Comprehensive at its core: Nagoya University

Bernat Agullo, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Inclusivity is the key to Nagoya University in Japan. Throughout history, the university endured a series of changes that revolutionized its institutional fabric that allowed the proliferation of extensive liberal ideas, prompting a more dilated perspective towards education and research and producing important contributions to society.

Table of Contents

  1. Establishing an all-inclusive university
  2. Inside Nagoya University and its opportunities for foreign students
  3. Nagoya University’s Campus Activities and Notable Alumni
  4. Summary

Establishing an all-inclusive university

The comprehensive imperial university

Nagoya University is a focal establishment in the history of Japan. Its predecessor is a public hospital and a temporary medical school built in Nagoya Prefecture in 1871. The school was first named as the Aichi Medical School in 1881 and became the Aichi Medical College in 1920. The government took over the management of the College and built the Nagoya Medical College in 1931. Eight years later, with the local efforts and donations, the School of Medicine and the School of Science and Engineering of  Nagoya Imperial University were open for the public. Moreover, it is the last imperial university that was built before Japan joined World War II.

The university was a key establishment for the country during the second World War because of the Research Institute of Aeronautical Medicine. However, after the university's recovery from the war, it was abolished and replaced by the Research Institute of Environmental Medicine in 1946. One year later, the imperial university was officially named Nagoya University and later on became a comprehensive university with the inclusion of the School of Letters and the School of Law and Economics.

Because of the educational reforms in 1949, the university started to develop under the new system that, until now, they become one of Japan's most prestigious comprehensive universities.

※ Nagoya University, "History of the University"

Nagoya University Academic Charter

The university earned its prestige by adhering to its academic charter. With freethinking as its foundation, Nagoya University’s core missions are to aid the collective advancement of humanity and sciences, lead advanced research, and impart a comprehensive education by teaching humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences.

The core objectives and policies of Nagoya University promote the creativity of its students, faculties, and researchers for innovative solutions to present-day issues. Moreover, its research products contribute to the advancement of not just the region but also all of Japan’s industries. Nagoya University also aims to promote its education and research internationally.

Moreover, Nagoya University ranks the 301-350th place in the World University Rankings, 41st place in the Asian University Rankings, and 7th in the Japan University Ranking because of its high score in research output and industry income ratings.

※ The World University Rankings, "Nagoya University"
※ The World University Rankings, "Best universities in Asia 2020"

Inside Nagoya University and its opportunities for foreign students

Photo Credit: Wiiii, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you’re wondering about whether Nagoya University might be the best university for you to attend in Japan, read on to learn about its programs and prestige research.

The academe of Nagoya University

Nagoya University is one of the leading universities in Japan that offers comprehensive education and research, especially in the field of sciences; in fact, the university houses the National Institute for Fusion Science of Japan. It offers various undergraduate and graduate courses under its nine undergraduate schools and thirteen graduate schools, in which the nine undergraduate schools have their respective graduate schools. These nine schools are:

  • the School of Humanities that offers social sciences courses,

  • the School of Education focusing on human development,

  • the School of Law,

  • the School of Economics offers economics and business-related courses, 

  • the School of Informatics that offers computer science and informatics courses,

  • the School of Sciences offering mathematics, physics, chemistry, biological science, and earth and planetary sciences courses,

  • the School of Medicine that offers every specialized field of medicine and variety of health sciences courses,

  • the School of Engineering,

  • and the School of Agricultural Sciences that offers environmental and biosciences courses.

The four additional graduate schools are the School of International Development, the School of Mathematics, the School of Environmental Studies, and the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Nagoya University also facilitates three main research institutes such as the Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, the Institute of Materials and Systems for Sustainability, and the Institute for Space-Earth Environmental Research. Aside from these research institutes, there are also many inter-department research centers inside the university. Both the faculties and the students can study and take part in the research conducted in these facilities.

