Application for academic year 2023

We are now accepting applications for fiscal year 2023.

The following is for reference
  • For the 2023 program (i.e. for those who would like to enter university in April 2023), the application period is from 1 July (Fri) to 3 August (Wed) 2022.
  • From this year’s selection, the proof of English language proficiency is mandatory. Applicants who wish to for pursue a degree in English are required to submit the test scores, such as: TOEFL iBT; IELTS; TEAP; TEAP CBT; or Cambridge ESOL Exam. 
  • Please note that some overseas students who have a refugee background and lived in Japan* are also eligible from the 2019 term. For further details, please contact the Secretariat of UNHCR Refugee Higher Education Programme.
    * Refugees recognized by a foreign government or by UNHCR outside Japan or individuals who were considered in need of international protection on the basis of, inter alia, a valid/an applicable UNHCR Eligibility Guideline at the time of application to RHEP, and are granted a mid/long term residency status by the Japanese government, or individuals who have a realistic prospect of being granted such a residency status. Please note that asylum seekers whose application for refugee status is pending with the Government of Japan are not eligible.
  • Especially for those applying for graduate programme, please ensure that your research topic matches the graduate school/faculty of your choice and the career path you wish to pursue after graduation.
  • The UNHCR Refugee Higher Education Program does not allow you to apply together with other admission by recommendation (This does not apply to individuals who have failed this exam). For further details, please contact the Secretariat of UNHCR Refugee Higher Education Programme.

Applications must be submitted by simplified registration (kanni-kakitome) no later than 3 August 2022 :

c/o Japan for UNHCR
Secretariat of UNHCR Refugee Higher Education Program

6F Minami Aoyama HY Building, 7-3-6 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku,
Tokyo 107-006

Undergraduate degree programme

2023 UNHCR-RHEP Application FormPDF opens link in new window/tab

Application Guidelines for the respective universities (for candidates with sufficient language skills for pursuing a degree in English);

Graduate degree programme

The scholarship scheme and qualifications for the graduate degree programme is different from that for the undergraduate course. Please check the website of the university and contact to the Secretariat of UNHCR Refugee Higher Education Programme for further inquiries.

2023 UNHCR-RHEP Application FormPDF opens link in new window/tab

Application Guidelines

Q&APDF opens link in new window/tab

With regards to MEXT’s support program for higher education


From April 2020, the Government of Japan implemented a program that financially supports students from low-income households. Please refer to MEXT’s website (in Japanese only) for further information, as certain RHEP candidates may be eligible to apply.

MEXT: Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology

Expectations for RHEP Students

      1. Students must complete with satisfactory academic performance an undergraduate degree that is in principle, a maximum of four years in duration.
      2. Students must submit a progress report and financial status report to the UNHCR twice a year.
      3. During the course of their studies, students must complete at least one RHEP project, for example, students may participate in a seminar as a speaker.
      4. Students must participate regularly in RHEP follow-up meetings, and interviews following their graduation from university.

Selection Process (The schedule is subject to change, and dates may vary from year to year.)

    1. Applications open
      By the end of June each year
    2. Applications deadline
      By the beginning of August each year
    3. Written Exam
      The end of August each year (language and essay)
    4. Interview
      The end of August each year (in Tokyo)
    5. Results announced
      The beginning of September each year
    6. Decision process by partner universities
      From the middle of September to the beginning of December