Lakeland University Japan (LUJ) is recognized by an accrediting agency in the United States and by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT) in Japan.
The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS) initially accredited the Lakeland Japan campus in 1993 to offer two-year Associate of Arts and four-year Bachelor of Arts degree programs. A delegation from that agency officially visited Japan again on a fact-finding mission in 2008 and reaccredited the campus. As a result of the visit, LUJ received approval for ten-year accreditation, the longest number of years allowed. In subsequent years, the NCACS was reorganized and renamed the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). In 2018, the HLC sent a representative to Japan to re-accredit the campus. Once again, LUJ received approval for the maximum ten-year accreditation for its high-quality programs.
As a result of several years of negotiations between the U.S. and Japanese governments, MEXT recognized LUJ and three other universities as overseas campuses of foreign universities. LUJ was officially recognized as such a campus in December, 2005. As a result of the recognition, LUJ gained the right to sponsor student visas, LUJ students became entitled to heavily discounted commuting passes, and Japanese students became eligible for Japanese financial aid. In 2017, a MEXT delegation conducted a site visit, and in its report praised LUJ for its high educational standards.
Because of its ability to sponsor student visas, LUJ immediately started recruiting non-Japanese students in 2006. In just five years (2006 to 2011), the percentage of non-Japanese students rose from almost zero to approximately 30% of the undergraduate student body. Since then, the percentage has continued to rise, leveling off in 2023 at roughly 40 percent. With students currently representing over 30 different countries, this accomplishment can be primarily attributed to LUJ’s high educational standards verified by the accrediting arms of two nations – the U.S. and Japan.
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