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First Official Recognition by Japanese Government for Private Foreign University Branch Campus Operating in Japan

(PRWEB) December 17, 2005 -- On December 15, 2005 Lakeland College became the first private institution of higher education
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 to receive official Japanese government recognition for its branch campus undergraduate program in Japan.

 “  By granting us official recognition, the government has invited LCJ to continue training the kind of citizens that will serve the needs of domestic and foreign companies and help Japan remain competitiv...  
By granting the designation "Foreign University, Japan Campus" to Lakeland College Japan (LCJ), the government of Japan has indicated its recognition of U.S. colleges and universities that receive their degree-granting status from private accreditation boards, rather than national or state-level government agencies. Lakeland College, based in Wisconsin, USA, is an independent, private, liberal arts college accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

The new status, granted by Japan's Ministry of Education
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, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT), promises "significant benefits" for LCJ students, according to LCJ Assistant Dean Andrew Conning. "The most immediate benefit is that our students will be able to apply for the student discount on commuting passes issued by train or bus companies. And in the future, if they decide to attend a Japanese university, they will be able to apply to transfer the academic credits they have earned at LCJ."

LCJ will also be able to apply with the Ministry of Justice to sponsor student visas for applicants from outside Japan. "Japan is an attractive location for international students looking to earn an undergraduate education
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, and we plan to take advantage of this opportunity to bring more students here," Conning added.

These and other potential benefits will help LCJ and other foreign universities in Japan to operate on an equal basis with Japanese universities, and therefore to continue to expand the educational alternatives offered to Japanese university students. In response to the Ministry's announcement that LCJ had been granted Foreign University, Japan Campus, status, U.S. Ambassador J. Thomas Schieffer commented: "This recognition speaks highly of Lakeland College Japan as an institution of higher education. The Ministry's decision demonstrates the Japanese government's recognition of the quality of U.S. higher education and the benefits it offers to Japanese students."

Conning added that "LCJ offers an innovative, English-based program that gives Japanese students a broad-minded, international outlook and the ability to think independently. This recognition from the government of Japan will support LCJ students as they seek the international training and experience required for full participation in the global economy. By granting us official recognition, the government has invited LCJ to continue training the kind of citizens that will serve the needs of domestic and foreign companies and help Japan remain competitive."

To qualify for the government's recognition as a Foreign University, Japan Campus, LCJ had to satisfy a variety of criteria. For example, it had to demonstrate that it was an officially accredited branch of a US college, and that the standards and quality of the LCJ faculty and programs were fully compatible with those of the main campus in the United States. LCJ submitted documents to satisfy these and other criteria to the Embassy of the United States, which transmitted LCJ's application to MEXT.

While LCJ's official recognition as a Foreign University, Japan Campus is a significant step toward operating on equal status with Japanese universities, LCJ hopes that the various agencies of the Japanese government will follow MEXT's lead in recognizing the important contribution foreign universities can make to Japanese society and to the nation's future economic strength. The government's unified support will be essential in making Japan an attractive location for university study for both Japanese and foreign students.

Lakeland College was founded in 1862. The LCJ campus has offered a US-accredited two-year Associate of Arts degree since 1991. Most LCJ graduates complete a four-year Bachelor of Arts degree program through continued study at the main campus in Wisconsin, USA or at other universities. Until 2003, Lakeland College was the coordinating institution of the Association of American Colleges and Universities in Japan.

For inquiries on this press release, please contact Masanori Nakayama, LCJ (Tel. +813-5285-5571).


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