Nagoya University puts great importance on logical thinking and creativity in nurturing its students and conducting research. Moreover, the university cultivates its students by encouraging them to seize opportunities, undertake difficult challenges, and foster autonomy and initiative- the guiding principles of Yuuki-aru Chishiki-jin or leaders with true courage and intellect.

Research outputs: Nagoya University’s Social Responsibility 

As one of its guiding principles, Nagoya University gives back to the community in the form of research outputs. With the cooperation of several automobiles, aerospace, and ceramics industries, the university initiates the academy, industry, and government's collaborative research. The university became the key player in the three-party collaboration.

The Global 30 international programs

The Japanese government designated Nagoya University as one of the schools to offer international education programs through the G30 International full-degree programs taught entirely in English. There are ten undergraduate degree programs, eleven master’s programs, and seven doctorate programs offered, with an additional 5 masters and 3 doctoral programs with their own admission requirements.

This program aims to offer high-class education open for high-achieving students around the world. Hence, the program sets high eligibility standards for aspiring candidates. The process has two main parts, the paper-screening and the interview. Students should have excellent academic achievement in high school so they can enter the university.

Since the foreign students are considered a Japanese national university student if they enroll full-time, regardless of their nationality, the government funds their education, so they only need to pay 535,800 yen annually, just like the local students. Students may also apply to the program's scholarship given that they are eligible for the grant, as well as government scholarships that can cover up to all of your tuition if you are selected.

※ Nagoya University, "English-Taught Programs"
※ Nagoya University Global 30 International Programs, "Undergraduate Program Admissions"

The International Education and Exchange Center

Nagoya University established the International Education and Exchange Center (IEC) to facilitate the local students' international activities. The center has five main sections; admission, educational exchange, counseling, career support, and overseas studies. The center is responsible for accommodating and supporting international students. They are also responsible for sending local students to study abroad.

This center also gives assistance and opportunities for other international students who are not eligible for the Global 30 program in different international exchange programs. International students can apply either of the following: 

  • the one-year or semester exchange program like NUPACE (Nagoya University Program for Academic Exchange)

  • Special Exchange Programs applicable to some institutions

  • the short-term stay program usually spanning to three months, or 

  • being a research student.

Nagoya University’s Campus Activities and Notable Alumni

Campus life

Nagoya University also provides facilities for extracurricular activities of its students. There is the Federation of Liberal Arts Circles that is composed of over fifty cultural and recreational clubs inside the campus, and the Athletic Association that is composed of over fifty athletic clubs residing inside the campus. The university also celebrates the MEIDAI-SAI festival every June at the Higashiyama campus. The clubs and the university staff set up different events that add to the festivity.

Toleration of LGBT+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and other sexualities) community in the campus

Nagoya University promotes the freethinking and open-minded academic culture, making an environment that will not hinder its students, faculties, and researchers to perform to their full potentials while studying at the university. Thus, the university implements guidelines, policies, and programs to ensure the constituents of different sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions, are not discriminated against.

Nobel Prize-winning alumni

Nagoya University has produced six Nobel prize winners for their scientific research. Two of which are awarded because of their breakthrough in the field of chemistry; Dr. Ryoji Noyori (2001) for his works on chirally catalyzed hydrogenated reaction, and Dr. Osamu Shimomura (2008) for the discovery and development of the Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP). The other four are recognized by their contribution in the field of physics; Dr. Makoto Kobayashi and Dr. Toshihide Maskawa (2008) for their discovery of the CKM matrix, and Dr. Isamu Akasaki and Dr. Hiroshi Amano (2014) for spearheading the innovation of the blue light-emitting diode, or blue LED.

※ Nagoya University, "World Class Researchers"


The creativity and comprehensivity of Nagoya University had contributed to Japan's technological advancements. Moreover, it has also contributed to the advancement of humanity with the breakthrough research conducted by its alumni. With the G30 International Program’s help, foreign students had the chance to attain the comprehensive education of Nagoya University. If you think you are eligible to apply at this university, take your first step in applying and being a part of this prestigious university!

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