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MEXT Embassy Recommendation 2021

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So does this mean MEXT students can be an exception when it comes to entering Japan? (Because as far as I know no other students have been able to receive new visas)
Would be big if true - I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens in May.

Honestly though I am not worried any more at this point. I wanted the scholarship because it was a chance to go back to a subject I never had the chance to publish on in my first post-grad job; not some particular fascination with Japan. If this all falls through we can be happy that we got through a tough selection process, and can get on with other things. I do feel more sorry for the people who really had this dream of living in Japan for a few years because this does put all that in doubt for them.

I'm Applying for 2022 any help/tips from those who have already won will be appreciated.
Apply for the Korean govt scholarship too ;) But in all seriousness I would suggest you go and read the Transenz blog - Khalid70 introduced me to it here and I wish I had known about it before applying; really lays everything out nice and clearly.
 

Khalid70

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Would be big if true - I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens in May.

Honestly though I am not worried any more at this point. I wanted the scholarship because it was a chance to go back to a subject I never had the chance to publish on in my first post-grad job; not some particular fascination with Japan. If this all falls through we can be happy that we got through a tough selection process, and can get on with other things. I do feel more sorry for the people who really had this dream of living in Japan for a few years because this does put all that in doubt for them.
I agree with you, this whole process was/still is so tiring it sucked all the excitement I had before applying. All we can do is hope for the best and whatever meant to happen will happen.
 

Khalid70

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Yeah, this. Oh well, if it's cancelled/pushed out maybe I'll finally act on my long lasting aim to visit Oman and see your neighbourhood lol.
given that the 2022 application is back to pre covid schedule and already underway I don't think it will be canceled, but us being pushed back is certainly a possibility.
I'm surprised you even know my country exists let alone aiming to visit it lol but hey I would be more than happy to show you around one day ^_^
 

Lothor

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I agree with you, this whole process was/still is so tiring it sucked all the excitement I had before applying. All we can do is hope for the best and whatever meant to happen will happen.
Just curious - would the application process have been tiring in normal times or was it tiring because of the extra difficulty and uncertainty due to Covid?
 

Khalid70

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Just curious - would the application process have been tiring in normal times or was it tiring because of the extra difficulty and uncertainty due to Covid?
I would say it's largely due to covid. Having to wait for almost 11 months while also knowing that the whole thing can be canceled at any minute is tough
 

chidori1404

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Hi all. Is there anyone applying for MEXT scholarship with MBA program?

Since I search for MBA course in JP and consider MEXT scholarship too, I would like to ask you guy a question. Hope to have support from you.

So, I'm Vietnamese and I hold a bachelor degree in Marketing Management. As request from JP Embassy, research plan is mandatory for all postgraduate applicants. It must contain methodology, literature review, and students have to read papers from professors at the universities they choose for reference

However, for MBA program, research plan is unnecessary. Professors of this course do not own labs too. Some universities such as Waseda and Hitotsubashi even banned students to contact professors before application.
Therefore, research plan will be meaningless if I can not find anyone to supervise, as well as conduct it at graduate school.
Besides, I searched and did not see any professors having done similar research as my intended plan.

How did you build research plan for MBA course when applying for MEXT in your country? Thanks a lot and I hope to have feedback from you.
 
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@chidori1404
I can jump in here, having done an MBA already (although here in Cambridge UK). You're quite right that when applying for an MBA you wouldn't be pitching a research proposal, but you would normally expect to do some one or more 'research' pieces during the course of the degree. Now, MBAs in Japan are probably a bit of a different story, they aren't really that well regarded - probably because they differ from international norms in structure and content (same story with unis in general in Japan). Perhaps I would treat the research proposal as a chance to say why you want to do an MBA; what's the focus? What do you want to do with it? Is it about entrepreneurship, conglomerate management (a niche area where Japan really has international form), etc.? Tie it into your answer about 'why Japan'. Think of it as your personal statement that you would normally be submitting for an MBA application.

The details you provide (must contain methodology, literature review, and students have to read papers from professors ) sound.... unique to the Vietnamese Japanese embassy. But I wouldn't think they are insurmountable. The latter is a joke, look for an article, whatever you want, anything (as discussed below) that can show a link between why you want to do the MBA and the professor you put down. For the methodology, that should flow from your stated aim. You'll have a placement, chances to network: who would you like that to be with? Why? When will you organise that? This feels like the 'research plan' section in the UK application, and they fully understand that this is a bit of a fantasy. It is to show you have a plan, even if that plan will inevitably change the moment you start the course. For a literature review, could you say more about what they are asking for here?

