National University Corporation

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National University Corporation (国立大学法人, Kokuritsu Daigaku Hōjin) is a corporate body (legal entity) established under the provisions of the National University Corporation Act (2003) for the purpose of establishing a national university in Japan.



As part of promoting the reform of Japanese universities, all Japanese national universities has been incorporated as a National University Corporation since 2004.

In 2018, National University Corporation Gifu University and National University Corporation Nagoya University integrated the new "Tokai National Higher Education and Research System", which became the first case of a Corporation owning two universities. [1]


The scope of business of National University Corporations is stipulated as follows by Article 22 of the National University Corporation Act.

  1. Establish and operate a national university.
  2. To provide students with counseling and other assistance regarding study, career selection, physical and mental health, etc.
  3. Conducting research commissioned by or jointly with a person other than the National University Corporation, or conducting other educational and research activities in collaboration with a person other than the National University Corporation.
  4. Opening public lectures and providing learning opportunities for other non-students.
  5. To disseminate the results of research at the national university and promote its utilization.
  6. To invest in a person who implements a project that promotes the utilization of the results of research on technology at the national university and that is specified by a Cabinet Order.
  7. Performing business incidental to these business.

Designated National University

At the 190th National Diet in 2016, the National University Corporation Act was amended and the Designated National University (指定国立大学法人) corporation system was enacted. [2] [3] The goal of Designated National University is to further improve the level of education and research in Japan. The selected national universities must have the highest level of education and research capabilities in Japan, and will be able to enjoy more government subsidies and more free use of funds (including larger professors salary range) in order to help attract world-class researchers. [4]

The application requirements are:

  1. The university has reached the top 10 in Japan in terms of scientific research.
  2. The university has reached the top 10 in Japan in terms of social cooperation.
  3. The university has reached the top 10 in Japan in terms of internationalization and international popularity.

Due to the above-mentioned strict conditions, only 10 of the 86 national universities in Japan have become the Designated National University by 2021. [4]

List of the application and designation
CorporationsMain locationDesignated day
National University Corporation Tohoku University Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture June 30, 2017
National University Corporation The University of Tokyo Tokyo June 30, 2017
National University Corporation Kyoto University Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture June 30, 2017
National University Corporation Tokyo Institute of Technology TokyoMarch 20, 2018
Tokai National Higher Education and Research System Nagoya University [5] Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture March 20, 2018
National University Corporation Osaka University Suita, Osaka Prefecture October 23, 2018
National University Corporation Hitotsubashi University TokyoSeptember 5, 2019
National University Corporation Tokyo Medical and Dental University TokyoOctober 15, 2020
National University Corporation University of Tsukuba Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture October 15, 2020
National University Corporation Kyushu University Fukuoka, Fukuoka Prefecture November 22, 2021

In addition, among the seven imperial universities that were considered the best national universities, only Hokkaido University did not become Designated National University.

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