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Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarships for Young Leaders Program at GRIPS

2022-10-15 Japan
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About University

Located in the heart of the fascinating city of Tokyo, The National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) is an international premier policy school with the aim of contributing to the betterment of democratic governance around the world. We excel at providing interdisciplinary education for future leaders in the public sector and conduct research on contemporary policy issues to generate innovative solutions. Founded in 1997 as a stand-alone graduate institute, GRIPS is comprised of world-class academics and distinguished practitioners with expertise in public sector policy formulation and management. Around 20% of the faculty and 70% of students are recruited from outside Japan. Our vibrant, diverse student body consists of almost 400 members hailing from 63 countries and regions – all with the ambition to advance good governance across the globe or contribute to policy related research. We offer a diverse array of Master’s and Doctoral Programs, from which students cultivate the ability to analyze issues and suggest solutions, develop interdisciplinary knowledge and skills that span related fields, and gain practical expertise. In addition to our degree programs, we also offer executive level short term training programs across a wide range of themes. Since our inception, our achievements in promoting good governance are considerable and far-reaching. Today, our impressive Alumni network of over 4,000 strong are actively shaping policy in more than 100 countries around the world. Goals Training of Policy Professionals and Researchers The central goal of GRIPS is to cultivate future leaders with the ability to identify challenges in public policy and to offer diverse and innovative solutions. GRIPS works toward this goal by providing an opportunity for students to gain expert knowledge of and a creative perspective on policy planning. Promotion of Interdisciplinary Policy Studies Going beyond the students’ specific fields, GRIPS fosters their ability to develop wide-ranging solutions to policy-related challenges and to take an interdisciplinary approach to the resolution of real issues. Serving as an International Center for Policy Research In order to offer world-class programs, GRIPS maintains innovativeness in both its research and its education systems, in an environment that meets international standards. In addition to its leadership in establishing world-class policy studies and academic disciplines, GRIPS also maintains a platform for the provision of well-timed recommendations regarding current policy issues. History The Graduate School of Policy Science (GSPS), the predecessor of the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS), was established at Saitama University in 1977 as a new kind of graduate school. GSPS aimed to promote interdisciplinary policy research that had the potential to contribute in an effective manner to the making of appropriate policies for the real world and to train administrative officials and policy analysts equipped with policy analysis and policy-making skills backed by a scientific approach and methods. Established as an institute to engage in graduate-level research and education, GSPS took the form of an independent graduate school that was separate from undergraduate programs, with the appropriate academic staff, facilities, and equipment. Over the first twenty years of its existence, GSPS gained a unique reputation for producing mid-career government officials who had a clear understanding of policy issues. Central and local governments and government-related institutions regularly sent their most promising officials to GSPS, where, under the instruction of their professors, they engaged in the intellectual task of structuring and analyzing policy issues. At the same time, GSPS academic faculty developed interdisciplinary policy research. Through these activities, GSPS led the field of policy studies in Japan. With the advance of research and education in the field of policy studies, the question arose as to whether policy research could be further advanced if the school were independent. Behind this lay the awareness that Japan needed to quickly enhance its system for promoting policy research. There had been too few studies conducted on the governmental and administrative structures that had supported the nation’s economic growth, and Japan was about to enter a new stage amid a domestic and international situation that was changing at a dizzying pace. Thus, it was crucial for Japan to study its policies from their very foundations in order to envision the future of the country and create appropriate policies. In addition, there had been a dramatic rise in international interest in Japan’s policy system, and it was becoming increasingly important for Japan to explain its policies and contribute to global advancement and international collaboration. In response, the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture (today’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) set up a committee to study the future of policy studies and education in Japan. In March 1994, the committee proposed the creation of an independent graduate institute befitting the unique character of the academic discipline of policy research. Budgetary steps were taken to prepare for the establishment of the National Institute of Policy Studies (tentative name), and a committee to prepare for the founding of the institute was formed in June 1994. This committee of experts set up a special subcommittee and held deliberations to give concrete form to the new concept, including asking experts from industry, government, and academia to provide special cooperation, and referring to input provided by various sectors of society. In October 1997, the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) was established as a new type of independent graduate university .GRIPS’ mandate was to promote high-level policy research and respond to various domestic and international needs based on international intellectual cooperation and the cooperation of leading members of Japan’s political, industrial, government, and academic circles.

Brief Description

Full scholarships are available for exceptionally qualified candidates who have been accepted for study at GRIPS. International students applying for the Young Leaders Program at GRIPS can can apply for the Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarships. Scholarships are allocated on a competitive basis and only a limited number of scholarships are available. Candidates have to be overseas students that are recommended by Japanese Embassy/Consulate General, University, or Authority.


The YLP is open to young public administrators and government officials who are expected to play active roles in the future as national leaders in their home countries. A minimum of three years of full-time work experience (five is preferable) in the field in the applicant’s home country is a prerequisite for admission to the program Admission to the YLP requires a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from a recognized, accredited university of the highest standard as well as certifiable health. The applicant should be under 40 years of age as of 1 October, 2021; should be proficient in English with a TOEFL iBT score of 79, IELTS Academic score of 6.0 or equivalent and must be able to obtain a Student visa prior to arrival in Japan.

Level/Field(s) of Study


Scholarship value/inclusions/duration

The scholarship award provides for a monthly stipend of 242,000 yen per month (rate in FY 2020; amount is subject to change) to cover living expenses such as food, clothing, and other daily expenses, as well as accommodation, transportation, medical treatment, insurance, and various miscellaneous expenses related to the study at GRIPS. This stipend is fixed and cannot be increased to cover family members. The scholarship also covers university application fee, admission fee, and tuition. Scholars will be given an economy-class air ticket from their home country to Japan upon enrollment at GRIPS and an economy-class air ticket from Japan to their home country upon completion of their studies at GRIPS.

Available Subject

Public Administration Public Policy

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