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Story of Satoshi Omura---His Journey Leading to the Nobel Prize

Written by Rensei Baba

oomura satoshi

From here you can read the life story of Dr. Satoshi Omura who received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine together with Dr. William Campbell for the discovery of ivermectin, a remedy for river blindness prevalent in the African tropics. Before going into his life as a researcher, the author goes back to his family background, elementary school to university days, his teaching experience and how it lead to his entry into graduate school to start his career as a researcher. We hope his story could be an inspiration to your future. Click here

In July 2008, the Japanese government announced a plan to accept 300,000 international students to study in Japan. This plan was adopted due to the rapidly globalizing world. The government aims to promote internationalization of Japanese universities and to increase competent individuals who could contribute to the global community. According to statistics dated May 1, 2014, the number of international students coming to Japan totaled 139,185 - a 3,666 increase compared to the previous year.

Higher education in Japan begins after completing 12 years of primary education (6 years elementary school) and secondary education (3 years junior high school; 3 years senior high school). Higher education institutions that international students can enroll in are: a) Technical College (Koto-Senmon Gakko or Kosen), b) Vocational School (Senmon-Gakko), c) Junior College, d) University (undergraduate), and e) Graduate School. They are divided into national, public, and private according to how they are run. In order to achieve the above goal, MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) has opened courses where degrees could be obtained through courses run in English only. Currently, there are approximately 300 such courses across 13 universities in Japan where international students can study in English. In addition, MEXT is making various efforts to proactively support student life

(Academic Year)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Elementary School Junior High School Senior High School        
Junior College University Graduate School
Technical College

The Japanese school year runs from April to March. Japanese university courses run throughout the year but in general, it is divided into first term/spring term (April-September) and second term/fall term (October-March). There are usually three long breaks during the academic year: summer break (from late July until end of September); winter break (from late December to early January); and spring break (February to end of March). Customarily, students enter university in April, but some universities accept entrance in October.

  Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec. Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug.
Spring Entrance Entrance                     Graduation          
Fall Entrance           Entrance                     Graduation