To Stay or Leave? Migration decisions of foreign students in Japan

Author Name LIU Yang (Fellow, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. November 2016 16-E-097
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This study examines the determinants of binary choice with respect to the migration decisions of foreign students in Japan (i.e., whether they choose to remain in the country following graduation). A binary choice model of qualitative choice analysis was employed based on individual-level data obtained from a survey that was distributed to seven Japanese universities. Four groups of determinants regarding migration decisions among foreign students were examined; these addressed economic factors, culture and language, motivation to study abroad, and personal characteristics. Significant effects were not identified for economic factors (i.e., income, living conditions); in contrast, culture contributed significantly to students' migration decisions. Moreover, low levels of Japanese language proficiency proved to be a barrier to retaining foreign students.