The Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program and The Public Finance Program

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1 The Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program and The Public Finance Program YUICHIRO YOSHIDA Director, the Public Finance Program National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies

2 The Mission The major objective of the Public Finance Program is to provide scholars with solid understanding of academic concepts and technical competence in practical operations To foster future leaders in taxation

3 Our Program Designed for mid-career government officials from developing countries worldwide, to help achieve distinguished careers in the field of taxation policies Our program: helps scholars develop a better understanding of the theoretical, institutional, and practical aspects of tax policy administration, and enables them to design, implement, and manage effective tax policies in light of their respective countries development strategies

4 The Curriculum Our Public Finance Program is a 13-month course There are two main stems: Academic courses common to tax (JJ/WBGSP) and customs (WCO) scholars, and A practicum (internship), specializing in Tax issues exclusively for WB scholars

5 The Curriculum: Academic Courses Our academic curriculum attaches great importance to both the theoretical foundation of public policies, tax policies in particular, and the socioeconomic settings of the developing countries In addition to the quantitative and qualitative skills necessary to analyze and evaluate public policies, our academic courses provide scholars with a courses in a wide range of applied topics in economics, laws, and political science

6 The Curriculum: The Practicum The practicum is provided by Japan s National Tax College intensive 2-week lecture program weekly workshops and seminars through academic year visits to regional taxation bureaus preparation of student papers Topics covered by the NTC practicum include Japanese tax laws Tax management and administration Audit Tax treaty Negotiation of tax treaty

7 Academic Year at PFP/GRIPS When tax (JJ/WBGSP) scholars arrive in mid-september, they begin the eight-credit practicum at the National Tax College with an intensive two-week lecture program by NTC staffs on Overall tax laws Tax administration/implementation Tax collection/evasion, tax management Other tax issues in Japan (income tax, property tax, corporate tax, consumption tax, etc) One academic year at GRIPS is composed of four terms: Fall (16 weeks) Winter (8 weeks) Spring (16 weeks) Summer (8 weeks)

8 Academic Year at PFP/GRIPS Required Courses in fall term Microeconomics I Theory of Public Finance Public Finance and Fiscal Policy International Taxation of Japan Strongly Recommended Elective Courses Macroeconomics I (fall) Microeconomics II (fall) Macroeconomics II (fall) Introduction to Applied Econometrics (fall) Government and Market (winter) Development Economics (winter) Social Science Questions and Methodologies (winter) Local Public Finance (spring) Public Finance Reforms in Japan (spring) International Economics (spring)

9 Graduation Requirements at GRIPS Following conditions are required to fulfill: 1 Scholars must complete a minimum of 36 credits: 8 are earned through the NTC practicum and at least 12 are required in academic core courses 2 Scholars must complete a master s thesis Workshops in Public Finance I and II Four credits are given to the master s thesis: 2 credits each Upon successful completion of the program, scholars receive a master s degree (Master of Public Finance) from GRIPS

10 Master s Thesis Thesis topics is selected by individual scholars with the help of faculty supervisors Scholars submit research proposals by the end of winter term along with a preference for their main advisors Based primarily on the initial topic selected, the scholars are faculty members are assigned as supervisors The workshop supervisors provide necessary assistance and support towards completion of the master s thesis Since 2005, selected approved master s theses amongst the JJ/WBGSP scholars are submitted to the World Bank

11 Master s Thesis During the past four years ( ), 20 JJ/WBGSP scholars earned master s degree at GRIPS: 14 are supervised by Prof. Takashi Fukushima and 6 are by Prof. Naoki Matsuda Prof. Fukushima is a former director and current co-director of the Public Finance Program, holds a Ph.D. in Economics and taught economics in the United States for 15 years ( ) specializing in the field of public finance and taxation, and has ample experience advising master s-level graduate scholars. Prof. Matsuda is an expert in taxation theory and practice and a professor of the National Tax College. He has been supervising Public Finance scholars at GRIPS for three years.

12 Resources at GRIPS: Academic Writing Center Monthly Academic Writing Workshops A non-credit course Scholars learn how to avoid plagiarism cite sources properly develop research topics, and improve their writing and presentation skills The Academic Writing Center at GRIPS is staffed by two full-time faculty members who are available daily for scholars consultation.

