Thursday, September 18, 2008

Study Abroad Japan Blog: New survey reveals that by all measures Japan has the worlds best Internet access

Photo: Internet

Lets face it as a student when you think of studying abroad you don't exactly think of five star accommodation, as your budget just won't allow it, but imagine if your school offered you excellent accommodation within walking distance to campus, wireless Internet, 24 hour access with door man, a gym, lap pool, jacuzzi and an entertainment area with a big screen TV and a pool table that you could have your friends over? Sound to good to be true!.

International student accommodation is a powerful marketing tool that should not be under emphasized. With international students studying for years at a time in a foreign country, their daily comfort, access to relaxation and sleep, a quite place to study, a place to cook their own meals, access the Internet in their own language without interruption and to socialize in comfort with other students is due much more consideration in international student recruitment marketing plans.

But now a new recruitment tool has emerged an it is called Internet access and speed, a students dream ticket item (to surf the web at high speeds and cheaply)

A recent survey showed that Japan has the worlds best Internet (access and speeds)." Source: Japan Times, 14/09/2008

Internet access in Japan is cheap by world standards (my current plan is 3600 yen per month Internet and telephone) which equals at time of writing approximately according to XE, US$34.05 dollars a month (with no upload or download limits) and the access speeds one can get are simply breathtaking.

As I write this article at 11am on a Thursday morning a quick test on reveals a download speed of 14033 kb/s and an upload speed of 928 kb/s. This is slow compared to NEC Biglobe which has an Internet speed of 25924 kb/s. I can easily upgrade online if I need more speed.

It is only a matter of time that this new competitive advantage will be used to attract even more foreign students. Internet speed and academic study have a natural synergy and can easily be seen as a major draw card. Added to this is Japan's already high reputation worldwide for high technology products, for example: Nintendo Wii, Shinkansen bullet trains and Fourth generation mobile phones.

Japan also recently announced ambitious plans to attract even more foreign students in the near future.

"We aim to accept 300,000 students from abroad by around 2020 to make Japan a nation more open to the world, and to develop a 'global strategy' to expand the flow of people, materials, money and information between (Japan and) Asia and the world,"
says an outline compiled by six ministries, including the education ministry, the Foreign Ministry and the Justice Ministry." Source: Japan Times 30/7/2008

Japan has a very good chance to recruit Asian students as they have a unique understanding of Asian student culture and needs added to the fact that most Asian countries young people are drawn to Japanese culture and products. Western education institutions have a lot of ground to catch up in understanding Asian student needs and meeting them successfully. Particularly student buyer behaviour, lifestyle and job market trends and characteristics in the students home country. Japan clearly has a natural advantage in recruiting Asian students and with a changing economic balance it could soon become a leading provider of international education programs.

International education directors the world over now have a new tool at their disposal if they want to recruit more international students and it is called "Internet access and speed". As the Asian Century unfolds and focus on Asia increases, education institutions have more pressure to better understand their new Asian customers and provide them what they want in education. This now includes fast Internet access and speeds.

Learn more about study in Japan at Study Abroad Japan