The Impact of the Great Recession on Post-Secondary Enrollment in Japan

Student Author(s)

Brett Dawsey

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Sarah Estelle

Document Type


Event Date



This project seeks to investigate how the Great Recession of 2008 affected the decision of students to enroll in Japanese universities. Prior to 2008, the United States’ system of higher education was experiencing major changes which made it difficult to determine the exact impacts of the Great Recession. The college-age student population increased, a greater proportion of students depended on loans to finance their education, and the amount of financial aid per student increased (Long, 2013). However, the Japanese system of higher education immediately prior to the Great Recession faced a fairly stable environment, except for the overall decline of the population. After the onset of the recession, unemployment rose, household income fell, and prices in the real-estate market dropped to around 50 percent above the previous low seen in 2002. Using data from the Statistics Bureau of Japan, I will explore how the Great Recession, through parental wealth, impacted enrollment rates in different prefectures throughout Japan. While literature exists showing that enrollment decisions in the United Sates are sensitive to housing market fluctuations, asking the same question outside of the United States could result in new findings which could further advise student loan and financial aid policy in Japan.

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