Middle-aged and elderly folks looking to take on fresh academic challenges could well find what they are after at Tokyo Keizai University, which next academic year is opening a Ph.D. admissions stream exclusively for applicants aged 52 and above at the time of enrollment.
The application process to enter the institution's Graduate School of Communications Studies is the first in Japan targeting the older set, and anyone in the designated age group and with a master's degree under their belt can give it a try. Applications will be open from Jan. 5 to 11 next year. The selection process will be based on each prospective student's master's thesis, research plan, and an interview to be held on Feb. 18.
"The study of communications is an area where people can make the best of their work experience, so people with a master's degree and a lot of experience in society can apply without worrying they don't have a long research record," the university explains.
According to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology's School Basic Survey, some 18,000 working adults entered graduate schools in academic 2014, accounting for about 18 percent of all grad school admissions.
Universities across Japan are moving to establish master's degree programs for experienced adults to maintain their student numbers as the country's population ages and the birthrate declines. Tokyo Keizai University already has a master's program targeted at people around retirement age who want to enhance their academic accomplishments, and is now expanding this strategy with the Ph.D. course.