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Foreign Credential Evaluations (in general)

Q: Can a person who graduated an international school located outside Japan and is 17-year-old be admitted to a university in Japan?

A: It is possible, depending on the international school. Although there is no definition of an international school in Japanese legislation, it is considered to be an educational facility for foreign residents in a country.

Thus, the education in such schools is presumably different from that in the host country. It is advisable to consult with the host country’s embassy in Japan for accurate information.

If the international school is an approved institution in the host country, its graduates can be admitted to a university in Japan. If not, either of conditions below must be applicable:

  • applicant has completed education at an educational institution operated by a Japanese school corporation and located in foreign country that is accredited by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology,
  • applicant has obtained either of the International Baccalaureate (IB), the German Abitur, the French Baccalauréate, and General Certificate of Education (GCE) A Level, or
  • applicant has completed 12 years of education at educational institutions accredited by one of such international accrediting bodies as the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), the Council of International Schools (CIS), and the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI).

Those who do not meet any conditions above are not allowed to be admitted to a university in Japan by graduating the school in question. They must satisfy another condition such as passing the Upper Secondary School Equivalency Examination.

The age restriction for applicants with above conditions has been discontinued since the amendment of related regulations in January 2019. Those under the age of 18 can be admitted to a university in Japan.

(The content of this Q & A is quoted from the University Admission Qualifications Guide written by University Promotion Division, Higher Education Bureau of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. NIAD-QE produced this English translation.)