Osaka University

Osaka University
Motto 地域に生き世界に伸びる
(Live Locally, Grow Globally)
Type Public (National)
Established Founded in 1724 (Kaitokudo)
Chartered on November 22, 1919 as Osaka Prefectural Medical College
Re-established on May 1, 1931 as Osaka Imperial University
Endowment US$2.3 billion
(JP¥264.3 billion)
President Shojiro Nishio
Academic staff
2,953 (academic)[1]
Administrative staff
8,675 (total)[1]
Students 25,248[1]
Undergraduates 15,937
Postgraduates 7,856
Other students
1,780 (international students)[1]
Location Suita, Osaka, Japan
Campus Suburban / Urban,
1.59 km²
Authorized Student Groups 58 sports-related, 68 culture-related groups [2]
Mascot Macchi the Crocodile (unofficial)
Affiliations APRU, AEARU

Osaka University (大阪大学 Ōsaka daigaku), or Handai (阪大 Handai), is a national university located in Osaka, Japan. It is the sixth oldest university in Japan as the Osaka Prefectural Medical College, and one of Japan's National Seven Universities. Numerous prominent scientists have worked at Osaka University such as the Nobel Laureate in Physics Hideki Yukawa.

It is the 4th best ranked higher education institution in Japan (96th worldwide) in 2016 by the Academic Ranking of World Universities.


Academic traditions of the university reach back to Kaitokudō (懐徳堂), an Edo-period school for local citizens founded in 1724, and Tekijuku (適塾), a school of Rangaku for samurai founded by Ogata Kōan in 1838. The spirit of the university's human sciences is believed to be intimately rooted in Kaitokudo, whereas that of the natural and applied sciences, including medicine, is widely believed to be based on Tekijuku.[3]

Osaka University traces its origin back to 1869 when Osaka Prefectural Medical School was founded in downtown Osaka. The school was later transformed into the Osaka Prefectural Medical College with university status by the University Ordinance (Imperial Ordinance No. 388 of 1918) in 1919. The college merged with the newly founded College of Science to form Osaka Imperial University(大阪帝國大学) in 1931. Osaka Imperial University was inaugurated as the sixth imperial university in Japan. As part of the University, Osaka Technical College was later included to form the school of Engineering two years later. The university was eventually renamed Osaka University in 1947.

Merging with Naniwa High School and Osaka High School as a result of the government's education system reform in 1949, Osaka University started its postwar era with five faculties: Science, Medicine, Engineering, Letters, and Law. After that, faculties, graduate schools, and research institutes have been successively established. Among these are the School of Engineering Science, the first of its kind among Japanese national universities, which draws upon the excellence of both sciences and engineering disciplines, and the School of Human Sciences, which covers its cross-disciplinary research interest as broadly as psychology, sociology, and education. Built on the then-existing faculties, 10 graduate schools were set up as part of the government's education system reform program in 1953. Two graduate schools, the Graduate School of Language and Culture and the cross-disciplinary and cross-institutional Osaka School of International Public Policy, add to the list, making the number of graduate schools reach 12 in 1994.

In 1993, Osaka University Hospital was relocated from the Nakanoshima campus in downtown Osaka to the Suita campus, completing the implementation of the university's plan to integrate the scattered facilities into the Suita and Toyonaka campuses. In October 2007, a merger between Osaka University and Osaka University of Foreign Studies was completed. The merger made Osaka University one of two national universities in the country with a School of Foreign Studies (with Tokyo University of Foreign Studies). In addition, the merger made the university the largest national university in the country.

Osaka University Hospital

In 2009, Osaka University implemented a major revision of its website. The result is a website much more accessible and informative to persons not versed in the Japanese language — a site much more user-friendly to international exchange students, international researchers, and expatriates living in the Osaka area. Currently, thanks to the work of the "Creative Unit," virtually all Osaka University's web pages come in pairs — a Japanese page and the same page in English. These pairings include frequent updates on symposiums, seminars, and other events open to staff, students and, often, the general public.


