Awards Announced for the 2017 FUTI Global Leadership and Ito Foundation U.S.A. Scholarship Programs

Friends of UTokyo, Inc. (FUTI) is excited to offer two types of scholarship programs: the Summer Leadership Program and the Ito Foundation U.S.A.-FUTI Scholarship Program. For more details regarding the programs please visit or Chair of the FUTI Scholarship Committee, Dr. Shigenori Matsushita, comments about this year’s results, “I am convinced that each donor’s support encourages aspiring students to attain their goals and, as a result, helps the globalization of the UTokyo.” He believes that these efforts ultimately contribute to the improvement of global and Japanese society.”
The following is a report on this year’s selection results.
[FUTI Global Leadership Award]
Based upon applications received by the February and April deadlines, selections for FUTI’s Global Leadership summer program Award have been determined. Ten students from U.S. universities planning to study at the University of Tokyo, and eight students from UTokyo to study at U.S. universities, both in the summer of 2017, have been selected.
While the number of recipients in 2016 showed a lowering trend, we are pleased to announce a clear rebound in 2017, as shown below:

2016 Final Number of Recipients 2017 Final Number of Recipients
U.S. → UTokyo 9 10
UTokyo → U.S. 6 8

This year we have seen the following trends with applications:

  1. For UTRIP (the University of Tokyo Research Internship Program) we had noted some discrepancies in 2016 between FUTI’s selections primarily based on the student’s future potential and UTRIP’s selections based to a large extent on the student’s suitability with the specific research topic. Thanks to improved exchange of information between FUTI and UTRIP during the 2017 selections, the results of the two parties have matched well this year. However, due to declines of our offer by some students or disqualifications due to incomplete application materials, we did not reach our target number of four recipients.
  2. The number of applications as well as FUTI awards for students in the U.S. for UTSIP (the University of Tokyo Summer Internship Program in Kashiwa) had been on a down trend for 2016. After extensive effort by UTSIP, there has been a considerable increase in the number and quality of applicants for 2017. FUTI is pleased to have increased the number of recipients from one in 2016 to three in 2017.
  3. For the first time this year the FUTI Scholarship Committee considered applicants for The UTokyo School of Engineering Internship Program, which started in 2016. There is one FUTI award recipient in this category this year.
  4. The number of applications from UTokyo students who desire to study at U.S. universities in Summer has increased from four in 2016 to eight students in 2017. The main reason for this is the increase in the number of applicants from UTokyo’s GLP-GEfIL (Global Education for Innovation and Leadership) program. Applications for this program, which was created two years ago, are solicited from undergraduate students from the entire UTokyo. Approximately 100 students are selected for this ambitious program each year. They are then required to take a 12-credit special course on top of the normal credits for their department. UTokyo provides partial financial support for all GLP-GEfIL participants which is funded by corporate donations, but those going to universities in the U.S. have been encouraged to apply for a FUTI award as well. Over a third of the applicants who are in the GLP-GEfIL program were selected for FUTI scholarship support.

[Ito Foundation U.S.A.-FUTI Scholarship]
The Ito Foundation U.S.A.-FUTI Scholarship began in 2016 with financial support from Ito Foundation U.S.A. Selections for this scholarship have been finalized for the fall of 2017 with some cases pending.

Degree/Year 2016 2017 2017 Host Universities
2nd Year in Ito-FUTI Award Program 4 Columbia (2), UCB, Johns Hopkins
Currently in UTokyo Undergraduate/Master’s Program 3 2 Harvard, Columbia
Soon to graduate from UTokyo Undergraduate/Master’s
2 1 Princeton
UTokyo Alumni 3 1 Tulane
Doctoral Candidates at UTokyo 1 2 UCB, Georgia Tech
Total 9 10

Notable trends for Ito-FUTI applications are given below:

  1. The applicants this year are of higher caliber compared to the year before as the scholarship program has become widely known throughout UTokyo. Many of the reference letters we received recommended students for their leadership; one student was even described as having “once in a decade talent” at a prestigious graduate school. We look forward to nurturing the future accomplishments of these students.
  2. A small number of students have been awarded a full or close to the requested amount, while the rest have been given partial support. It is our understanding that most applicants have access to several scholarship sources in addition to FUTI.
  3. UTokyo’s financial aid programs primarily benefits current students and prospective students. They do not cover alumni. Given this situation, FUTI’s program is welcomed by alumni for its unique inclusiveness to cover both current students and alumni.
  4. Year 2017 marks the start of the “second-year” scholarship recipients. After extensive deliberations, the Scholarship Committee has renewed the awards of all second-year applicants. The group consists of three graduate students in a master’s program (two at Columbia University and one at University of California at Berkeley) and one second year doctoral candidate (at Johns Hopkins University). Upon viewing their application materials and their periodical reports during their first year, we are pleased to note that their research and academic results show much promise.
  5. The number of recipients in the “Graduated” category declined from three in 2016 to one in 2017. While those selected for 2016 were already enrolled in a U.S. graduate school, the applicant selected for 2017 is unique. Having graduated five years ago from UTokyo as an undergraduate student, she recently decided to pursue a doctoral degree in the U.S. after a significant amount of work experience in a well-regarded international agency.

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