than as a means to lure in international students and students/teachers on exchange (Nicky is correct with the language barrier comment). I just think it's odd to start a new year in April and then after a few months have the longest vacation of the year, then go back and resume the school year in the second term. It makes a lot more sense to finish the school year and then have the summer vacation, then start anew in September. If Todai does this others would definitely follow suit. I have my doubts they will actually do it, though, as 'considering' seems to take an awfully long time here, and radical changes like this are often met with criticism from radical elements simply because Japan (in this case Todai, of course) would be aligning itself with foreign countries.

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Universities in New Zealand and Australia have no problem attracting overseas students, even though they start their academic year in February. Possibly it helps to be teaching in a world language and offering good chances for permanent residence and eventual citizenship to graduates? I would imagine a lack of nuclear plants spewing out radiation doesn't hurt either.

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man i wish i was in tokyo uni.T_T i'm not motivated and smart enough to ^^'

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Ranger, don't worry. They will follow suit. Sheeple....

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"mulling" god i hear that word a lot here.

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But the change could make it hard for students to find employers, still hiring new graduates in April, and to prepare for exams for such professions as medicine, law and public service, which are timed to the current academic year.

I think they can form committees about this problem and in about 50 years from now they can possibly turn in the report.

What is so special about that school?

I never met anyone that attends there or attended there ever study except for one woman doctor.

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OK, if some universities are going to join the rest of world and follow Today's western calendar, but some universities are not...and I teach at both kinds of universities, what happens to my vacations between semesters? Will they be all chopped up between the two schedules? I will have to plot this out, but that is my worry. So, all together, people. Let's all have the same schedule!

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