ABU DHABI // Emirati students are being given the opportunity to travel to Japan to study and take part in internships.
The move is part of an agreement between the Abu Dhabi Education Council and Japanese authorities.
The Japan International Cooperation Centre (JICC) will open an education development office in the capital this autumn to help youngsters in the UAE with an interest in studying abroad.
"We have been actively involved in organising internship programmes in Japan for students at the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, with the cooperation of the Japanese government and leading companies in Japan," said JICC's Yuji Kawamoto.
Foreign universities increasingly have been targeting Emirati and UAE-based students at education fairs.
The Emirates is seen as a key market by well-established countries such as the United States and Britain, as well emerging markets such as Malaysia.
Khurram Saeed, the director of the Najah Education and Training Exhibition and Career Fair, which will be held in Abu Dhabi in October, said this year will mark the first Japanese presence.
"The Japanese government is stepping up efforts to lure students from the Emirates," he said.
"The government is looking at reforming its higher-education sector as well as introducing new language and financing initiatives, along with ramping up efforts in student exchange, international recruitment and overseas collaboration.
"Universities are also boosting the proportion of English-taught courses and are being fully supported by the government on this."
Mr Kawamoto said being at Najah was vital for reaching potential students, particularly those who might have been put off by the language barrier.
"Universities have broken down the language barrier, which was one of the obstacles preventing international students from studying in Japan," he said.
"The number of faculties offering courses in English is increasing at a rapid pace, with the majority of universities introducing degrees in English.
"We highly welcome students who are keen to learn Japanese because learning a language is the best way to understand foreign culture.
"Each university has a language-support programme for students before they join the university and during their stay on campus."