13 Resources at GRIPS: Japanese Language Classes GRIPS offers various levels of Japanese language classes These are credit-bearing courses, however credits earned do not count toward graduation requirement GRIPS deems it important for scholars to have an opportunity to learn Japanese language so they can deepen the understanding of the culture and society

14 Resources at GRIPS: Student Support and Student Office We consider daily life as important as academic life, especially for foreign scholars who are unfamiliar with Japan Upon acceptance, new students receive information on enrollment procedures as well as pre-departure preparation Student Office helps scholars with Accommodations e.g. Tokyo International Exchange Center (TIEC) offered by Ministry of Education of Japan Visas for family members, and Finding suitable schools for accompanying children

15 Resources at GRIPS: Student Support and Student Office During the students first week on campus, the Student Office and International Programs Team organize an extensive orientation program helping arriving international students in: Foreign resident registration Bank accounts, and National Health and other insurance enrollment The Student Office continues to offer assistance on daily life: a handbook for living and studying in Japan The Student Office also offers social events and activities: home stay programs, fieldtrips, and concerts In-house health clinic at GRIPS offers health consultation Compulsory yearly medical health check is offered for all students by Health Services Center with the Student Office

16 About GRIPS: An Overview The mission is to be a training ground and research institute for future leaders in the policy arena The Public Finance Program, in which the master s degree in a taxrelated subject is provided, is an integral part of this mission. GRIPS currently offers 15 policy-oriented graduate programs: 7 master s programs taught in English 5 master s programs taught in Japanese, and 3 doctoral programs Our master s degree programs are designed for mid-career professionals to achieve distinguished careers in the policy field About 60% of our student intake consists of international scholars, from developing countries in Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe

17 About GRIPS: Faculty Resources Our full-time faculty (currently 67 members) come from a variety of backgrounds, including academia and both public and private sectors Many distinguished visiting international and domestic faculty members share their passion and interest in teaching and conducting research in the field of policy studies at GRIPS This unique faculty body allows GRIPS to offer a wide variety of courses of rigorous and state-of-the-art academic content, complemented by practical training in topics that are relevant to developing economies

18 GRIPS Achievements: Partnership Experience GRIPS (including our time as GSPS) has more than 20 years of experience in graduate program in partnership with multilateral organizations such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Asian Development Bank, World Customs Organization, and various ministries and organizations of the government of Japan In particular, GRIPS has been offering a master s degree in a tax-related subject in English since 1997 Public Finance Program master's theses are gathered in a bounded volume, and copies are kept in our Library and distributed to the scholars, their employers and colleagues at home, and the World Bank

19 GRIPS Achievements: Alumni Networking Scholars build close relationships amongst themselves during the program GRIPS helps them keeping close contact with our alumni through mailing lists, alumni reunions, newsletters, and local alumni groups, as an important way of promoting a network of professionals in the policy field Searchable online directory of current positions and contact addresses of alumni is launched by our Alumni Office Our alumni network is an important recruitment tool as well Periodic tours by GRIPS administrative and teaching staff are made to hold alumni gatherings 8 such tours are held since January 2006 alone: including visits to Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyz, Mongolia, Indonesia, Maldives, Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, and the Philippines, among others

20 GRIPS Achievements: Promotional Activities Every year, the director sends a letter to the directors of relevant organizations in applicant countries, such as ministries of finance and revenue authorities The program director and an admission office staff gave a detailed presentations on Public Finance Program towards targeted groups These activities help us attract highly qualified candidates, and obtain suggestions to improve our program and the ways to disseminate our program

21 GRIPS Achievements: Admission Selection Process In addition to the commitment of the director, co-director, and program coordinator, Vice-President and Dean of Education as well as Director of Admissions are actively involved in the process when GRIPS professors conduct research overseas they are requested to visit the relevant ministries and institutions to ask them encourage their employees apply to GRIPS The tax stream of the Public Finance Program has been particularly successful in attracting numerous applicants of both genders from a variety of countries, with a very high applicant to enrollment ratio

22 Concluding Remarks: Competitive Advantage of GRIPS The mission Focused to produce future leaders in taxation with a wellbalanced mix of academic and practical training Resources Rich body of faculty for a successful academic training and dedicated staffs for supporting students in their daily life Experience Over 20 years of experience as a pioneer of international graduate training in the policy study area Achievements A number of distinguished scholars have been, and are now studying at the Public Finance Program of GRIPS

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