The top universities in Japan have been revealed

The University of Tokyo takes the top spot in Times Higher Education’s new Japan University Rankings

March 30 2017

In Times Higher Education’s inaugural Japan University Rankings, the University of Tokyo is the country’s premier institution.

This new ranking is designed to give students and their families the information they need to choose where to study and focuses on the teaching and learning environments that universities offer students. Like the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education US College Rankings, the ranking is based on four “pillars” (resources, engagement, outcomes and environment) that concentrate on what the universities offer applicants.  


View the 2017 best universities in Japan
Archipelago of excellence? Discover which institutions stand out in our new rankings


The top end of the ranking is predominantly taken up by the National Seven Universities, a group of institutions founded by the Empire of Japan between 1886 and 1939, and run by the imperial government until the end of the Second World War.

The universities in the National Seven group are the University of Tokyo, (ranked in first place), Tohoku University (second), Kyoto University (third), Nagoya University (joint fourth), Osaka University (sixth), Kyushu University (seventh) and Hokkaido University (eighth).

The Tokyo Institute of Technology (joint fourth) is the only university that is not part of the National Seven group to appear in the top five of the Japan University Rankings. The Tokyo Institute of Technology’s highly selective admissions process and strong emphasis on science and technology research most likely contributed to its high position in the rankings. Meanwhile, the University of Tsukuba is in ninth place.

The institutions at the head and the tail of the top 10, the University of Tokyo and Waseda University, respectively, are both situated in Japan’s capital along with the Tokyo Institute of Technology, while the universities in the middle of the top 10 table are scattered throughout the country. 

The student-focused nature of the Japan University Rankings differs significantly from the THE World University Rankings. To explore the full methodology for the Japan University Rankings, please click here


View the full results of the 2017 Japan University Rankings

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