About 7,800 doctoral students in Japan may receive JPY2.4 million (around Php1.1 million) in annual living expenses when they join the government’s program to help the country stay competitive in terms of cutting-edge technology.

The Japanese government will seed the money to universities that are tasked to choose the recipients. Schools with students that focus on quantum technologies and artificial intelligence have a higher chance of getting the funding.

Other than the cost-of-living support, the government also plans on shouldering the research expenses of the students. Each doctoral student may receive JPY500,000 (around Php229,600) per year.

This will help gifted Japanese students to pursue their plans on getting a doctoral degree. Because, apparently, some of them fail to get a Ph.D. degree due to financial reasons.

Japan is seeing a substantial drop in students getting a doctoral degree. Back in 2000, 16.7% of students advanced to doctoral programs. However, that declined to 9.3% in 2018.

The financial aid will help Japan curb the problem and remain competitive in the global market.

Apparently, only 127 per 1 million people have a Ph.D. in 2000. That’s compared to 141 and 131 in the United States and South Korea, respectively. By 2015, Japan had 118, while the United States and South Korea had 259 and 256.

The Japanese government has estimated that a doctoral student needs 1.8 million to 2.4 million for living expenses per year. With that, they plan to spend 23 billion yen for the first year of the program.

Via: Nikkei Asia

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