Toyonaka campus main entrance

Suita, Toyonaka and Minoh are the university's three campuses. Home to the university's headquarters, the Suita campus extends across Suita city and Ibaraki city in Osaka prefecture. The Suita campus houses faculties of Human Sciences, Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Engineering. It contains the Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences and a portion of the Graduate School of Information Science and Technology. The campus is also home to the Osaka University Hospital and the Nationwide Joint Institute of Cybermedia Center and Research Center for Nuclear Physics. Because access to the campus by public transportation is relatively inconvenient, automobiles, motorcycles, and bicycles are commonly seen within the campus. While sports activities are primarily concentrated on the Toyonaka campus, tennis activities are concentrated on the Suita campus because of its many tennis facilities.

The Toyonaka campus is home to faculties of Letters, Law, Economics, Science, and Engineering Science. It is also the academic base for Graduate Schools of International Public Policy, Language and Culture, (a portion of) Information Science, and the Center for the Practice of Legal and Political Expertise. All freshmen attend classes on the Toyonaka campus during their first year of enrollment.

The Minoh campus was incorporated following the merger with Osaka University of Foreign Studies in October 2007. The Minoh campus is home to School of Foreign Studies, Research Institute for World Languages, and Center for Japanese Language and Culture.

In addition to these three campus, the former Nakanoshima campus, the university's earliest campus located in downtown Osaka, served as the hub for the faculty of medicine until the transfer to the Suita campus was completed in 1993.[4] Starting from April 2004, the Nakanoshima campus has been transformed into the "Nakanoshima Center", serving as a venue for information exchange, adult education classes, and activities involving academic as well as non-academic communities.


Osaka University has 11 faculties (学部) for undergraduate programs, 16 graduate schools (大学院),[5] 21 research institutes, 4 libraries, and 2 university hospitals.[6]

Academic alliances

Osaka University has completed academic exchange agreements with a large number of universities (in 2011, 92) throughout the world and also exchange agreements between schools at Osaka University and schools and institutes in other countries (in 2011, 366). These agreements facilitate international students studying at Osaka University and Osaka University students studying at overseas universities, schools, and institutes. In many cases, students are able to participate in these exchange agreements without paying any additional tuition.[7] Below are examples of some of these universities:

Academic rankings

University rankings (overall)
Toyo Keizai National[8]General 4
Kawaijuku National[9]General 3
T. Reuters National[10]Research 3
WE National[11]Employment 7
NBP Kansai[12]Reputation 2
Shimano National[13]Selectivity SA
QS Asia
(Asian Ranking version)[14]
General 8
ARWU Asia[15]Research 6
THE World[16]General 130
QS World[17]General 45
ARWU World[18]Research 75
ENSMP World[19]Alumni 92
University rankings (by subject)
Social Sciences & Humanities


BE Success National[20]Qualification 7
BE Pass rate National[21]Qualification 8


RePec National[22]Research 2
Natural Sciences & Technology


Kawaijuku National[23]General 4
QS World[24]General 51


T.Reuters National[25]Research 2
T.Reuters World[25]Research 12


T.Reuters National[25]Research 3
T.Reuters World[25]Research 22


T.Reuters National[25]Research 3
T.Reuters World[25]Research 12


T.Reuters National[25]Research 3
T.Reuters World[25]Research 28


ARE Success National[26]Qualification 21
Life Sciences


T.Reuters National[25]Research 1
T.Reuters World[25]Research 4


T.Reuters National[25]Research 9
T.Reuters World[25]Research 154
* T. Reuters World rankings include non-educational institutions

Handai is one of the most prestigious universities in Japan. It can be seen in the several rankings such as shown below.

General rankings

The university has been ranked 3rd in 2009 and 4th in 2008 and 2010 in the ranking "Truly Strong Universities" by Toyo Keizai.[8] In another ranking, Japanese prep school Kawaijuku ranked Handai as the 3rd best university in Japan.[9]

It is recognized as a leading university, especially in the basic sciences, technology and medical field. The university was ranked the 43rd among the world's best universities and the 3rd best Japanese university in 2009, according to the THE-QS World University Rankings.[27] In 2011, it came 45th in the QS World University Rankings,[28] four places higher than the previous year (in 2010 Times Higher Education World University Rankings and QS World University Rankings parted ways to produce separate rankings).

QS World University Rankings University Rankings (Overall) records (World Ranking (Domestic Ranking))
The University of Tokyo 19 (1)19 (1)17 (1)22 (1)22 (1)24 (1)25 (1)30 (1)32 (1)
Kyoto University 29 (2)29 (2)25 (2)25 (2)25 (2)25 (2)32 (2)35 (2)35 (2)
Osaka University 70 (3)70 (3)46 (3)44 (3)43 (3)49 (3)45 (3)50 (3)55 (3)
Tokyo Institute of Technology 118 (4)118 (4)90 (4)61 (4)55 (4)60 (4)57 (4)65 (4)66 (4)
Tohoku University 168 (10)168 (10)102 (5)112 (5)97 (6)102 (6)70 (5)75 (5)75 (5)
Nagoya University 128 (6)128 (6)112 (6)120 (6)92 (5)91 (5)80 (6)86 (6)99 (6)
Kyushu University 128 (6)128 (6)136 (7)158 (7)155 (9)153 (7)122 (8)128 (8)133 (7)
Hokkaido University 133 (8)133 (8)151 (8)174 (8)171 (10)175 (9)139 (9)138 (9)144 (8)
Hitotsubashi University 314 314 420 378 364 N/A 105 (7)101 (7)N/A
Keio University 120 (5)120 (5)161 (9)214 142 (7)206 188 200193 (9)
University of Tsukuba 269 269 209 216 174 172 (8)186 203 210 (10)
Waseda University 158 (9)158 (9)180 (10)180 (9)148 (8)182(10) 185 (10)198 (10)220
Kobe University 181 181 197 199 (10)218 234 247 295 304

Research performance

Handai is one of the top research institutions in Japan. According to Thomson Reuters, Handai is the 3rd best research university in Japan.[10] Its research excellence is especially distinctive in Biology & Biochemistry (4th in Japan, 31st in the world), Materials Science (4th in Japan, 15th in the world), Physics (3rd in Japan, 24th in the world), Chemistry (5th in Japan, 14th in the world) and Immunology (1st in Japan, 4th in the world).[29]

Weekly Diamond also reported that Handai has the 7th highest research standard in Japan in terms of research funding per researchers in COE Program.[30] In the same article, it's also ranked 16th in terms of the quality of education by GP funds per student.

Handai also has a high research standard in Economics. Repec in Jan 2011 ranked Handai's Economic department as Japan's 2nd best economic research university.[31] Handai has provided 5 presidents of Japanese Economic Association in its 42-year history, and this number is 4th largest.[32]

In addition, Nikkei Shimbun on 2004/2/16 surveyed about the research standards in Engineering studies based on Thomson Reuters, Grants in Aid for Scientific Research and questionnaires to heads of 93 leading Japanese Research Centers, and Handai was placed top (research planning ability 2nd/informative ability of research outcome 5th/ability of business-academia collaboration 9th) in this ranking.[33]

According to the QS World University Rankings of September 2013, Handai was ranked 55th in the world, and 3rd in Japan.[34]

Furthermore, Handai got the 4th place at the number of patents accepted (171) during 2009 among Japanese Universities.[35]

Graduate school rankings

Handai Law School is considered as one of top law schools in Japan, as it was ranked 7th in terms of the number of successful candidates of Japanese Bar Examination in 2010.[36]

Alumni rankings

According to the Weekly Economist's 2010 rankings, graduates from Handai have the 7th best employment rate in 400 major companies in Japan.[37]

École des Mines de Paris ranks Handai as 92nd in the world in 2011 in terms of the number of alumni listed among CEOs in the 500 largest worldwide companies.[19]

Popularity and selectivity

Osaka University is one of the most selective universities in Japan. Its entrance difficulty is usually considered as one of the highest in Japan.[38][39]

Nikkei BP has been publishing a ranking system "Brand rankings of Japanese universities" every year, composed by the various indications related to the power of brand, and Handai was 2nd in 2010 in Kansai Area.[40][12]

International student scholarships

Japanese government scholarships are available to suitable candidates. Total of three scholarships are available at the time of admissions.[41]

Notable people


Some staff at Osaka University are represented by the General Union, a member of the National Union of General Workers (NUGW), which is itself a member of the National Trade Union Council (Zenrokyo).[42]


See also

Notes and references

  1. 1 2 3 4 "Osaka University: Outline of the University". Retrieved 2010-01-14.
  2. Introduction to Official Student Groups — Osaka University. (2010-10-13). Retrieved on 2011-06-26.
  3. "History of the University". Osaka University. Retrieved 2008-02-08.
  4. History of Osaka University — Osaka University. Retrieved on 2011-06-26.
  5. Undergraduate and Graduate schools & facilities — Osaka University. Retrieved on 2011-06-26.
  6. History of Osaka University — Osaka University. (2007-10-01). Retrieved on 2014-06-17.
  7. University Exchange Agreements — Osaka University. (2010-11-01). Retrieved on 2011-06-26.
  8. 1 2 "Truly Strong Universities" (in Japanese). Toyo Keizai. 2010. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  9. 1 2 "Kawai 30 Top Japanese Universities". Kawaijuku. 2001. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  10. 1 2 "Thomson Reuters 20 Top research institutions in Japan". Thomson Reuters. 2011. Retrieved April 29, 2011. (this raking includes 5 non-educational institutions)
  11. "Employment rate in 400 major companies rankings" (in Japanese). Weekly Economist. 2011. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  12. 1 2 "Nikkei BP Brand rankings of Japanese universities" (in Japanese). Nikkei Business Publications. 2010. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  13. "GBUDU University Rankings" (in Japanese). YELL books. 2009. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  14. "QS Asian University Rankings". QS Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 2013. Retrieved June 16, 2013.
  15. "Academic Ranking of World Universities in Japan". Institute of Higher Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. 2012. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  16. "THE World University Rankings". Times Higher Education. 2010. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  17. "QS World University Rankings". QS Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 2012–2013. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  18. "Academic Ranking of World Universities". Institute of Higher Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. 2012. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  19. 1 2 "ENSMP World University Rankings" (PDF). École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris. 2011. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  20. "Bar Exam Successful Applicants rankings" (in Japanese). Shikaku Seek. 2010. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
  21. "Bar Exam Pass rate rankings" (in Japanese). Shikaku Seek. 2010. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
  22. "Top 25% Institutions and Economists in Japan, as of January 2011". REPEC. 2011. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
  23. "Kawaijuku japanese universities rankings in Engineering field" (in Japanese). Kawaijuku. 2012. Retrieved July 20, 2012.
  24. "QS topuniversities world rankings in Engineering field". Topuniversities. 2012. Retrieved July 20, 2012.
  25. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 "Thomson Reuters 10 Top research institutions by subject in Japan" (in Japanese). Thomson Reuters. 2010. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
  26. "Architects Registration Exam Successful Applicants rankings" (in Japanese). Shikaku Seek. 2010. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
  27. "Top 100 Universities". The Times Higher Education. Retrieved 2010-01-15.
  28. QS World University Rankings - 2011. Top Universities (2012-12-19). Retrieved on 2014-06-17.
  29. "Thomson Reuters 20 Top research institutions in Japan" (PDF). Thomson Reuters. (this raking includes non-educational institutions)
  30. "週刊ダイヤモンド" ダイヤモンド社 2010/2/27
  31. Within Country and State Rankings at IDEAS: Japan. Retrieved on 2011-06-26.
  32. Japanese Economic Association – JEA Global Site. Retrieved on 2011-06-26.
  33. 大学工学部研究力調査(04.2.22). Retrieved on 2011-06-26.
  34. "QS World University Rankings 2013". Retrieved September 23, 2013.
  35. (Japanese)2009年国内大学別特許公開件数, Japanese patent office, accessed May 3rd 2011
  36. 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 on 2011-06-26.
  37. "Employment rate in 400 major companies rankings" (in Japanese). Weekly Economist. 2011. Retrieved Apr 29, 2011.
  38. e.g. Yoyogi seminar published Hensachi (the indication showing the entrance difficulties by prep schools) rankings
  39. Japanese journalist Kiyoshi Shimano ranks its entrance difficulty as SA (most selective/out of 11 scales) in Japan. 危ない大学・消える大学 2012年版 (in Japanese). YELL books. 2011.
  40. NBPC ニュースリリース「大学ブランド・イメージ調査 2010(首都圏編)」(2009年10月実施)より. Retrieved on 2011-06-26.
  41. Scholarships for students
  42. General Union website Osaka U: Massive cuts to come for part-timers Retrieved on June 6, 2012
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Coordinates: 34°49′09″N 135°31′36″E / 34.81917°N 135.52667°E / 34.81917; 135.52667

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