I also wouldn't worry about professors not having the exact same research area; try and find some slight overlap and try establishing a dialogue. Yeah, some of these universities have 'banned' advising on MEXT applications. What they haven't banned are students interested in studying at their institutions contacting professors to learn more. No need to say you're a MEXT hopeful, just an interested potential student. Nobody will be upset if you report back in 6 months and say 'oh btw the embassy recommended me for a scholarship would you be happy to say you'd supervise me?'.

Relevant to your case is this youtuber, pretty sure she did a 'business degree', can't quite remember if it was an MBA but I think so.
 

chidori1404

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@chidori1404
I can jump in here, having done an MBA already (although here in Cambridge UK). You're quite right that when applying for an MBA you wouldn't be pitching a research proposal, but you would normally expect to do some one or more 'research' pieces during the course of the degree. Now, MBAs in Japan are probably a bit of a different story, they aren't really that well regarded - probably because they differ from international norms in structure and content (same story with unis in general in Japan). Perhaps I would treat the research proposal as a chance to say why you want to do an MBA; what's the focus? What do you want to do with it? Is it about entrepreneurship, conglomerate management (a niche area where Japan really has international form), etc.? Tie it into your answer about 'why Japan'. Think of it as your personal statement that you would normally be submitting for an MBA application.

The details you provide (must contain methodology, literature review, and students have to read papers from professors ) sound.... unique to the Vietnamese Japanese embassy. But I wouldn't think they are insurmountable. The latter is a joke, look for an article, whatever you want, anything (as discussed below) that can show a link between why you want to do the MBA and the professor you put down. For the methodology, that should flow from your stated aim. You'll have a placement, chances to network: who would you like that to be with? Why? When will you organise that? This feels like the 'research plan' section in the UK application, and they fully understand that this is a bit of a fantasy. It is to show you have a plan, even if that plan will inevitably change the moment you start the course. For a literature review, could you say more about what they are asking for here?

I also wouldn't worry about professors not having the exact same research area; try and find some slight overlap and try establishing a dialogue. Yeah, some of these universities have 'banned' advising on MEXT applications. What they haven't banned are students interested in studying at their institutions contacting professors to learn more. No need to say you're a MEXT hopeful, just an interested potential student. Nobody will be upset if you report back in 6 months and say 'oh btw the embassy recommended me for a scholarship would you be happy to say you'd supervise me?'.

Relevant to your case is this youtuber, pretty sure she did a 'business degree', can't quite remember if it was an MBA but I think so.
Hi there!

Some universities even did not disclose email of professors to contact.
I saw some people luckily found on other forums but their emails were also forwarded to other departments.

MBA in UK differs I think. What you described was something we call "State of Purpose", which is an essay that each business school requires as application. And yes, I have to write when I apply to Waseda and Hitotsubashi (I had an offer from Waseda).

Here is a brief of what Japanese Embassy in Vietnam required:
1. Summary of undergraduate dissertation: Must include methodology, data, charts, graphic and conclusion
2. Research topic in Japan: Describe articulately the research you wish to carry out in Japan, must include methodology, metric formula, data, graphic, chart, research plan with detailed milestones, etc. To complete this, student must read paper from professors. Students can find professor information on CiNii: Scholarly and Academic Information Navigator, pronounced like "sigh-knee" (CiNii Articles - National Institute of Informatics). Reference must be from academic sources.

This sounds like requirements for Master of Research to me... MBA is a taught program so normally they don't require something like this.

Last year I tried to apply for MEXT. My topic was about "Consumer behaviours of Japanese toward Vietnamese FMCG products", which relates closely to my background: Marketing and business. However, I took the reference from data of Vietnam custom to show why I saw the potential of Vietnamese products in Japan and why I wanted to do this topic is to help Vietnamese companies to do business in Japan because Vietnam have advantages in consumer goods production, then strengthen economic relationship between 2 countries. I never found any paper about this topic before so I couldn't refer any data from other professors. Finally I failed.

This year MEXT scholarship is opened again but I feel kind of hopeless to me though...
 
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I have some solutions and some questions:

Some universities even did not disclose email of professors to contact.
Yes, lots of universities do not put emails in open web pages to try and minimise the amount of spam they attract. Here are a few tactics:
- LinkedIn accounts for professors that have them, or researchmap
- Find papers they have published and look at the contact details the journal has for them, or even contact the journals and say you are keen to contact the author of XXX paper, could they put you in touch?
- Contact the department/grad school and ask for the professor's details, saying you want to talk about a publication with them.
- Brute force the professor's email. University emails are formulaic so if you can find one individual's email you can probably guess the professor's. i.e. a common formula is [first letter of given name][family name]@[uni].jp

Depending on your Japanese you could also call them.

