Education Team Newsletter – Spring 2019

Featured Country: Japan

Japan’s education system includes publicly funded primary through high school education in addition to a private school system. Japan’s higher education system also has national, public (state level equivalent) and private institutions.

Japan’s educational reform efforts are addressing two important areas to help Japan compete in the 21st Century. Japan is experiencing negative population growth and must look internationally to maintain and grow its economy. English is increasingly becoming a necessary job skill for Japanese workers, as is a greater command of technology for workers of all education levels. Recently, the Government of Japan (GOJ) has revised national education guidelines and is requiring English language and computer programming to be taught starting in primary schools. 

Fiscal realities are impacting these efforts. Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) provides minimal funding to support these new goals, leaving school administrators to develop and fund programs. School administrators, who rose to prominence under very different circumstances, are struggling with rapidly developing change. Hence, MEXT and other policy makers are facing a change-resistant environment in a period of rapid evolution. U.S. partners should focus their promotional materials to explain how their program offerings can assist Japan to meet its goals while helping Japanese educators address their individual educational needs.

Market Drivers

Teacher training is in demand, as English and other curriculum requirements are being implemented without full guidance on how to implement these changes. Many primary teachers who will be teaching new material have minimal or no formal training. To maximize outcomes, Japan is generally using a ‘train the trainer’ structure, providing some funding to develop a few experts, who then share techniques internally amongst the school staff. Please be aware that competition will be very intense, and these services are done through government procurement systems.

Another one of Japan’s near-term goals is to stimulate in-bound tourism. Tokyo will host the 2020 Olympics and Osaka will host the 2025 World Expo. This creates immediate need for expanded language and hospitality training. Japan has seen an average annual growth rate (AGR) of 25% in international visitors over the past five years, with additional growth of an average AGR of 25% is expected in the next five years.

Globalization and an integrated economy are prime considerations to Japan’s policy makers. To address this, MEXT and other policy makers have promoted a ‘Global’ designation for some of the best schools in Japan. MEXT provides additional financial support to 37 Japanese universities under the “Top Global Universities Project” to enhance the international competitiveness of Japanese higher education. It provides support for world-class and innovative universities that lead the internationalization of Japanese universities. These schools seek international partners for exchange and curriculum development and receive central government support for 10 years in exchange for meeting program requirements.

Our Recommendations

U.S. institutions interested in working with Japanese schools need to understand the challenges faced by their potential partners. For example, need exists for Japanese elementary and secondary school English teachers training programs. Japanese universities seek to differentiate themselves by offering “Unique” study abroad programs which empower current students for their job hunting and to attract future students. This presents an opportunity for U.S. institutions that can pair short-term English programs with practical business experiences for Japanese students during their spring/summer breaks (programs offered in March or early August through September).

Upcoming Events 







Sep 7, 2019

Tokyo EducationUSA Fair


Sep 14, 2019

Osaka EducationUSA Fair 

Sep 9 & 10, 2019 

Ed Opp. in the USA, Japan*


Sep 14, 2019

Seoul College Fair

Sep 11, 2019 

Taipei College Fair 


Sep 16, 2019

Nagoya EducationUSA Fair

Sep 12, 2019 

Kansai College Fair 



Fukuoka EducationUSA Fair 

Sep 13, 2019 

Kanto Plain College Fair 


(* please also check Education Trade Events)

For more information about the Japanese educational market, please contact:

Tetsuko Fujioka, Commercial Assistant
U.S. Commercial Service -- Osaka


Kazuko Tsurumachi, Commercial Assistant
U.S. Commercial Service -- Tokyo




Education Trade Events

Embassy Circle 2019 – Washington, D.C. -- Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Targeted for Study State Consortia. Connect with Ministries of Education and Embassies!

During NAFSA 2019 in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Commercial Service will be organizing an Embassy Circle program for the purpose of connecting Study State Consortia to Cultural Attaché’s and/or Ministry of Education officials from up to nine countries. The goal of this program will be to provide opportunities for Study State Consortia to learn firsthand about partnership opportunities at the country-wide level, and to support strategic initiatives led by these Ministries/Embassies, to include current programs and upcoming priorities.

