Global 30 Project

Global 30 Project – Ulatus is proud to be associated with Japanese government’s initiative of internationalization of Japanese universitiesUlatus participates in meeting the objective of MEXT of globalizing Japanese universities to attract foreign students.

We have entered an age when virtually everything is flowing across national borders

Excerpts from the interview of Hakubun Shimomura published in The Japan Times:

Why “internationalization” of universities?
As globalization takes root in numerous fields such as business, politics, and education we have entered an age when virtually everything is flowing across national borders.

Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) Global 30 Project is a step in that direction. The project mainly provides financial support to 13 key universities to create a university-wide environment for promoting internationalization by attracting excellent foreign students and faculty.

The total number of foreign students these 13 universities accepted in fiscal 2008, the year before Global 30 was launched, was 16,000. The number increased even after the Great East Japan Earthquake, and as of March 2013, over 28,000 foreign students and 700 foreign faculty members were enrolled at these core universities.

These numbers indicate the steady achievements of the Global 30 Project and the benefits of internationalization.

Ulatus contributes to a colossal project like the Global 30

Offering impeccable and culturally sensitive English translations to Japanese universities to attract foreign students
As a part of internationalization of universities, Ulatus provided translations for following materials in English:-

  • Rules and Regulations for new students
  • Web pages of Universities
  • Enrollment manual for new students
  • Handbook for foreign students
  • Certifications, application process and admission guidelines
  • International training program for young researchers
  • University Syllabus
  • University pamphlet
  • Educational programs
  • Tutorials for foreign students to use Japanese systems
  • All material for Students Exchange Programs
  • College newspapers

Challenges Faced

  • Multiple universities, multiple departments, multiple kinds of material – but 1 solution (translation) and 1 solution provider (Ulatus) Each university required different type of content with divergent appeal. Therefore, we had to ensure that with so much similar type of content from various sources—all at once—there is no jumble, and each department of every university achieved its desired objective.
  • Beyond translation Universities were doing a bold move by translating Japanese content to English with the purpose of attracting foreign students. This meant a mere word-to-word translation was not a solution for an educational organization trying to pitch themselves to an English-speaking audience. Hence, we had to thoughtfully incorporate translations which would appeal to global audiences. However, special care had to be taken that the translations convey the precise message expected by the universities.
  • Reputation of the nation at stake - No scope for errors Since prestige of universities and the Japanese government was at stake in front of global audiences, multiple rounds of reviewing were mandatory to ensure flawless translation. An error from our side would mean embarrassment and loss of business for the universities globally.
  • Conveying the right Japanese culture Providing a sneak peek of the Japanese culture to the foreign students through translated content was a pivotal requirement. Taking that into consideration, translation had to be done in a way that the foreign students clearly understood the Japanese culture and became familiar with it, in order to avoid cultural shock.
  • Using past years content – Diligent and conscientious working When translating syllabus for various universities, a protocol of referring to previous year’s syllabus and guidelines had to be followed throughout the translation process. While doing the same, only new changes in the syllabus had to be incorporated in the final translated document.
  • Short timeline - All material had to be translated before the next academic year There were multiple requirements of translating content from multiple universities. But the deadline given by all of them was the same—as they were running short of time due to the next academic year admission process, which was starting soon. So we were pressed for time.
  • Huge responsibility to make-or-break the Government initiative There was humongous responsibility on our shoulders to deliver impeccable translation, as we were liable for important content of universities which were part of the Japanese government’s Global 30 initiative. Though it was a national level initiative the impact was global, so any minor mistake could mean a global embarrassment. Therefore, indirectly we were responsible to make or break the Global 30 drive.

Solutions Offered

  • Hire the right team – an alumnus of the University to rightly convey the culture of the UniversityAt Ulatus, we constantly strive for perfection and work on ways in which we can surpass the client’s expectations. Same was the case here. We hired translators who had graduated from the universities we were translating content for. These translators understood the culture of their respective university and that came out in their translation. This way we ensured that we meet the universities demand of conveying Japanese culture to foreign students. One such example was: We translated website content for Keio University by a translator who was a graduate from Keio University.
  • Strict quality controls – Clear brief to translators Multiple rounds of revisions were conducted on every translated material by a native-English speaker who would flag the content for even minor discrepancies, eventually resulting in flawless English content. Furthermore, the translators were asked to lay special emphasis on not only conveying the right message, but also giving a sneak peek of the Japanese culture to the foreign students without deluding the essence of the content.
  • Using CAT tools to leverage on earlier years content We built a strict in-house quality check system to leave no stone unturned in avoiding errors. We knew how critical an accurate translation was for sharing content aimed at a global audience. Sentences, numbers, names were double-checked at each stage of translation. CAT tools were used to ensure adherence to University terminology list and to have consistency with past years material. As a final check, the project manager proofread every single translated document thoroughly.


Due to our stringent processes and state-of-the-art technology our output delivered to each university was flawless. We could surpass the expectations of the universities and deliver not only impeccable translations but culturally sensitive content which helped bridge the gap between Japanese universities and foreign students.

The Global 30 initiative was a huge hit in Japan, and in 5 years of its implementation Japanese universities experienced an enormous increase of 12000 foreign students and 700 foreign faculty members.

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