4th Imperial University of Japan, Kyushu University

Cover Photo Credit: 新幹線 / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

Kyushu University is one of the imperial universities in Japan, dedicated to providing quality education, and delivers what was promised. It has had a stable position as one of the best universities in Japan and is also recognized globally. Learn more about the fourth imperial university of Japan.

History and Ranking of Kyushu University 

Tracing its roots back in 1903, Kyushu University, or formerly known as Fukuoka Medical Colleges, has been one of Japan’s research extensive higher education institutions. Now composed of more than 30 different schools and faculties, with undergraduate and graduate levels combined, the University has established itself to be one of the leading universities in Japan. Aside from its domestic achievements, Kyushu University is recognized globally as well through its diverse partnerships with universities around the world. This makes it a hotspot for international students who intend to pursue an academic career in the country. 

It shares an almost similar history with other renowned universities in the country such as Kyoto University, Tohoku University, and the University of Tokyo since they were all founded during the earlier period of Imperial Japan. Defined by a series of robust economic activities and pervasive scholarly projects, imperial Japan was a thriving period of Japan’s history. This could be one of the reasons why Japan gained its powerful status back in the 20th century. And this is why Kyushu University attained a respectable position in the country due to its significant contributions during the period.

※ Kyushu University, "History of Kyushu University"
※ Kyushu University, "Schools & Centers"

In 2020, Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranked the university to be 5th of the best universities in Japan, while 58th in Asia and within the 401-500th bracket in the world. Meanwhile, QS University Rankings considered the institution to be 30th in Asia while 132nd in the world. These rankings attributed the university's excellence to its departments, especially in Engineering, Medical, and Natural Sciences. Moreover, the institutional excellence manifested by the university reflects its commitment to MEXT's Top Global University Project, a government program towards the advancement of internationalization through education and research-backed activities. 

※ Times Higher Education World University Rankings, "Kyushu University"
※ Top Universities, "Kyushu University"

Education and campus life 

Located right next to Fukuoka City, the capital of Fukuoka Prefecture in Japan, the university boasts its connection with the modern, metropolitan nature of Japan while maintaining the cultural and traditional Japanese experience. Fukuoka is known for its dynamic combination of the mentioned aspects above. Students in Kyushu University would definitely acquire this dynamic perspective as they become accustomed to life in Fukuoka. Furthermore, there are many reasons to love Fukuoka as well. From its astounding beaches to its urban dining scenery, people who spend some time living in the city would certainly enjoy themselves. Not far from campus is Sakurai Futamigaura, one of the most beautiful sights in Japan with the white torii on the sea and the “couple” rocks joined by a sacred rope.

Now, let us focus on the education of Kyushu University. Each program in the university offers a substantial propensity to develop future innovations in the field. Also, the university engages with the global academic community in this pursuit. Its connections and links with other universities from different countries will involve any student with the international community, preparing them for a world-class scholarly network. 

Numerous undergraduate, graduate, and short-term programs are offered in the university, spread in different fields of study. The programs within these categories can be taught in either English or Japanese. Also, the university has partnered with other international universities from Africa, Asia, and Europe wherein they provide a double degree program.

In this kind of program, students are sent abroad to pursue graduate studies in their fields and are expected to receive a master’s or doctoral degree in both institutions. For instance, a student of engineering takes the double degree program. He or she will continue studies at Kyushu University while being sent after one and a half or two years to a university in Indonesia. He or she will then spend the remaining one and half or two years of studies in the country. Usually, double degrees may take 3-5 years, depending on the degree taken.

Exchange Programs at Kyushu University 

Moreover, Kyushu University boasts its well-established student exchange programs. Take note that in order to participate in one of these exchange programs, the student or the faculty should be enrolled in or teaching in a partner university abroad. Up to this date, there are 36 partner universities across 5 continents in the world.These are three exchange programs offered in the university: 

  • Japan in Today’s World: may last for a semester or a year that may involve students of any discipline to take specialized courses about Japan, its culture, and its society. Meanwhile, students may opt to take Japanese language and research courses that are optional within the program. 

  • Japanese Language and Culture Course: a short-term study program that runs for one academic year that is exclusive for international students who are majoring in Japanese language and culture. 

  • Undergraduate or Graduate Programs: a full-term academic program that involves students who are willing to continue tertiary education in one of Kyushu University’s programs. Students must take every subject within the course.

Short Term Programs

Apart from these exchange programs, the institution also offers short term programs for international undergraduate students. These short-term programs are an introductory approach to understanding Japan. Here are two short-term programs offered in Kyushu University: 

  • ASEAN in Today’s World (AsTW): coordinated with the ASEAN and East Asian countries, this is a two-week program intended for students to understand the basic dynamics of the region. 

  • Summer in Japan (SIJ): a month-long program to teach the basic backdrop of Japanese culture and society. International undergraduate students are taught Japanese language and activities regarding daily life in Japan. 

Distinctive Education Programs of Kyushu University

In addition to these programs that cater to international students from different higher education institutions in various countries, Kyushu University offers 5 highly-specialized programs for their local students that prepare them for the global stage. These programs are suited with the participation of partner institutions and academics from around the world in its common goal to give the appropriate knowledge and expertise for students who took one of the programs. These are referred to as Distinctive Education Programs of Kyushu University: 

  • 21st Century Program: To develop ‘highly-specialized generalists’, the program collaborates with different universities across six continents in its pursuit to prepare students with the changing scene of the 21st century 

  • KIKAN Education: Based on Faculty of Arts and Science, the program immerses students of humanities with a macro-level perspective of analysis 

  • Kyushu University Opencourseware: A program geared towards the utilization of technology by adapting learning materials with it, allowing better access to sources for students 

  • Program for Leading Graduate Schools: A program designed for students of sustainable sciences 

  • Robert T. Huang Entrepreneurship Center of Kyushu University (QREC): A center for entrepreneurial education that uses up-to-date global level analysis 

It is evident that from these different programs catering to the spirit of internationalization that Kyushu University puts much importance to globalization. As it involves faculty, students and even professional individuals, the commitment of the university in creating and connecting the experience of people from all backgrounds prevails. Furthermore, the participants are not offered a chance merely to study in one of Japan’s leading higher education institution, they are guaranteed as well of the competency needed for the present and future generation.

These admirable education programs are supplemented with top of the line facilities. Students of Kyushu University are ensured of their welfare through these facilities that include a health center, center for international students, athletic facilities, different training centers, and cafeterias. The three dormitory buildings give housing to students. The dormitories of the university are a mix of international students and local students, sometimes with an equal ratio.

Other information 

As a national public university, the institution has a lower tuition fee relative to private universities. Fees for various programs may average between ¥150,000- ¥800,000 annually depending upon the field of study.

※ Kyushu University, "Tuition, Fee & Scholarships" 

Financial aid and scholarship programs are offered for students and researchers of Kyushu University. The programs are divided for international and local students. Here are the scholarship programs exclusive for international students: 

·   Asian Student Exchange Program (ASEP)

·   Japan Student Services Organization Scholarship (JASSO)

·   Kyushu University Friendship Scholarship

·   Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Scholarship (MEXT)

·   Kyushu University Friendship Scholarship

·   Programs for self-supporting international students 


Upon learning the background of Kyushu University and its outstanding higher education programs, it is inevitable for one to be interested with it. Securing a formidable status in the field through its extensive research commitment, any student of the university can be well-grounded with their field of expertise while at the same time capable of dealing with the tendencies of the constant changes at the global scale. Moreover, the competencies acquired from the university will give an advantage to students in their practice.

Kyushu University
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