Japanese Government (MEXT) Undergraduate Scholarships


The application window for the 2019 MEXT Undergraduate Scholarship Programme for UK nationals is now closed. The application window for 2020 scholarships is expected to open in April 2019.

Past exams can be viewed here.


Past Application Documents (for reference)

The 2019 list of undergraduate courses permitting direct placement will be available at the Embassy in late June or early July.


Table of Contents


General Outline

This award is offered on an annual basis to those with 12 years of school education, who are under the age of 24 and wish to study at a university in Japan.

Scholarships are tenable from April each year. Grantees will hold their award for five to seven years, including the one-year preparatory education in the Japanese language. The Japanese Government provides return air fare, school fees and a monthly grant of ¥117,000 (subject to change).
All enquiries should be directed to:

MEXT Undergraduate Scholarships
Japan Information and Cultural Centre
Embassy of Japan, 101-104 Piccadilly
London W1J 7JT
E-mail: scholarship@ld.mofa.go.jp


Application Timetable

This is an example of the usual schedule. However, please note that these dates may vary slightly from year to year.

Application period Mid April - mid June
UK interviews July
Results of UK interviews* August
Results of MEXT selection (Tokyo)* Expected to arrive in November
FINAL RESULTS December - February
Pre-departure orientation Early - mid March
Departure for Japan Early April

*Please note that, although candidates may be successful up until this point, the final result depends on confirmation of your university placement.


Application Guidelines

  1. Fields of study
  2. Eligibility
  3. Scholarship Benefits
  4. Term of Scholarship
  5. Application Process
  6. Selection
  7. Placement and Education at University

1. Fields of Study

The study area must be one of the following fields. Candidates can specify three study fields of their choice in the application form. A grantee will not be permitted to change his/her field of study between Social Sciences, Humanities and Natural Sciences, nor between Social Sciences and Humanities A and B, or between Natural Sciences A, B, and C.

Social Sciences and Humanities-A:

1. Law, 2. Politics, 3. Pedagogy, 4. Sociology, 5. Literature, 6. History, 7. Japanese language, 8. others

Social Sciences and Humanities-B:

1. Economics, 2. Business Administration

Natural Sciences-A:

  • Science (1. Mathematics, 2. Physics, 3. Chemistry)
  • Electrical and Electronic Studies (4. Electronics, 5. Electrical Engineering, 6. Information Engineering)
  • Mechanical Studies (7. Mechanical Engineering, 8. Naval Architecture)
  • Civil Engineering and Architecture (9. Civil Engineering, 10. Architecture, 11. Environmental Engineering)
  • Chemical Studies (12. Applied Chemistry, 13. Chemical Engineering, 14. Industrial Chemistry, 15. Textile Engineering)
  • Other fields (16. Metallurgical Engineering, 17. Mining Engineering, 18. Maritime Engineering, 19. Biotechnology)

Natural Sciences-B:

  • Agricultural studies (1. Agriculture, 2. Agricultural Chemistry, 3. Agricultural Engineering, 4. Animal Science, 5. Veterinary Medicine, 6. Forestry, 7. Food Science, 8. Fisheries)
  • Hygienic studies (9. Pharmacy, 10. Hygienics, 11. Nursing)
  • Science (12. Biology)

Natural Sciences-C:

  • Medicine
  • Dentistry

2. Eligibility

Nationality: Applicants must have British nationality. Those with a nationality other than British should contact the Embassy of Japan in their home country. Applicants with dual nationality (British and Japanese) who reside outside Japan are eligible only if they have renounced their Japanese nationality by the time of their departure for Japan.

Age: Applicants must be under the age of 24 as of April of the year they wish to depart for Japan.

Academic Background: Applicants must have completed 12 years of regular school education or graduated from a school equivalent to an upper secondary school in Japan.

Japanese Language: Applicants must be willing to learn Japanese, interested in Japan and willing to deepen their understanding of Japan after arriving in Japan. In addition, in principle, applicants must be willing to carry out their academic studies in Japan in the Japanese language.

Health: In view of the expected psychological challenges due to cultural and environmental changes, sound mental as well as physical health is an essential requirement.

Arrival in Japan: Applicants must be able to leave for and arrive in Japan between 1 and 7 April.



3. Scholarship Benefits

Payment of university matriculation and tuition fees.

Allowance: ¥117,000 (subject to change) per month will be given to each grantee during the term of his/her scholarship, with the understanding that the scholarship will be suspended if the grantee is absent from university for a lengthy period of time.

Return airfare to Japan.

A one-year preparatory course including the Japanese language will be provided. (However, those who have sufficient Japanese language proficiency may choose to enroll directly in their university without taking the preparatory course.)


4. Term of Scholarship

The scholarship period will last for five years, including the one-year preparatory course in the Japanese language and other subjects due to be provided upon arrival in Japan. For scholarship grantees majoring in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine or a six-year course in pharmacy, the scholarship period will be seven years.

In cases where the preparatory course is waived, the scholarship period will last for four years (or for six years for those majoring in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine or in a six-year course in pharmacy). 


5. Application Process

Applicants should complete and submit the prescribed application forms (which usually become available to download from this webpage from April of each year) along with academic transcripts from each year of the last school attended, a certified photocopy of the graduation certificate if they have already graduated or an official letter from the current school stating the expected date of graduation, as well as one reference.


6. Selection

The Embassy of Japan in London will select preliminary candidates by inviting shortlisted applicants to an interview. Those who have been selected as preliminary candidates will be recommended to MEXT through a screening committee. The final selection will be made by MEXT.

As part of the preliminary selection, the following assessment tests will be given to all applicants.

Examination Subjects:

Applicants for a major in Social Sciences and Humanities A and B must sit for examinations in Japanese, English, and Mathematics (3 subjects in all).

Applicants for a major in Natural Sciences A must sit for examinations in Japanese, English, Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics (5 subjects in all). Applicants for a major in Natural Sciences B and C must sit for examinations in Japanese, English, Mathematics, Chemistry and Biology (5 subjects in all).


7. Placement and Education at University

A grantee who has completed the preparatory education will go on to a university designated by MEXT upon passing its entrance examination. The university whose examination a grantee will take will be decided by MEXT in consultation with the university and the preparatory school and in comprehensive consideration of the results of the academic examinations in the primary screening held in the UK, academic achievement at the preparatory school, the grantee’s proposed major subject, and the receiving capacity of the university.

Final placement confirmation will be made by MEXT after consultation with the universities and the preparatory school concerned. No objection by the grantee can be considered regarding the university placement.


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