After I published the Introduction to the University Recommended MEXT Scholarship in September 2015, MEXT cut the number of General Category slots for the 2016 start. Here are the new figures for 2016.
If you’re reading this after 2016, then all I can say is that the only constant is change. Be aware that slots may increase or decrease. I’ll stay on top of it as best I can, but keep in mind that the number of slots is only officially announced after most universities’ application deadlines.
For this reason, I would say that the Embassy-Recommended MEXT Scholarship is your best shot moving forward.
Monbukagakusho Scholarship Bonus Slots Decimated: From 15 to 2
In 2015, universities could recommend up to 15 extra candidates for the Monbukagakusho Scholarship, if the university was willing to foot the travel bill. In 2016, that number is now 2. When you consider that the maximum number of general category slots available to non-Top Global University program universities is now 7 (down from 8), this represents a huge cut: 23 possible slots in 2015 to 9 in 2016. And that’s assuming that the university is already hosting over 1800 self-financed international graduate students (only 2-3 universities in Japan meet this criteria).
Changes to the General Category Scholarship Calculation
The number of scholarship slots per university is related to the number of international graduate students enrolled there as of the preceding year, based on the following table:
|International Graduate Students||Scholarship Slots|
|0 – 200||1|
|201 – 400||2|
|401 – 700||3|
|701 – 1000||4|
|1001 – 1400||5|
|1401 – 1800||6|
(Source: Notes for the 2016 University-Recommended MEXT Scholarship, accessed 13 Feb 2016)
This means a lot of universities lost a general category slot. For an updated list, please refer to the original chart.
A lot of applicants that would have been in last year are now going to be left out in the cold. So it is more critical than ever to make your applications as strong as it can possibly be!
Before asking any questions in the comments below, please read through the MEXT Scholarship Application FAQ top page and specific FAQ pages to see what I’ve answered already and to find tips about how to get your questions answered faster.
You can ask your questions in the comments here, on the FAQ page, or by email and I will answer them by updating the FAQ and letting you know when the answers are available.
I’d also recommend signing up for my mailing list to get notified whenever I have updates to any of the FAQs or new articles about the MEXT scholarship!
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