【Report】 On June 4th, 2012: The Future of Gap Year in Japan: Learning from Overseas Experiences

明治大学  / Meiji University RIIE

The Future of Gap Year in Japan: Learning from Overseas Experiences

  On June 4th, over 100 people attended a symposium on: “The Future of Gap Year in Japan: Learning from Overseas Experiences” at Meiji University’s Academy Common. With the increasing need for “global human resources,” the Gap Year system is a way for Japanese youth to study or work in foreign countries. Moreover, several universities in Japan are considering implementing a fall-enrollment system, which will cause a six-month gap (time lag) between admission acceptance and actual matriculation. This symposium was held due to the increasing interest in the Gap Year system, which is viewed as a key component for international education and the development of global talent.

  This event was sponsored by Meiji University Research Institute of International Education and the British Council and co-sponsored by STA Travel and Meiji University Headquarters of International Collaboration. In addition, cooperation was received from JGAP (the Gap-year Japan). Invited speakers from the UK and Japan provided information about the Gap Year system of UK and other countries. Additionally, discussions were held with students, university staff, and workers of private corporates and ideas exchanged about potential issues when the system is adopted by Japanese institutions and about an ideal model that could function in such cases.

  Here is a list of the symposium participants and their presentation topics:
Ms. Emma Parker (Project Manager, British Council), “Summary of the Gap Year System in UK”
Mr. Toshiyuki Suzuki (Vice-trustee, the University of Tokyo), “A Status of the Study on the Gap Year System at the University of Tokyo”
Mr. Ian Swain (STA Travel UK), “`Gap`- Great Adventure People – How young people and students in UK spend their time in UK and foreign countries”
Mr. Yu Aoki (senior, Meiji University), “A Story of a Person who Experienced Gap Year”
Dr. Takeshi Hirose (Associate Professor, Kyushu University), “Gap Year: What the UK’s Experience Suggests for Japan”
Mr. Shingo Ashizawa (Professor, Meiji University), “Why Gap Year, Now? A Prospect of a Japanese Model of Gap Year in the Future.”

  The symposium closed with remarks by Ms. Azusa Tanaka (Chief, British Council). A reception followed.

  We thank all speakers and attendees for their participation and cooperation.



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