Participating Markets:

  • Colombia • Honduras • India • Kazakhstan • Mexico • Pakistan • Spain • Vietnam

*Markets Subject to Change

Program participants will take part in five pre-scheduled 20-minute roundtable discussions over the course of the program. Each table discussion will feature one or two international representatives and up to six US participants. Following the structured 20-minute meetings there will be a brief networking reception.

Cost: $150 per participant (USA: A Study Destination Exhibitors receive two complimentary registrations)

Marketing Partners: Sannam S4 and StudentSIMS (J1SIM)

For more information, please contact:

David Edmiston
U.S. Commercial Service – Minnesota


Education Opportunities in the USA – Japan -- September 9th & 10th 2019

Join us to meet Japanese Schools, Counselors and Agents!

The U.S. Commercial Service Japan is organizing an “Education Opportunities in the USA” Seminar & Networking event to connect US Higher Education Institutions and Japanese educational stakeholders. Target audience will be Japanese schools and their counselors, as well as study abroad agents and government officials, 60 to 100 in each city.

Through differentiated promotional seminars and networking sessions in Japan’s biggest educational markets, participating institutions will be able to promote their short-term programs. This fair is also an excellent opportunity for U.S. educational institutions to refine their understanding of what the Japanese market seeks and develop their communication strategy to strengthen brand awareness in the market.

CS Japan can help U.S. institutions make the most of their visit to Japan to attend EducationUSA EXPO in Tokyo and/or Osaka or other colleges fairs taking place in early September. In addition to meeting with students through EucationUSA and other events, CS Japan provides an ideal opportunity to promote and network with schools, recruiting agents and government officials so that US institutions can maximize business opportunities and recruitment potential.

Seeking Participants: 2-year/4-year universities/educational service providers who can talk about their short-term programs for Japanese high-schoolers, and short-long term and longer programs for Japanese higher education institutions and agents.

Locations and dates:

  • Tokyo (Sep. 9th, 2019)
  • Osaka (Sep. 10th, 2019)

Fee: US $3,950 for two cities

*Other expenses will be the responsibility of each participant

For more information, please email:
Kazuko Tsurumachi
U.S. Commercial Service -- Tokyo

Tetsuko Fujioka
U.S. Commercial Service -- Osaka


SAVE THE DATE – Intensive English Programs (IEPs) Certified Trade Mission to Brazil and Colombia – November 2019

The U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service, in conjunction with EnglishUSA, is organizing a Certified Trade Mission (CTM) for Intensive English Programs (IEPs) to Brazil and Colombia. The purpose of the CTM is to introduce IEPs to the rapidly expanding education sectors in Colombia and Brazil and to pursue opportunities in the sector. IEPs will attend pre-scheduled networking meetings with potential recruitment agents, counselors, industry contacts, and government officials, as well as meet with students, for the goal of increasing student recruitment to their programs and promoting their brands.

For more information, please contact:
Amy Ryan
U.S. Commercial Service -- Atlanta



How the U.S. Commercial Service Supports U.S International Education -- Thursday, April 4th, 2019, 2:00pm EST

In this webinar, Senior International Trade Specialist, Crystal Mills, will review U.S. trends, benefits, and challenges pertaining to higher education and student recruitment. Attendees will also learn how to use the U.S. Commercial Service to recruit international students.

To Register for this webinar, please visit:

For more information, please contact:

Crystal Mills
Education Trade Specialist
U.S. Commercial Service

Mike Finnell
AIRC Executive Director


U.S. Department of Commerce Resources for U.S. Educational Institutions -- Thursday, April 11, 2019 at 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm EST

Speakers from the various divisions of the Department, including: the International Trade Administration’s U.S. Commercial Service, Industry and Analysis, and Advocacy Center; the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS); and, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will highlight available resources and services for U.S. schools.  The webinar will include information on the following topics, among others:

  • where to find market research on overseas markets;
  • educational programs and webinars;
  • export statistics for the education services sector;
  • dealing with foreign governments and complex rules;
  • applicable export regulations; and,
  • protecting intellectual property abroad.

