Ashinaga UK Master’s Programme
Ashinaga UK is proud to announce that we are launching a new master’s scholarship for academically excellent Japanese orphaned students to study at UK universities, the Ashinaga UK Master’s Programme (AMP).
The scholarship, like The Ashinaga Africa Initiative, is part of our mission to empower talented orphaned students to become agents of social change by removing barriers to education.
“I think the most precious trait in humanity is altruism. We can all learn a lot from the resilience of those around us. This is not limited to people of the same nationality, but across countries and cultures. There are orphaned students from all over the world that need support in order to unleash their full potential. We hope Ashinaga can trigger a cycle of kindness that expands to a global movement.”
Ashinaga currently enables 2,100 Scholars to attend undergraduate degrees in Japan. Ashinaga UK will support up to two of these Scholars, based on academic merit, to attend a master’s degree in the UK each year. This will enable them to fulfill more of their academic potential and provide the international outlook we believe is an important asset for future change–makers.
About the Scholars
“Everyone should be able to stand on the same start line, irrespective of their family background or social circumstances. It’s not because they are orphans that people need special support, it is because we need a society where everyone has an equal opportunity to dream with confidence, with their head held high.”
Despite having one of the largest economies in the world, Japan has an increasingly high level of poverty, rising at a rate of 1.3% a year since the mid-1980s. The country has one of the highest levels of child poverty in the developed world, with one in six people below the age of 17 coming from households in relative poverty (with incomes at or below half the median national disposable income).
Orphaned young people are even likelier to come from impoverished or low-income backgrounds. Over half of single-parent homes are in relative poverty, and the average monthly income of Ashinaga Scholars’ families is 146,000 yen (approximately £1000), over 60% less than the average for the country: 367,500 yen.
Only 24% of single-parent students in Japan attend university as undergraduates, under half the rate of students from two-parent families. From the Ashinaga Foundation’s experience, supporting over 110,000 orphaned children over the last 50 years, this gap increases for postgraduate studies, with orphaned students significantly less likely to proceed in education than their peers. This gap is greater still for postgraduate studies overseas.
As most students in Japan are reliant on family income to attend university, Ashinaga’s support is vital for removing barriers to orphaned students, and the Ashinaga UK Master’s Programme will have a profound impact on its Scholars.
We believe in the power of opening access to education to empower the disadvantaged into becoming compassionate change-makers.
AMP Scholars will continue to share in the ethos of Ashinaga, acting with a warm heart, an open mind, a proactive attitude, and an international outlook. We encourage all Scholars to “pay it forward”: spread the benefits they have received from accessing higher education by working to improve the lives of others.
I have had so many opportunities to experience new things with Ashinaga, from being a student leader, the care program, and the curriculum in the Ashinaga dormitory. Now I am in my final year it is time for me to support those younger than me with what I have learned.
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