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Japanese Language Education Statistics 2019

Student interest in Japanese Language and Japanese Studies at university level is often influenced by prior experience of learning about Japanese language and culture. For this reason, we wanted to share some recent statistics on Japanese language learning which shed light on the state of Japanese language education, with a focus on pre-tertiary sectors.


In September, the NSW Education Standards Authority released the 2019 enrolment figures for HSC subjects. At a glance:

  • Japanese was the most popular language with 1348 unique students (French was #2 at 1152)
  • Female students (approx 65%) outnumber male students (approx 35%)

See enrolments for all HSC language courses
See Top 5 Languages table (scroll down)


Every 3 years, the Japan Foundation runs an international survey of primary, secondary, tertiary and other educational institutions offering Japanese-language courses. Preliminary results from the 2018 Survey on Japanese Language Education Abroad indicate the following.

International Rankings

  • Australia ranks 4th in terms of the number of institutions offering Japanese language courses (no change from 2015)
  • Australia ranks 4th in terms of the number of Japanese language learners (no change from 2015)
  • Australia ranks 7th in terms of the number of teachers of Japanese language (down from 6th in 2015)

In Australia

  • Primary-level Japanese learners have increased by almost 24% on 2015
  • Secondary-level Japanese learners have decreased by approx 5% since 2015
  • Tertiary-level Japanese learners have increased by over 76% since 2015
  • Japanese language courses are offered at 1764 institutions, up by approx 7% on 2015
  • There are 3135 Japanese teachers, up by 12% on 2015

See preliminary results

The full results of the 2018 survey are scheduled for release in March 2020.

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Main image: Chris Liverani via Unsplash

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