Abstract

The Japan-IMF Scholarship Program for Asia is a program for graduate studies in macroeconomics or related fields at various universities in Japan. The program is aimed at promising, young officials in central banks or in ministries of finance, economy, or planning in the Asia, Central Asia, and Pacific regions.9 The program, which is operated under the JSA, offers 12- and 24-month scholarships and is in the process of being expanded from the previous 25 scholarships per year to about 50 scholarships each year. For the academic year 2002, 31 scholarships were awarded.10 There are two forms of scholarships. Scholars accepted under the “partnership track” participate in specially designed courses offered by one of four participating universities,11 while the “open track” is available to candidates who have already been accepted to a graduate-level program in macroeconomics or a related field at any leading university in Japan. The program is currently administered by the IMF’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in Tokyo.

Japan-IMF Scholarship Program for Asia

The Japan-IMF Scholarship Program for Asia is a program for graduate studies in macroeconomics or related fields at various universities in Japan. The program is aimed at promising, young officials in central banks or in ministries of finance, economy, or planning in the Asia, Central Asia, and Pacific regions.9 The program, which is operated under the JSA, offers 12- and 24-month scholarships and is in the process of being expanded from the previous 25 scholarships per year to about 50 scholarships each year. For the academic year 2002, 31 scholarships were awarded.10 There are two forms of scholarships. Scholars accepted under the “partnership track” participate in specially designed courses offered by one of four participating universities,11 while the “open track” is available to candidates who have already been accepted to a graduate-level program in macroeconomics or a related field at any leading university in Japan. The program is currently administered by the IMF’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in Tokyo.

Since the first students were awarded scholarships in 1993, a total of 241 scholarships have been awarded and by the end of the academic year 2002, 175 scholars will have graduated from the participating universities. Table 6 shows the distribution of scholars by their nationality and organizational affiliation. The scholars continue to indicate that they have greatly benefited from the training and that they are better prepared to discharge their official duties upon returning to their work, which is regularly confirmed by the participating countries’ request to have the number of scholarships increased.

Table 6.

Japan-IMF Scholarship Program for Asia: Distribution of Scholars by Country and Affiliation, 1993-2002

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Japan-IMF Scholarship Program for Advanced Studies

Japan also provides financial support for a scholarship program for qualified Asian nationals who want to study economics at the doctorate level at one of the leading universities in North America in order to pursue a career in government or in an international financial institution, such as the IMF. The program covers reasonable costs for two years of study, while scholars are expected to secure another source of funding to cover the remaining years of study.

The first group, consisting of nine scholars, was admitted to the program in 1996.12 Since 1997, 15 scholars have been admitted annually to pursue their Ph.D.s. Table 7 shows the distribution of scholars by country since the beginning of the scholarship program. Table 8 lists the universities attended by the scholars and the number of scholars that have attended or are attending each of these institutions. The number of applications received for the program has steadily increased over the years, with over 100 applications received in each of the past two years. The quality of the applicants continues to be very strong and selected applicants have typically achieved high academic standards prior to joining the program. An annual orientation program is held at the IMF in Washington, D.C. to expose incoming scholars to the IMF and to provide an opportunity to meet other scholars before embarking on their studies. At the end of the third year of study, scholars are expected to complete a summer internship with the IMF. During the internship, scholars carry out a research project under the supervision of an experienced IMF economist. Thus far, all scholars have successfully completed their internships.

Table 7.

Japan-IMF Scholarship Program for Advanced Studies: Number of Scholars by Country, 1996-2002

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Table 8.

Japan-IMF Scholarship Program for Advanced Studies: Number of Scholars by University, 1996-2002

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Table 9 shows the employment of the scholars from the first three intakes, academic years 1996–1998. It has been encouraging to note that many are choosing to apply for the IMF’s Economist Program (EP), which is the main entry point for economists seeking to join the organization after completion of their studies. This is a good outcome, since one of the objectives of the program is to increase the number of Asian nationals on the staff of international financial institutions. So far, four scholars have been recruited by the IMF as EPs and one scholar as a mid-career economist. This is considered a good success rate, demonstrating the high academic achievements of the scholars. The majority of scholars who joined the program in academic year 1998 have now completed their studies. The total number of scholars that have completed their Ph.D. degrees now stands at 33.

Table 9.

Japan-IMF Scholarship Program for Advanced Studies: Employment of Graduates from the 1996-1998 Programs

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