Pandemic-related university dropouts up 40 % in Japan

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The number of students who dropped out of universities, junior colleges or other tertiary institutions in Japan in April-December last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic rose by around 40% from a year earlier to 1,937, a survey by the education ministry showed Tuesday.

The figure accounted for 0.06% of all students. The number of such dropouts came to 1,367 in April-December 2020, or 0.05% of all students.

On the reasons why they left school, 30.3% of those who dropped out due to the pandemic cited school maladaptation or loss of motivation to study, exceeding the proportion of those who said that they faced economic difficulties, at 19.9%.

In the previous year, 28.1% said that they quit due to economic hardship, while 20% said that they were not able to adapt to school life or were not motivated to study.

The ministry also said the number of students who were taking a leave of absence from school due to the pandemic stood at 5,855 as of the end of December 2021, up by around 30% from a year before.