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The 5 best universities in Japan

More than just about robots and ancient tradition, Japan also has a thriving higher education sector. Source: Lee Hans on Unsplash

Japan’s claim to fame is more than just top-of-the-game technological innovations, impressive manners and a rich history spanning centuries.

Behind every Nintendo Wii or bullet train created lies the brains that made them possible in their strong research and development background, backed none other than their universities.

But which university is the best? Times Higher Education (THE) attempts to rank them using its own methodology that assessed four broad “pillars” (resources, engagement, outcomes and environment). Compared to THE World University Rankings, 2018 THE Japan University Rankings are more focused on what institutions offer students rather than on research data. The full methodology can be found here.

These are the five best universities in Japan:

=1. Kyoto University

Source: Shutterstock

Kyoto rises up the table to share top spot with defending champion Tokyo University this year around. Founded in 1897, it is the second oldest university in the country and part of the elite National Seven Universities group. Their researchers are world-renowned and include nine to thirteen Nobel Prize laureates, two Fields medalists and one Gauss Prize winner.

=1. Tokyo University

Source: Shutterstock

Tokyo University is the country’s premier higher education institution. It’s the first ever imperial university and until today, one the most prestigious in the country. Notable alumni include notable alumni, including 17 Prime Ministers, 7 Nobel Prize laureates, 3 Pritzker Prize laureates, 3 astronauts, and 1 Fields Medalist.

3. Tohoku University

Tohokudia enrolls more than 17,000 students in its ten colleges, including more than 1,000 international students. In QS Asian University Rankings for 2016, Tohokudai ranks 9th while in QS World University Rankings 2018, it takes 70th position.

4. Tokyo Institute of Technology

Tokyo Tech, as it is known, is the largest higher education institution dedicated to science and technology in the country. With six schools and 40 departments, it hosts more than 6,000 students and 1,100 academics.

 5. Kyushu University

Source: Facebook/@Kyushu University Foreign Students Association 九州大学留学生会 – KUFSA

Kyushu moved up from seventh spot to this year’s top five. THE notes that its international student intake increases year-on-year-, with students coming from almost all continents. In 2016, there were 2,089 international students.

It is part of the government’s Top Global University Project, which aims to increase the international compatibility and competitiveness of Japanese higher education in the world.

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