Education System in Japan


 EducationSchool/LevelGrade FromGrade ToAge FromAge ToYearsNotes
PrimaryElementary 166126Shogakko
MiddleLower Secondary1312153Chugakko
SecondaryUpper Secondary1315183Kotogakko, aabr. koko
TertiaryBachelor's  18224University undergraduate National Academy daigakko; daigaku; gakushi-katei
TertiaryMaster's  22242National Academy: Master - daigakko; Shu-shi katei Graduate School
TertiaryDoctorate  24283National Defense Academy: Ph.D. - Boei daigakko; Hakushi katei daigaku- in; Hakushi Katei/ Graduate School

Primary Education

Education through middle school is compulsory in Japan, where schools remain structured after the American model. Following elementary education at kindergartens and day-care centers, children move on to primary schools, where they complete 6 grades in preparation for junior high.

Middle Education

At junior high school, the focus for the next 3 years is increasingly academic. 95% of middle schools are state-funded and the 96% of their pupils opt to study further. Teachers have typically  completed major courses in the subjects that they teach, and over 80% of these have completed a 4-year college degree too.

Secondary Education

Although high school is neither compulsory nor free, 94% of junior high school graduates choose to enter institutions of which half are privately funded, and half are owned by the state. There they enter a general stream that after grade 9 divides into vocational and university entrance categories.

Vocational Education

Students who choose not to enter university almost invariably undergo some form of vocational training. There, standards are high too, and success capped by internationally recognized certification.

Tertiary Education

Japamese EducationAlmost 3 million Japanese students are enrolled at the nation’s colleges and universities at any one time. Most study full-time where popular undergraduate courses are social sciences (business, law, and accounting) and also engineering, humanities and education. There are 96 national universities, 39 public universities (established through local government) and almost 400 private colleges.

The top-ranking tertiary education institution in Japan is generally held to be the University of Tokyo illustrated opposite. 


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