Cost: Free

Registration (by April 10):

For more information, please contact:

Jennifer Moll
U.S. Commercial Service -- Michigan

Gabriela Zelaya
Global Education Team Leader
U.S. Commercial Service – San Jose, CA


Rewriting the Community College IE Playbook -- Tuesday, April 16, 2019 at 11 am EST

Participants will have a semi hands-on experience in learning and critiquing the work in writing the playbook of international education by a community college district that ventured into it with a vision, drive and some innovative approaches that achieved ROI in black the following year, growing by 1,700% over a five year period.

For more information, please contact:

Paul Frost
Commercial Officer

Mike Finnell
AIRC Executive Director

To Register for this webinar, please visit:


Past Webinars Still Available! Ask Your Local Education Specialist For:

  • Emerging Education Markets in Central Europe and BeSt3
  • Maximizing International Alumni Relationships
  • Global Education Team 101 Webinar – U.S. Commercial Service, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Export Controls: When are Universities and Research Institutions Subject to the Export Administration Regulations?
  • Virtual Reality Techniques to Market Your Educational Institution Overseas


Promotional Events Supported by the U.S. Commercial Service

Global Scholarship Summit – April 29th & 30th 2019, London

In April 2019, over 70 heads of international scholarship organizations and senior staff who manage public and private training programs will travel to London to meet institutions from around the world and decide which ones will receive their students and train their staff. This is your opportunity to conduct high-level, private meetings with organizations that send or fund significant numbers of individuals for overseas study or training each year. Some of 2018 participating organizations included The World Bank, European Union, IIE, IREX, CONACYT (Mexico), COLFUTURO (Colombia) and the Saudi Ministry of Education.

BMI is proud to connect you with an elite audience which is in high demand, but is often difficult to reach. Prior to your arrival, you’ll be able to select and arrange meetings which best match your institution and the programs you offer via the Marcom scheduling system. You can meet additional organizations in the extensive program of networking functions such as lunch, coffee breaks, a cocktail reception, and a Gala Dinner.

Participation is limited to 50 universities from across the world. Please contact Rupert Merrick ( for further information and/or to confirm your participation.


ICEF Secondary Education – Long Beach, CA – January 20-22, 2020

The inaugural ICEF Secondary Education provides a targeted opportunity for international secondary institutions, selected secondary education focused agents, and relevant service providers to hold pre-scheduled one-to-one business meetings effectively and efficiently. If visiting, please stop by the U.S. Commercial Service booth.

For more information, please contact:

Maura Kawai, Education Trade Specialist
U.S. Commercial Service – Los Angeles

Ian Cann, ICEF Director USA


Virtual Outreach Events

Are you interested in an excellent opportunity to recruit international students?  How would you like to recruit students without ever setting foot on a plane?  The U.S. Commercial Service provides Virtual Education Events, which allow schools to showcase themselves to agents using a PowerPoint presentation on a webinar platform.  Below is a list of upcoming Virtual Education Events.  If you participate in one of these events, please be prepared to move forward if the appropriate opportunity presents itself.

Get a head start on promoting your educational institutions to Japanese universities!

U.S. Commercial Service Japan is offering a “Pre-NAFSA” Virtual Education Fair on April 16 and 18, 2019 at 8pm EST.  They will cover two discipline areas; 1) Your Liberal Arts/Business and 2) Engineering/Computer Science and can provide up to 8 U.S. Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) the opportunity to present to prescreened Japanese institutions actively seeking partnerships in these disciplines.  Each program will allow our clients to make presentations of up to 12 minutes and the CS Japan staff will provide interested Japanese schools’ contact information to the U.S. HEIs for arranging one-on-one meetings during the NAFSA show in late May. While CS Japan representatives will not be able to join for follow up one-on-one meetings at NAFSA, a discounted Gold Key Service is offered to participating U.S. schools if arranged within 6 months of the Virtual Education Fair.

