For academic year 2023-2024, FUTI has provided scholarships for short-term study abroad programs between The University of Tokyo and universities in the US, and mid- to long-term scholarships supporting primarily UTokyo students to study at universities in the US for one semester or more.
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, about ten students were selected from dozens of applications from US students to study at UTokyo for short-term summer programs. In 2023, after the slow-down caused by Covid-19, 11 students were selected out of 32 applicants. Three of those selected participated in science-related internships in the UTRIP program, four were for the UTSIP Kashiwa-related internships, two were from Harvard as part of a partnership with UTokyo’s International Research Center for NeuroIntelligence (IRCN), and two were part of the University of California Education Abroad Program (UCEAP), of which one was in the sciences and the other in engineering.
Before the Covid 19 pandemic, in short-term summer study abroad programs in the US for UTokyo students, each year around seven UTokyo students were selected from a pool of about 20 applicants. The drop in participation due to the coronavirus pandemic still continues, with only four students selected out of seven applicants for 2023. Of those selected, two are part of the GLP-GEfIL program, an extracurricular leadership education program taught in English where only a hundred UTokyo students are selected out of the entire school in the fall of their sophomore year. In this program, participation in a short-term study abroad is required each summer with roughly half of the tuition fees paid for by UTokyo. The other two recipients found their study abroad programs on their own. It is a coincidence that all four students will be studying at Harvard.
The mid- to long-term scholarship category was not as affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with numbers holding steady at around 10 students selected out of approximately 30 applicants before the pandemic, and in 2021 and 2022. In 2023, 13 students were selected out of 31 applicants. The reason for this may be that those who wished to study abroad at a US university in the mid- to long-term perhaps had a stronger motivation than those in the abovementioned short-term category. Of those selected for 2023, four scholarships were limited in amount. One reason is that some were awarded in conjunction with a scholarship from the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO) which stipulates that additional scholarships be limited to the same amount as the JASSO scholarship, and the other reason being that PhD students are only awarded an amount that is sufficient to cover initial costs as PhD programs are usually amply supported by the university. The 13 recipients are made up of five undergraduate students (only one master’s student) studying abroad at partner universities, two students who went on to study at US universities upon graduation from UTokyo, four students who graduated UTokyo in previous years, and two students currently enrolled in doctoral programs at UTokyo. After the selection process was finished and numbers were counted, it was apparent that four were non-Japanese students.
This year marks the official inclusion of the “Hsun Kwei & Aiko Takizawa Chou Scholarship” to the mid- to long-term study abroad scholarship lineup. The Scholarship Is funded by a donation to the UTokyo New York Office from Dr. and Mrs. Chou, who after studying at the Graduate School at UTokyo, had many successful ventures in the semiconductor-related business. As a result, FUTI’s mid- to long-term study abroad scholarship program is made up of three parts: 1) The Ito Foundation U.S.A.-FUTI Scholarship which has been central to the program since 2016; 2) The aforementioned Hsun Kwei & Aiko Takizawa Chou Scholarship; and 3) The FUTI Scholarship which is funded by individual donations from UTokyo alumni and donations from Shintech Inc., the US subsidiary of Shin-Etsu Chemical.
FUTI will make the most of the donations received by continuing to focus in earnest on its mission of supporting and nurturing future leaders through scholarships.