Founded by educator and politician Koki Watanabe as "Koshu Gakko" in 1887, it was the first private engineering school established in Japan. Watanabe set up the institution with other professors from Tokyo Imperial University, where he was president. It was established to train the engineers needed to develop and modernise Japan’s industries.
In 1928, it was renamed as Kogakuin, which means "Institute of Engineering" or "Institute of Technology" in Japanese. In 1949, it began life as a university offering four-year undergraduate courses, then in 1964, began offering master’s courses and finally, in 1966, introduced doctorate degrees to its programme.
It offers the study of civil engineering, mechanics, electrics, architecture, shipbuilding, mining, metallurgy and chemical engineering.
Kogakuin University is located in Shinjuku, Tokyo and has two campuses. The first is a five-minute walk from Shinjuku Station and consists of a 29-storey skyscraper in the Shinjuku Skyscraper District. There also student houses, the faculty of engineering, the faculty of global engineering, the school of architecture, the faculty of informatics and the faculty of engineering’s evening programme.
The Hachioji Campus is much greener, which covers 0.2km² and includes large-scale laboratories and research facilities, as well as classes for the faculties of engineering, global engineering and the school of architecture.
The university has set up international exchange agreements with 37 educational institutions around the world and many of the university students are involved in both academic exchanges and language-training programmes.
It has set up an Extension Centre and the Science Education Centre, which run a series of activities and projects that contribute to the broader society and region. These activities range from educating working adults to supporting the scientific education of elementary, junior and high school students.