Education Pathways Programmes for Admission to Japan


1. Japanese Language Schools Programme(JLSP)

Implementing organizations
World Council, Religions for Peace, Japan(RfP Japan) Japan Association for Refugees(JAR) Japanese language schools and communities in the admitting regions *Coordinating with the government of Japan for entry and residence
Admission Period (1st phase)
Apr. 2017 – Mar. 2021(5 years)
Recruitment:Turkey (as of 2020) Admission: Miyagi, Chiba, Tokyo, Kyoto and Okinawa in Japan
The programme offers two years of study at Japanese language schools with tuition fee exemption. Students are required to work part time in principle to cover daily life expenses as well as to get working experiences in Japan. After graduation, high school graduates will apply for undergraduate courses at universities, and university graduates can get employment or apply for graduate course.
Eligible Applicants
Syrians residing in Turkey (high school or university graduates)
Admission numbers
6-10 per year

2. Syrian Scholars Initiative (SSI)

Implementing organization
Japan ICU Foundation(JICUF) International Christian University(ICU) Japan Association for Refugees
Two Syrians in Turkey are admitted every year to International Christian University (ICU) through international admission in English with full scholarship of Syrian Scholars Initiative (SSI) by JICUF. They acquire Japanese language during four-years of study and attain a Bachelor’s degree. After graduation, each can pursue for a higher degree or get employment.
SSI site
For further information, please refer to SSI site offered by JICUF.


The impact caused by a mass flow of refugees and migrants in 2015 has made international community to respond to migration issue with a new famework. As a consequence, UN General Assemby on December 2018 adopted Global Compat on Refugees, where Complementary Pathways for admission to third countries through education, employment, family reunion and other means are clearly defined as a policy to complement the traditional Resettlement organized by States. Based on the Compact, a goal is set for the whole international community to admit 1 million refugees through Resettlement and 2 million throuh Complementary Pathways as a ten-year plan from 2019 to 2028, Through cooperation of various actors in the society including NGOs, local communities, educational institutions and busines sector. Regarding education pathways, they are also regarded to contribute to the achievement of Refugee Education 2030 target, which increases higher education access by refugees from 3% in 2019 to 15% by 2030. Following the international trend, in Japan, JAR, RfP Japan, JICUF in collaboration with partners launched those education pathways programmes for admittance of Syrians through civil society initiative as the first phase of admission for five-years.   The Three-Year Strategy (2019-2021) for Resettlement and Complementary Pathways UNHCR “Refugee Education2030 – A Strategy for Refugee Inclusion”, 2019


Two persons, a student and a staff, in front of a table with medicine and documents.
A Syrian who completed his language study and is currently working in Okinawa.
・The programmes offer opportnities for people with various backgrounds to make acquiantance with refugee students and consider what each can do, not based on an image of “a refugee“, but as an action for each and individual youth who fled from conflicts. ・By establishng a model of admission in each region, the programmes demonstrate to the society and international community, that the society has capacity and willingness to admit people with refugee backgrounds and that their admnission is feasible through civil society initiative. ・The programmes contribute in forming a norm of refugee admission through Complementary Pathways and shares good practices in Japan and in Asia and thePacific to make advocacy to the society and international community.


From 2017 to 2020, 20 to Japanese language schools and 5 to ICU, in total, 25 students have been admitted through the programmes. From among those admitted to JLSP in 2017 and 2018, 5 obtained scholarship by Refugee Higher Education Programme (RHEP) by UNHCR Japan and are studying at universities both at undergraduate and gradate levels, while 2 got employment and are working in Tokyo and Okinawa. The fields of study that students would like to major at universities are various including enginering (robotics, artificial limbs IT etc.), nursing and physical therapy, psychology, peace study, intercultural communication, translation(Japanese-Arabic) and child education. They are eager and higly motivated to contribute to the soceity after completion of their higher education. In each community where students are admitted, local people with different backgrounds are cooperating with their integration, including university and language schools, local citizens, NPO’s, university faculty, corporate companies (offering apartment rooms or internship) and local media. They confess the experience of involvement with those students have brought them a rich experience of gaining and learning.

Contacts for further information

If you would like to contact us on our programmes, please contact our coordinators in Turkey below. Programme Cordinators in Turkey: