University of Tsukuba

Last updated

University of Tsukuba
University of Tsukuba emblem.svg
MottoImagine the future
Type Public (National)
EstablishedOctober 1973 (founded in 1872)
President Kyosuke Nagata  [ ja ]
Academic staff
2,616 [1]
Administrative staff
2,284 [1]
Students16,459 [1]
Undergraduates 9,798 [1]
Postgraduates 6,661 [1]
Location, ,
The University of Tsukuba campus University of Tsukuba dsc04769.jpg
The University of Tsukuba campus

The University of Tsukuba (筑波大学, Tsukuba daigaku), located in Tsukuba, Ibaraki, is one of top 9 Designated National University and selected as a Top Type university of Top Global University Project by the Japanese government.


The university has 28 college clusters and schools with around 16,500 students (as of 2014). [1] The main Tsukuba campus covers an area of 258 hectares (636 acres), making it the second largest single campus in Japan. [2] The branch campus is in Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, which offers graduate programs for working adults in the capital and manages K-12 schools in Tokyo that are attached to the university.


The university's academic strength is in STEMM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Medicine), physical education, and related interdisciplinary fields. It is by taking located in Tsukuba Science City which has more than 300 research institutions. [3] The university has had three Nobel laureates (two in Physics and one in Chemistry, see also "History"), and about 70 athletes, their students and alumni, have participated in the Olympic Games. [4]

It has established interdisciplinary Ph.D. programs in Human Biology and Empowerment Informatics, and the International Institute for Integrative Sleep Medicine, which were created through the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology's competitive funding projects.

Its Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences is represented on the national Coordinating Committee for Earthquake Prediction. [5]


Their founding philosophy states the University of Tsukuba is "a university which is open to all within and outside of Japan." [6] The university is also known for its internationalization efforts. It has won Japanese government funding projects for internationalization of Japanese universities, including the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology's "Global 30" Project [7] and the "Super Global University Project" [8] (formally known as "Top Global University Project"). In the Super Global University Project, University of Tsukuba won Type A funding, which is for 13 elite Japanese universities to be ranked in the top 100 in global university rankings by 2023. Their initiative includes expanding the number of courses and degree programs taught in English only, sharing faculty members with partner institutions such as National Taiwan University, University of Bordeaux, and University of California, Santa Cruz to promote education and research collaboration, and establishing so-called "Course Jukebox System" which enables their and partner institutions' students to take partner institutions' courses as if they are at their original institution. [9]

In 2004, the university established the Alliance for Research on North Africa (ARENA) as an academic research center with the purpose of promoting comprehensive research concerning the North African Region through integration of humanities and sciences. Since then, ARENA has been expanding its research fields, and the university established a branch office in Tunis, Tunisia in 2006. The University of Tsukuba is also accepting African students through the ABE initiative, which was initiated by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe and is bringing 1,000 African graduate students to Japanese universities in five years from 2014. The University of Tsukuba is planning and leading Japan-Africa Academic Network (JAAN) initiative to bring together all the Japanese universities' resources for Africa and to deepen the academic relationship between Japan and Africa.

In May 2008, the Tokyo International Conference on African Development became an opportunity for the African Development Bank (AfDB) and universities in Japan to promote partnership on higher education, science and technology. Donald Kaberuka, the president of the AfDB, and the president of University of Tsukuba signed a memorandum of understanding during the three-day event. [10] In 2009, the University of Tsukuba participated in the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization's (SEAMEO) affiliated member, and it has been cooperating in the development of education in the ASEAN region. The university is a member of AIMS program, which is to promote regional student mobility among the ASEAN and participated countries including Japan.

As of August 2015, the university has over 300 international inter-university agreements [11] and 13 overseas offices in 12 countries, located in Brazil, China, Germany, France, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Tunisia, Taiwan, United States, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam. [12]


Outside the Main Library Tsukuba-U-quadrangle.JPG
Outside the Main Library

The university was established in October 1973. A forerunner was Tokyo University of Education (東京教育大学, Tōkyō kyōiku daigaku) which was founded in 1872. It was one of the oldest universities in Japan, Tokyo Higher Normal School (東京師範学校, Tōkyō Shihan Gakkō). In October 2002, the University of Tsukuba merged with the University of Library and Information Science (ULIS, 図書館情報大学, Toshokan jōhō daigaku). The School of Library and Information Science and the Graduate School of Library and Information – Media Studies were established. It has provided several Nobel Prize winners, such as Leo Esaki, Hideki Shirakawa and Sin-Itiro Tomonaga. Dr. Satoshi Ōmura was an auditor at Tokyo University of Education. [13]

Academic rankings

University rankings
Toyo Keizai National [14] General 14
Kawaijuku  [ ja ] National [15] General 10
T. Reuters National [16] Research 12
WE  [ ja ] National [17] Employment 60
Shimano National [18] Selectivity A1
QS Asia
(Asian Ranking version) [19]
General 49
THE Asia [20] General 93
ARWU Asia [21] Research 35-53
THE World [22] General 401-500
QS World [23] General 265
ARWU World [21] Research 201-300
Program rankings
BE Success National [24] Qualification34
BE Pass rate National [25] Qualification19
RePec National [26] Research67


Eduni MBA National [27] General17

Research performance

Tsukuba is one of the leading research institutions in Japan. According to Thomson Reuters, Tsukuba is the 10th best research institutions among all the universities and non-educational research institutions in Japan. [28]

Weekly Diamond  [ ja ] reported that Tsukuba has the 27th highest research standard in Japan in research fundings per researchers in COE Program. [29] In the same article, it's ranked 11th in the quality of education by GP (in Japanese) funds per student.

It has a good research standard in Economics, as Research Papers in Economics ranked Tsukuba as the eighth best Economics research university in January 2011.

Graduate school rankings

Tsukuba's law school was ranked 19th in 2010 for its passing rate of the Japanese bar examination. [30]

Eduniversal ranked Tsukuba as seventh in the rankings of "Excellent Business Schools nationally strong and/or with continental links" in Japan. [31]

Alumni rankings

According to the Weekly Economist's 2010 rankings, graduates from Tsukuba have the 64th best employment rate in 400 major companies in Japan. [32] By contrast, the alumni of Tsukuba's average salary is very high with the 8th best in Japan, according to PRESIDENT, Inc. [33]

Popularity and selectivity

Given its high ranking in Japan, the entrance examination to University of Tsukuba is highly competitive. Overall difficulty is currently graded as "A1" or two on a 10-point scale. [34] [35]


Undergraduate schools and colleges

Graduate schools and programs

Research centers

University libraries

University hospital

Laboratory schools

Famous alumni






Artists and Writers


The University of Tsukuba has been embroiled in a number of controversies during its relatively short existence. According to Debito Arudou, the university's dealings with foreign staff members has proven particularly controversial. Arudou notes that in 1985 the university decided to terminate the contracts of foreign teaching staff resulting in litigation being brought against the institution. [40] An account of the university's poor treatment of and breaking of contractual obligations with foreign staff is also included in Ivan Hall's Cartels of the Mind. [41]

On July 12 1991, the university became the site of a murder when the Japanese translator of Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses, Hitoshi Igarashi, was killed in the context of the fatwas initated by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini following the book's publication. Igarashi's murder case was closed in 2006 with no suspects having been brought to trial. [42]

Between 2019 and 2021, a number of controversies revolving around the university's president Kyosuke Nagata came to light. Under Nagata's leadership the university became the first institution of higher education to receive large scale funding from the Ministry of Defense in December 2019. According to Alexandra Sakaki and Sebastian Maslow 'Illustrating a lack of consensus within the Japanese academic community...the university’s official decision has triggered internal backlash and fierce criticism from academic and civic groups.' [43] Indeed, the decision was heavily criticized by both the Science Council of Japan and Japanese academics. [44] Critics were particularly dismayed by the fact that this marked a complete u-turn in university policy - only one year earlier in December 2018, the university had issued a policy statement against military research on campus. [45]

The university met controversy again in 2020 when Nagata was re-elected as its president despite losing the faculty's ballot by almost two-thirds of the vote. [46] Additionally, the president's selection committee decided to scrap limits on the president's term of office allowing Nagata to remain in charge indefinately. [47] This created backlash amongst academic staff resulting in the genesis of a campaign against Nagata's presidency. [48]

In 2021, journalists discovered discrepancies in the number of international students that the university had reported to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and Japanese University Rankings. The 2021 world rankings claimed 20% of the student body were international students positioning the university as one of the most diverse higher education institutions in the country, however, the Japanese rankings claimed that only 12.6% of the student body were international students. [49] As a result, Times Higher Education launched an investgation and advised the university on its submission of data in the future. [50] The erroneous data was also submitted to the government when the university applied for the status of “Designated National University” (指定国立大学) in 2020. [51] As such, the matter was discussed in the National Diet on April 21, 2021. [52] Critics have suggested that the university is attempting to circumvent its short comings in research which negatively affects its ranking by falisfying data. [53]

Partner Institution


Related Research Articles

Fudan University University in Shanghai, China

Fudan University is a major public research university in Shanghai, China. It is widely considered one of the most prestigious and selective universities in China. Founded in 1905, shortly before the end of China's imperial Qing dynasty, Fudan was the first university established independently by the Chinese people. Fudan is a member of the elite C9 League and a Chinese Ministry of Education Class A Double First Class University.

University of Tokyo Public research university in Tokyo, Japan

The University of Tokyo, abbreviated as Todai or UTokyo, is a public research university located in Bunkyō, Tokyo, Japan. Established in 1877, the university is the first imperial university and currently selected as a Top Type university of Top Global University Project by the Japanese government.

Zhejiang University Public university in Hangzhou, China

Zhejiang University, also colloquially referred to as Zheda, is a public research university, and a member of the elite C9 League. It is located in Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang Province. Founded in 1897, Zhejiang University is one of China's oldest, most selective, and most prestigious institutions of higher education. The university is organized into 37 colleges, schools, and departments offering more than 140 undergraduate and 300 graduate programs.

Tokyo Institute of Technology National research university in Japan

Tokyo Institute of Technology is a national research university located in Greater Tokyo Area, Japan. Tokyo Tech is the largest institution for higher education in Japan dedicated to science and technology, one of first five Designated National University and selected as a Top Type university of Top Global University Project by the Japanese government. It is generally considered to be one of the most prestigious universities in Japan.

Tokyo Metropolitan University

Tokyo Metropolitan University, often referred to as TMU, is a Public Research University in Japan.

Zhengzhou University

Zhengzhou University, colloquially known in Chinese as Zhèngdà (郑大) and abbreviated as ZZU is a public university located in Zhengzhou, Henan, China. Zhengzhou University is the largest university in China in terms of number of students. The Campus size is the tenth largest in PR China with 433 hectares.

East China University of Science and Technology

East China University of Science and Technology is a research university located in Shanghai, China. Originally established with a focus on chemical technology, it has evolved into a comprehensive university that covers all academic disciplines and offers a large variety of majors. It is a Chinese Ministry of Education Double First Class Discipline University, with Double First Class status in certain disciplines. The school encompasses two campuses and a science park in the Xuhui, Fengxian and Jinshan districts of Shanghai.

Shanghai University of Finance and Economics Finance- and economics-oriented university in Shanghai, China


Osaka University Public university in Osaka, Japan

Osaka University, or Handai, is a public research university located in Osaka Prefecture, Japan. It was one of the Imperial Universities in Japan, and is now a Designated National University listed as a "Top Type" university in the Top Global University Project. It is often ranked among the top three public universities in Japan, along with the University of Tokyo and Kyoto University. It is ranked third overall among Japanese universities and 71st worldwide in the 2020 QS World University Rankings.

International Christian University

International Christian University is a non-denominational private university located in Mitaka, Tokyo, Japan, commonly known as ICU. With the efforts of Prince Takamatsu, General Douglas MacArthur, and BOJ President Hisato Ichimada, ICU was established in 1949 as the first liberal arts college in Japan. Currently the university offers 31 undergraduate majors and a graduate school. The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology selected ICU as one of the 37 schools for The Top Global University Project in 2014.

Wuhan University of Technology

Wuhan University of Technology, located in Wuchang District and Luonan Subdistrict, Hongshan District in Wuhan, Hubei, was merged on May 27, 2000, from three universities: Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan Transportation University and Wuhan Automotive Polytechnic University. WUT is one of the leading Chinese universities accredited by the Ministry of Education and one of the universities constructed in priority by the "State Project 211" for Chinese higher education institutions. It is also a Chinese Ministry of Education Double First Class Discipline University, with Double First Class status in certain disciplines.

Sophia University Private university in Tokyo, Japan

Sophia University, also known by its Japanese name 上智大学 is a private research university in Japan. It is ranked one of the top 3 private universities in Japan along with the other two private universities including Keio University and Waseda University, according to the Times Higher Education. It is also ranked number 18 in the 2021 Times Japan University Rankings. Founded by the Roman Catholic religious order of the Society of Jesus in 1913, the University has grown from its 3 original academic departments of Philosophy, German Literature, and Commerce to 9 undergraduate Faculties and 10 Graduate Schools, with over 13,900 students in total at the present moment.

Chiba University

Chiba University and it is also abbreviated as Chibadai (千葉大) is a national university in the city of Chiba, Japan. It offers Doctoral degrees in education as part of a coalition with Tokyo Gakugei University, Saitama University, and Yokohama National University. The university was formed in 1949 from existing educational institutions in Chiba Prefecture, and over a period of years absorbed Chiba Medical University (1923-1960), a preparatory department of the Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Chiba Normal School (1872-1951), Tokyo Polytechnic High School (1914-1951), Chiba Horticultural High School, among others. Chiba University was reincorporated in 2010 under the National University Corporation Act. Chiba University has been ranked 168th on the Asia University Rankings 2019 Top 100 by "The Times Higher Education".

Hitotsubashi University

Hitotsubashi University is a national university specialized in the social sciences in Tokyo, Japan with about 4,500 undergraduate students and about 2,100 postgraduate students. Hitotsubashi is one of top 9 Designated National University, it has campuses in Kunitachi, Kodaira, and Chiyoda.

Osaka Institute of Technology

Osaka Institute of Technology, abbreviated as Dai kōdai (大工大), Han kōdai (阪工大), or Osaka kōdai (大阪工大) is a private university in Osaka Prefecture, Japan. OIT has 3 Campuses, Omiya Campus located in Asahi-ku, Osaka City, Umeda Campus located in Kita-ku, Osaka City and Hirakara Campus located in Hirakata City.

Okayama University

Okayama University is a national university in Japan. The main campus is located in Tsushima-Naka, Okayama, Okayama Prefecture.

Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology

The Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology commonly known as TUAT is a Japanese national university headquartered in Fuchū, Tokyo. This university focuses on the study of agriculture and engineering.

Nippon Sport Science University

Nippon Sport Science University, abbreviated as Nittaidai (日体大) is a private university in Setagaya, Tokyo and Aoba-ku, Yokohama. The precursor of the school was founded in 1893, and it was chartered as a university in 1949. The school is known for the many famous athletes among its alumni.

China Pharmaceutical University

China Pharmaceutical University (CPU) is a university in Nanjing, China that specializes in the pharmaceutical sciences. It is one of the “Project 211” key universities and universities selected for the "985 Innovative Platforms for Key Disciplines Project" affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of Education, which has granted it Double First Class status in certain disciplines.

National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies

The National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, or GRIPS, is an elite and highly selective research graduate school located in Minato, Tokyo. Funded by the Japanese Government, it has the status of national university. It is also one of Asia's leading think tanks of policy scholars and social scientists focused on policy studies. It offers programs in security and international affairs, diplomacy, international development studies, economics, political science, disaster studies, and science and technology policies, among others.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 University of Tsukuba. University of Tsukuba Highlights 2014. N.p.: U of Tsukuba, 2014. Print.
  2. "University of Tsukuba Homepage (English)". Campus Life. University of Tsukuba. Retrieved 29 August 2010.
  3. "Outline of Tsukuba City | Tsukuba Science City Network". Retrieved 10 September 2015.
  4. "University of Tsukuba's Official HP=" . Retrieved 10 September 2015.
  5. Organizations with ties to CCEP CCEP, accessed 2011-03-19
  6. "University of Tsukuba|Prospectus|About the University|ConceptConcept". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
  7. "Universities - Study in Japan(Japanese university) - Global30". Archived from the original on 21 August 2016. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  8. "Selection for the FY 2014 Top Global University Project" (PDF). MEXT.
  9. "University of Tsukuba Top Global University Project". Retrieved 10 September 2015.
  10. "Bank Group Participates in TICAD IV," African Development Bank (Tunis). 3 June 2008.
  11. "University of Tsukuba|International |Promotion of Internationalization in Everyday Life|List of Overseas Partner UniversitiesList of Overseas Partner Universities". Retrieved 10 September 2015.
  12. "Overseas Offices" . Retrieved 10 September 2015.
  13. INC., SANKEI DIGITAL. "【ノーベル賞受賞】大村智氏、常識破りの発想で治療薬開発" . Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  14. "Truly Strong Universities" (in Japanese). Toyo Keizai. 2010. Retrieved 29 April 2011.
  15. "Kawai 30 Top Japanese Universities". Kawaijuku. 2001. Retrieved 29 April 2011.
  16. "Thomson Reuters 20 Top research institutions in Japan". Thomson Reuters. 2011. Retrieved 29 April 2011. (this raking includes 5 non-educational institutions)
  17. "Employment rate in 400 major companies rankings" (in Japanese). Weekly Economist. 2011. Retrieved 29 April 2011.
  18. "GBUDU University Rankings" (in Japanese). YELL books. 2009. Retrieved 29 April 2011.
  19. "QS Asian University Rankings". QS Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 2016. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  20. "Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings". Times Higher Education. 2017. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  21. 1 2 "Academic Ranking of World Universities". Institute of Higher Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. 2017. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  22. "THE World University Rankings". Times Higher Education. 2018. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  23. "QS World University Rankings". QS Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 2018. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  24. "Bar Exam Successful Applicants rankings" (in Japanese). Shikaku Seek. 2010. Retrieved 11 May 2011.
  25. "Bar Exam Pass rate rankings" (in Japanese). Shikaku Seek. 2010. Retrieved 11 May 2011.
  26. "Top 25% Institutions and Economists in Japan, as of January 2011". REPEC. 2011. Retrieved 11 May 2011.
  27. "Business School Ranking in Japan". Eduniversal. 2010. Retrieved 11 May 2011.
  28. "Thomson Reuters 20 Top research institutions in Japan". Thomson Reuters. Archived from the original on 5 September 2016. Retrieved 10 September 2015. (this ranking includes non-educational institutions)
  29. Weekly Diamond  [ ja ], Diamond Inc.  [ ja ] (27 February 2010) "The article" (PDF) (in Japanese).
  30. "2010年(平成22年)新司法試験法科大学院別合格率ランキング -法科大学院seek-" . Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  31. "University and business school ranking in Japan" . Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  32. "Employment rate in 400 major companies rankings" (in Japanese). Weekly Economist. 2011. Retrieved 29 April 2011.
  33. (4 November 2006) (in Japanese)
  34. Yoyogi seminar published Hensachi (the indication showing the entrance difficulties by prep schools) rankings "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 April 2011. Retrieved 29 July 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  35. Japanese journalist Kiyoshi Shimano ranks Tsukuba's entrance difficulty as A1 (2nd most selective/out of 10 scales) in Japan. 危ない大学・消える大学 2012年版 (in Japanese). YELL books. 2011.
  36. University Library (the university's site)
  37. Official website
  38. Official website
  39. "Yoshiyuki Sankai". Forbes. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  40. "BLACKLIST OF JAPANESE UNIVERSITIES". Retrieved 22 April 2021.
  41. Hall, Ivan (1998). Cartels of the Mind: Japan's Intellectual Closed Shop. Tokyo: W.W. Norton & Company. pp. 107–117. ISBN   0-393-04537-4.
  42. "Murder case over novel expires | 日本のニュースを英語で読むならジャパンタイムズウィークリー". Retrieved 22 April 2021.
  43. Sakaki, Alexandra; Maslow, Sebastian (1 November 2020). "Japan's new arms export policies: strategic aspirations and domestic constraints". Australian Journal of International Affairs. 74 (6): 649–669. doi: 10.1080/10357718.2020.1781789 . ISSN   1035-7718.
  44. "Defense Ministry will fund Tsukuba University military-academia research - @JapanPress_wky". Retrieved 22 April 2021.
  45. Exposing Academic Fraud , retrieved 22 April 2021
  46. "Rankings data row fuels push to oust university leader". University World News. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
  47. "Rankings data row fuels push to oust university leader". University World News. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
  48. "2020筑波大学学長選挙". Retrieved 22 April 2021.
  49. "Rankings data row fuels push to oust university leader". University World News. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
  50. Exposing Academic Fraud , retrieved 22 April 2021
  51. Exposing Academic Fraud , retrieved 22 April 2021
  52. "衆議院インターネット審議中継". Retrieved 23 April 2021.
  53. "Rankings data row fuels push to oust university leader". University World News. Retrieved 22 April 2021.

Coordinates: 36°06′41″N140°06′14″E / 36.11143°N 140.10383°E / 36.11143; 140.10383