Who should participate: Appropriately accredited HEIs specializing in the above disciplines who will be attending NAFSA and are interested in forming partnerships or exchanges with Japanese institutions.

Cost:  $420

For more information and to register, please contact Sonia Hatfield


** Upcoming Virtual Education Fairs with Nigeria, United Arab Emirates (UAE). If you are interested in this program, contact for further information. **


NEW! Virtual Education Fairs using Virtual Reality Technology

Showcase your school to top potential recruitment partners overseas using the latest virtual reality technologies available. U.S. educational institutions now have the ability to showcase their campus, classrooms, dorms, and surroundings to top recruitment partners in an immersive experience, without setting foot on campus. Make your marketing memorable and stand-out from the rest.


Date and Time



Vietnam - Hanoi

July 23, 2019

$1,300 per Institution

Community Colleges and Undergraduate programs

China (Wuhan)

September 24, 2019

$1,300 per Institution

Undergraduate programs with emphasis in arts and sciences

If you are interested in these programs, please contact for further information.


Education Trade Leads

Cote d’Ivoire – Secondary Education and Teacher Training – The Millennium Challenge Account in Cote d’Ivoire is looking for a consulting firm to serve as the Environmental and Social Oversight Consultant (“ESOC”) for the Skills for Employability and Productivity Project.  This project will increase access to secondary education and teacher training, and support the construction of up to 84 new secondary schools. Through a public-private partnership, a new technical vocational education and training (TVET) model will advance development of in-demand skills. It will also help the government mitigate gender disparities, improving outcomes for girls in the education system.

The Millennium Challenge Corporation is a small U.S. Government foreign aid agency created to combat global poverty.  MCC operates across the world to address constraints to economic growth (such as in power, clean water and transportation) as it partners with select developing countries. U.S. companies can mitigate their risk by working on these MCC-financed projects. MCC’s procurement processes establish a fair playing field and factor in “best value” (meaning that the lowest bidder does not automatically win). Importantly, successful companies will get paid for their work, in a defined time period, in U.S. dollars.  

For more information, please contact:
Holly Vineyard, Senior Advisor (on assignment from the U.S. Department of Commerce)
Department of Compact Operations, Procurement
Tel: + 1 202 772 6536


Top Education and Training Market Research

The Global Education Team has released the Education and Training Services Resource Guide 2018.

This resource guide includes comparable and individual market assessments of countries listed as best prospects for U.S. training and educational services. Assessments are based on observation and market research. You can access the guide by visiting:


Commerce Department Releases Report Ranking Top Export Markets, Including Education

With a goal of helping U.S. educational institutions identify export markets, the Top Markets Report on Education provides in-depth commentary on key cross-border opportunities, trends, and challenges for U.S. institutions aiming to broaden their global presence. Country case studies in the report include Brazil, China, France and Germany, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Vietnam. 

To access the Top Markets Report on Education at no cost to you, and to learn more about the Top Markets Series, go to the Department of Commerce press release and click on Education:


Business Service Provider Directory

New! The Global Education Team’s Business Service Providers (BSP) directory is designed to help U.S. Educational Institutions identify professional service providers to assist them in the assessment, processing, and/or completion of an educational service export. Although we do not endorse or recommend BSP companies, this Directory contains information on providers who offer services that many U.S. educational service exporters may require to conduct business internationally.

Visit our website for the full list:

  Notice to Visitors!

  The link you have chosen will take you to a non-U.S. Government website.

  If the page does not appear in 5 seconds, please click this: outside web site is managed by the International Trade Administration and external links are covered by its website  disclaimer statement.

  Notice to Visitors!

  The link you have chosen will take you to a non-U.S. Government website.

  If the page does not appear in 5 seconds, please click this: outside web site is managed by the International Trade Administration and external links are covered by its website disclaimer statement.