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01 February 2019

Japan has nearly reached its goal of hosting 300,000 international students by 2020, recording another year of double-digit growth in 2018.

New data from the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) shows that international student numbers have increased for the sixth year in a row. There were 298,980  international students in 2018, compared with 267,050 in 2017, an increase of 12%. Cumulatively, from 2013 to 2018, the growth rate of international students in Japan is 78%, which averages out to an impressive 13% per year.

The vast majority of Japan’s international students in 2018 were from Asia (93.5%) with 3.5% coming from Europe and 1.1% from North America. Nearly two-thirds came from only two countries: China (38.5% of the total, sending 114,950 students, up 7% over 2017) and Vietnam (24%, sending 72,355 students, and up significantly – 17.5% – over 2017).

The growth in international enrolment in Japan over the last five years can be linked to a number of factors such as its 13 world-ranked universities, which have been increasing the number of courses taught in English year-on-year, as well as a highly integrated government strategy “Japan’s Re-vitalization Strategy” that promises both academic and employment benefits for its international graduates.

GSA recently deployed further capital into the Japanese investment portfolio to increase exposure to Tokyo’s significantly undersupplied market with over 100,000 international students. This follows the opening in 2018 of the first GSA Tokyo scheme, Hakusan House.

In the Suginami Ward, five minutes’ walk from the Keio Line “Kamikitazawa” station, the new development will comprise 326 beds, as well as common spaces intended to be used for communal activities and concierge services making this asset a significant improvement in offering compared to the available accommodation in the local area.

Japan is a strategic focus for GSA due to its domestic and international demand growth potential. The fund continues to see increasing demand for student accommodation in the capital and this new acquisition provides investors with access to attractive returns secured against high-quality real estate.


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