Recorded Webinar: “Education Market Overview Japan 2021”

Japanese educational institutions need to respond to the rapidly declining birth rate and increasing demand for world-class resources.  The UK, which has a global reputation for education, has lots to offer. But is Japan ready to accept the offer from UK?  If so, where do the opportunities exist?    

The Department for International Trade, Japan hosted its first Education sector webinar with the British Council, alongside British and Japanese education business consultants. 

This is an opportunity to learn the market overview, areas of opportunity for foreign suppliers in junior/high school business and market for International Schools in Japan.  


8:30 Opening

8:35 “The educational landscape in Japan – opportunities for the UK”

– Matthew Knowles

8:43 “Opportunities and challenges for market entry in secondary education”

 – Masatoshi Fukumoto

8:58 “Japan’s international schools market: opportunities for British brands”

  – Freddie Cloke

9:06 Q&A Session


Matthew Knowles Country Director of the British Council, Japan

After his university studies in Edinburgh and a year-long scholarship to the USA, Matt  began his career as Policy Officer in the Scottish Government’s Education Department in 2002. On joining the British Council in Edinburgh, Matt assumed the post of Manager, Scottish Networks International and Visits Coordinator (2003–2007).

From there he moved to Berlin, to facilitate the change in the British Council’s operation there, and then to Italy as Director of Programmes (2007-2008). There followed a five-year posting in Dhaka, Bangladesh, as Head of Programmes and Partnerships, after which Matt was London based as British Council’s Regional Head for East Asia, EU Europe, Wider Europe and the Americas (2012-2015).

Moving to Shanghai Matt served as the East China Area Director (2015-2019), before his appointment to the post of Director, British Council Japan in January 2020.

Masatoshi Fukumoto Corenet Educational Research Institute

Yokohama Research Center Manager

After graduating from university, Masatoshi was a teacher at a private high school.

Since 2006, he has been supporting the management of private junior and senior high schools at the Corenet Educational Research Institute. He was assigned to his current position in 2016. He also has experience in coaching children between 3 -12 years old in a local football club.

His area of expertise is the theory of enhancing the effects of learning and also careers education directed at meeting the needs of the modern world.

Freddie Cloke ISC Research School Development Manager

As School Development Manager at ISC Research, Freddie works closely with investors and schools, helping them to identify commercial opportunities within the international K-12 schools sector. Freddie is based in Shanghai, China and spends much of his time visiting schools and investors globally and advising them on the international schools’ market and associated opportunities for development.

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree from University College London, Freddie embarked on a Masters’ programme in International Relations, taught in Mandarin, at Wuhan University in China. Following that, he established an education consultancy business there to recruit Chinese students to UK independent schools and universities.

Facilitator: Kirsten O’Connor

Kirsten O’Connor is Senior Education Advisor at Clarence Education Asia. She is also the Founder and Director of QUEST TOKYO KK, a company offering a range of educational services and tutoring to the Japanese and international communities in Tokyo. Kirsten is a UK qualified teacher and taught in London before moving to Tokyo in 2001.

During her 17 years at The British School in Tokyo she was Head of Years 1 & 2, Deputy Head Teacher and for the final six years served as Head Teacher of the Primary School. An Entrepreneur Member of the BCCJ (British Chamber of Commerce in Japan), Kirsten is also an active Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Japan Fellows Network and founder of Talk Education Tokyo.