Top 10 Universities in Japan for International Students

Japan, the land of the rising sun, is rich in a lot of aspects. As the third-biggest economy in the world, it is rich in culture too. It’s also home to many educational institutions, with many of them recognized as some of the best on the planet. If you’re thinking of studying in Japan, then you should enroll in any of the best universities in Japan for international students.

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How happy are international students enrolled in Japanese universities?

According to a study, 82.44% of foreign students are satisfied with studying in Japanese Universities. The most significant predictor is the suitability of the curriculum to the learners’ needs.

What are the most popular courses taken by foreign students in Japan?

The top programs taken by international students in Japan are Information Technology, Business Administration, and Engineering.

How many international students are in Japan?

According to a news outlet, about 312,214 foreign enrollees are studying in Japan.

What is the best university in Japan for foreign students?

The University of Tokyo is considered by many ranking bodies as the best Japanese university for international applicants.

Best Universities in Japan for International Students

1. University of Tokyo

The University of Tokyo, also known as UTokyo and Todai, was the first imperial university established in Japan. Founded in 1877, the capital based-university has campuses in Nakano, Shirokane, Kashiwa, Komaba, and Hongo. University of Tokyo is considered the best university in Japan for international students due to its prestige and diversity.

UTokyo is home to 10 faculties specializing in Agriculture, Arts & Science, Education, Economics, Engineering, Letters, Medicine, Law, Pharmacy, and Science. It also has 15 graduate schools, which cover the aforementioned studies and several more.

As one of the research-intensive universities in Japan, Todai leads in the studies of Physics, Biology & Biochemistry, Pharmacology & Toxicology, Materials Science, Chemistry, and Immunology.

2. Kyoto University

Founded in 1897, the former imperial Kyoto University is recognized as the second-oldest institution in Japan. Based in Kyoto, this high-ranking university is known to have produced the greatest number of Asian Nobel Laureates.

Kyoto U is home 10 faculties in the studies of Letters, Law, Education, Integrated Human Studies, Science, Economics, Medicine, Engineering, Agriculture, and Pharmacy. It also houses 19 graduate schools.

The university offers the MEXT scholarship for its foreign students, with about a quarter of the population being granted with this bursary. This scholarship covers tuition (varying amounts), as well as one round-trip ticket.

3. Tohoku University

Tohoku University, located in the Miyagi Prefecture, is one of the top Japanese universities for international students. Established in 1907, it was the third imperial university to be built in the country. It is recognized as one of the best universities in Japan, alongside the University of Tokyo and Kyoto University.

The former Tohoku Imperial University is home to 10 Faculties: Arts & Letters, Law, Education, Science, Dentistry, Medicine, Pharmacy, Agriculture, and Engineering. These institutes are dispersed in 4 campuses in Sendai – Katahira, Kawauchi, Seiryo, and Aobayama.

Tohoku is very generous in providing scholarships for international students. These include the MEXT (Japanese Government) scholarship, the President Fellowship, and the Monbukagakusho Honors Scholarship.

4. Tokyo Institute of Technology

The Tokyo Institute of Technology is the biggest university in Japan that focuses on science and technology. Founded in 1881, it is also known by the monikers Tokodai, Tokyo Tech, and TIT. Its main campus is located in Ookayama, with 2 other satellite branches in Tamachi and Suzukakedai.

Tokodai has 3 undergraduate schools in Science, Engineering, and Bioscience & Biotechnology. It also has 6 graduate schools specializing in Science & Engineering, Bioscience & Biotechnology, Innovation Management, and Information/Decisive Science & Technology.

Apart from the Japanese Government MEXT scholarship, Tokyo Tech also provides privately-funded bursaries for its foreign students.

5. Nagoya University

Founded in 1871, Nagoya University is the last of Japan’s Imperial universities. It is located in Chikusa-Ku, which is one of the wards of Nagoya City.

The former medical school has 9 faculties in Law, Engineering, Medicine, Science, Agriculture, Letters, Economics, Information Culture, and Education. It is also home to 13 diverse graduate schools.

As with other best Japanese universities in Japan for international students in this list, Nagoya U excels in the fields of research – especially that of Physics, Chemistry, and Biology & Biochemistry. It has 6 Nobel Laureates as of date.

6. Osaka University

Osaka University is a public research institution also known as the University of Osaka. While it was only formally founded in 1931, it can trace its roots back to the Kaitokudo merchant academy that was established in 1724.

The university has 3 campuses in the Osaka Prefecture – Minoh, Toyonaka, and Suita. Minoh is home to the School of Foreign Studies, while Toyonaka has the Faculties of Law, Letters, Science, Economics, and Engineering Science.

The Suita campus, on the other hand, houses the Faculties of Pharmacy, Medicine, Dentistry, Human Science, and Engineering. It also hosts the 4-year English-medium program, which is part of the government’s G30 project.

7. Kyushu University

Kyushu University is a Fukuoka-based national institution. Founded in 1903, Kyushu University is one of the top universities in Japan for international students.

Kyushu University has 13 schools specializing in Law, Medicine, Dentistry, Economics, Letters, Education, Interdisciplinary Science, Science, Pharmacy, Engineering, Agriculture, and Design. It also has a 21st Century Program School, 18 graduate schools, and 16 graduate faculties.

As a member of the National Government’s MEXT project, it is one of the 13 universities that have been assigned to help globalize Japanese Higher Education. It also offers a variety of scholarships for international students, including the Ushio Foundation Scholarship, the Ajinomoto Scholarship, and the Sun Noh Scholarship, to name a few.

8. Tokyo Medical and Dental University

The Tokyo Medical and Dental University was founded in 1928, though it is rooted in the Eiraku Hospital that was established in 1899. As part of the country’s national university system, it offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, and Liberal Arts & Sciences.

TMDU’s main campus is located in Yushima, where the university’s main buildings and hospitals are located. The Surugadai branch is home of 2 institutes, while the Kuonadai campus has the College of Liberal Arts & Science. The latter is the location of other undergraduate studies as well.

9. University of Tsukuba

The University of Tsukuba is located on a 236-acre campus in the Ibaraki prefecture. While it was only formally opened in 1973, it draws its beginnings from the Tokyo University of Education, which was founded in 1872.

The university has 9 undergraduate schools in Art & Design, Health & Physical Education, Medicine & Medical Sciences, Informatics, Science & Engineering, Life & Environmental Sciences, Human Science, Social & International Studies, and Humanities & Culture. It also has 8 graduate colleges and schools.

The university is well known for its globalization efforts, as it is an active member of both the Super Global University and Global 30 internationalization projects.

10. Hokkaido University

The final candidate in our list of best universities in Japan for international students is Hokkaido University, which is located in Japan’s largest and northernmost prefecture. Founded in 1876, it is recognized as one of Japan’s imperial universities. It has campuses in Sapporo and Hakodate.

Hokkaido University has 14 undergraduate schools specializing in Law, Education, Letters, Economics, Medicine, Health Science, Nursing, Dentistry, Engineering, Veterinary Medicine, Fisheries, Agriculture, Pharmacy, and Science. The university has 22 graduate divisions as well.

As a member of the government’s Top Global University Project, Hokkaido University offers several post-graduate degrees in English. These include Agriculture, Engineering, Life Science, Chemical Science & Engineering, Science, and Veterinary Medicine.


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