Not being able to get in touch is not a great excuse really.
Describe articulately the research you wish to carry out in Japan, must include methodology, metric formula, data, graphic, chart, research plan with detailed milestones, etc.
This is strangely specific. It could be the case that the Japanese embassy in Vietnam has a very narrow view of the kind of Master's they want to fund, but ask yourself this: if they absolutely required all of these how would anyone win a scholarship in anything other than hard sciences? If the MBA courses are largely taught courses until the second year (or whatever the case it) say so, and lay it out to show you understand the course structure and how you will use that.
This sounds like requirements for Master of Research to me... MBA is a taught program so normally they don't require something like this.
Basically all master's have a thesis element, that's what's being asked about. Yeah, the emphasis of an MBA is on the taught cause but whether you do an MBA at Harvard, LBS, or indeed Waseda (according to a glance at their website) will include a thesis that carries some significant weight.
I never found any paper about this topic before so I couldn't refer any data from other professors.
Having also successfully gotten through embassy screening for a research question where there's a gap in the literature I hope I can help here. I think part of the reason the embassies are so hot on references is that they are not subject matter experts and rely on the presence of references to 'prove' that what an applicant is suggesting is grounded in something real. The customs data is a great basis, but can you really not find any references to support the idea that Vietnam's potential as an exporter of FMCGs is an area of legitimate interest? What about [Goto, Kenta, Kaoru Natsuda, and John Thoburn. "Meeting the challenge of China: the Vietnamese garment industry in the post MFA era." Global Networks 11.3 (2011): 355-379.] Seems like a great reference to say 'similar questions have been asked about other areas' as a justification. Then find references to justify why Vietnamese exports to Japan is an important area in general (even if it hasn't been answered). Find some references to justify why Japan would want more Vietnamese imports in sectors like FMCG.
And yes, I have to write when I apply to Waseda and Hitotsubashi (I had an offer from Waseda).
So previously you applied to Waseda via the university scholarship route? Or you got an offer, didn't take it up for financial reasons, and then tried to apply for a scholarship unsuccessfully via the embassy? Or does the scholarship application process work differently in Vietnam? (would hardly be a surprise lol)
1. Summary of undergraduate dissertation: Must include methodology, data, charts, graphic and conclusion
I presume that was no problem?
 

chidori1404

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chidori1404 said:
Describe articulately the research you wish to carry out in Japan, must include methodology, metric formula, data, graphic, chart, research plan with detailed milestones, etc.
This is strangely specific. It could be the case that the Japanese embassy in Vietnam has a very narrow view of the kind of Master's they want to fund, but ask yourself this: if they absolutely required all of these how would anyone win a scholarship in anything other than hard sciences? If the MBA courses are largely taught courses until the second year (or whatever the case it) say so, and lay it out to show you understand the course structure and how you will use that.
So, Japanese Embassy here categorized MEXT scholarship into 4 types: Research student (Master, Doctor), undergraduate student, college of technology student, specialized training college student.
2 other specialized types are Young Leader Program (I will talk about this later) and Japan study

For the first 4 types, I'm qualified for Research student only, because I'm overage for the rest.

There are a plenty of MEXT alumni in my country, however no one applied for business. They all studied sience, medicine, biology etc with very detailed research plan and they followed MEXT instruction of course. They made a topic and contacted professor, and if professor accept then they can be accepted for university too.
When they heard about my case that I have to apply by essay and graduate schools do not allow contact with professors before interview, they were surprised. Indeed, they could not help much since their procedure was different from mine.

I managed to find an alumni on this forum. He/she graduated from MBA program of Kyoto U, and he/she made a research plan. But he/she seemed not to have to clarify many details as what Japanese embassy in my country requested.

At the same time, I heard that there are alumni with MEXT scholarship for MBA program at other schools such as Waseda, Hitotsubashi too. I couldn't find them to ask for experience though.

chidori1404 said:
This sounds like requirements for Master of Research to me... MBA is a taught program so normally they don't require something like this.
Basically all master's have a thesis element, that's what's being asked about. Yeah, the emphasis of an MBA is on the taught cause but whether you do an MBA at Harvard, LBS, or indeed Waseda (according to a glance at their website) will include a thesis that carries some significant weight.

