Japanese Government recognises Australian bachelor’s degrees

Prime Minister Turnbull visited Japan on the 18th of December 2015 for the annual Australia-Japan Summit with Prime Minister Abe. The meeting provided an opportunity for the Prime Ministers to reaffirm the special strategic partnership between Australia and Japan. It also highlighted the importance of cooperation in research and innovation to deliver new sources of growth, and included outcomes to further boost education cooperation and two-way mobility.
For the first time, Japan will formally recognise Australian bachelor’s degrees for entry into postgraduate programs in Japanese institutions, benefitting both Japanese and Australian students. This was announced as part of the Prime Ministers’ joint statement and is expected to take effect from April 2016.
In Japan bachelor’s degrees last for four years, but in an effort to further support internationalisation and mobility, the Japanese Government is extending recognition to select partner countries with different degree models where they have high-quality education systems.
This formal recognition at the government level will also underpin the work of universities in both countries to increase collaboration and mobility – in September 2015, Universities Australia and the Japanese Association of National Universities signed a new partnership agreement which includes mutual recognition of degree qualifications.
Australian universities also featured in Prime Minister Turnbull’s visit to Tokyo, with a delegation of Vice-Chancellors and Deputy Vice-Chancellors led by the Group of Eight participating in an innovation roundtable with leading Japanese companies, chaired by the Prime Minister. The discussion underscored Japanese companies’ willingness to collaborate more strategically with Australian researchers. A number of Japanese companies such as Hitachi, NEC, Komatsu and Sony already work with Australian universities and expressed a deep understanding of Australia’s world-class capabilities. However they said that these were not widely known among other Japanese R&D-performing companies and that there was strong potential to create new collaborative links.
Prime Minister Turnbull promoted the Australian Government’s new National Innovation and Science Agenda and the ways in which it can support collaboration with priority partners such as Japan. The roundtable and press conference were held at the Miraikan, Japan’s National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, where the Prime Minister also had the opportunity to meet the humanoid robot ASIMO.