This may differ a bit I think.
I applied to Hitotsubashi before. They stated that "Applicants who apply for MEXT through Embassy can not apply for MBA program. Only applicants who apply for MEXT through university can do this".
Students can choose 1 year program or 2 year one. For 1 year, they do not have research module. For 2nd year, they have optional routes: research, exchange, internship or double degree.

chidori1404 said:
I never found any paper about this topic before so I couldn't refer any data from other professors.
Having also successfully gotten through embassy screening for a research question where there's a gap in the literature I hope I can help here. I think part of the reason the embassies are so hot on references is that they are not subject matter experts and rely on the presence of references to 'prove' that what an applicant is suggesting is grounded in something real. The customs data is a great basis, but can you really not find any references to support the idea that Vietnam's potential as an exporter of FMCGs is an area of legitimate interest? What about [Goto, Kenta, Kaoru Natsuda, and John Thoburn. "Meeting the challenge of China: the Vietnamese garment industry in the post MFA era." Global Networks 11.3 (2011): 355-379.] Seems like a great reference to say 'similar questions have been asked about other areas' as a justification. Then find references to justify why Vietnamese exports to Japan is an important area in general (even if it hasn't been answered). Find some references to justify why Japan would want more Vietnamese imports in sectors like FMCG.
Great, thanks! Maybe I focused too much on keyword FMCG, therefore I didn't notice relevant topic.

chidori1404 said:
And yes, I have to write when I apply to Waseda and Hitotsubashi (I had an offer from Waseda).
So previously you applied to Waseda via the university scholarship route? Or you got an offer, didn't take it up for financial reasons, and then tried to apply for a scholarship unsuccessfully via the embassy? Or does the scholarship application process work differently in Vietnam? (would hardly be a surprise lol)

Let me clarify here a little bit.
Thanks to alumni, I knew that MEXT is not the only way to come to Japan.
Some business schools, such as Hitotsubashi ICS, they award based on quality of application. Some people had scholarships with the same value as MEXT. For example, one alumni had 710 GMAT, and he was awarded INPEX full-ride scholarship in 2 years.
They advised me to apply asap, then I would know how much grant could be awarded for me. So, I just do it.
Last year, I couldn't finish GMAT on time with deadline of MEXT with uni so I just apply directly with Waseda (March 2021) and Hitotsubashi (Feb 2021) for school year 2021 - 2023.

Hitotsubashi rejected me but Waseda accepted. Unluckily that Waseda couldn't offer anything for me, but they encouraged me to join 1st semester first, then I could apply for other scholarship from various funds in Japan.

I looked forward to the acceptance of Hitotsubashi a lot because their tuition is reasonable but well. Waseda is super nice too, my former director graduated from there but the tuiton is just too much. So I'm so sad that I have to reject them this time.

The application for school year 2022 - 2024 will open in Aug 2021. So I consider to reapply, even I'm not qualified for MEXT but the sooner I apply, the more scholarships are available. Before, I applied for the 2nd of 2 rounds of Hitotsubashi, and the 4th of 5 rounds of Waseda, therefore the number of scholarship was not many at that time.

chidori1404 said:
1. Summary of undergraduate dissertation: Must include methodology, data, charts, graphic and conclusion
I presume that was no problem?
Yeah right, I can submit one copy of my dissertation too.
Embassy here prioritize people with publication on academic journals, but it's sad that I had nothing oops...

Lastly, talking about Young Leader Program I mentioned above. It is limited within a number of courses, each university will hold 1 course and Hitotsbashi offer 1 year MBA.
It's great for people who do not want to compete for MEXT with embassy/university but I wanted to apply for 2 year (I will change my career after graduation) so I ignored it ;)
 
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Hmmm it does sound a little like 1 year courses aren't what they have in mind. Sorry that I can't be more helpful but I think a lot of this probably comes down to how the Vietnamese embassy runs things; if you're getting acceptances onto these programs you've got to be a pretty great candidate so it's hard to see what the embassy's issue is. Maybe someone else would know better if 1 year programs are specifically excluded?

In other news I have realised the window for me to actually take this scholarship is closing very fast as I have a 2 month notice period. The situation is so fluid right now with COVID I really feel there is no way MEXT can know what the situation will be in September/October but in the UK the embassy is acting on the basis that they can give us 'a few weeks notice' if we will be able to enter Japan as if that is workable. The standard notice period in the UK is 1-2 months so literally NOBODY that has a professional career will be able to work with that unless they pre-emptively quit their job. Honestly I am starting to wish they would just say it is deferred until next April/September so at least there was certainty.
 
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