Daigakkō (大学校 daigakkō ) is a word used in names of some post-secondary educational institutions in Japan. Its literal meaning is "Grand School" or "Great School". It came from a literal translation of "Grandes écoles" which is the elite higher institutions in France. This word is translated into "academy", "college" or "university" in their English names, and there is not a settled translation. The National Defense Academy of Japan (Bōei Daigakkō) was established École Polytechnique as its model.
In Japan, use of the word "daigakkō"(大学校) is not regulated by laws or ordinances, so many educational or training facilities are named as "daigakko". Those are categorized as follows:
- The training facilities operated by the governmental offices such as ministries and agencies.
- The lectures as lifelong learning for the citizens provided by local governments.
- The educational facilities which are certified as they can provide education as same as Universities and Graduate schools, and which can provide academic degrees.
- The educational facilities which provide higher education, but can't provide academic degrees.
- The special schools named "daigakkō" before School Education Act in enforce in 1947.
In Korea, universities and colleges of 4 years are written as "大學校" (pronounced as "Taehakkyo" in Korean). Korea University which has a relationship with North Korean government in Japan is written as "朝鮮大學校" (pronounced as Chosŏn Taehakkyo in Korean), but it can not provide any academic degrees because it has never been certified as a university by Japanese Ministry of Education.
Daigakkō and other post-secondary institutions 
In Japan, use of the word "daigakkō" is not regulated by laws or ordinances. They could offer accredited full-time six-year courses or a single-day training courses depending on institutions and courses. They can be established by national and local governments or can be private institutions. Some daigakkō-s are recognised as "specialized training colleges" (ja:専修学校 senshū gakkō ) by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) or "miscellaneous schools" (ja:各種学校 kakushu gakkō ) by the local boards of education or the governors of the prefectures.
It is also true for "daigaku" (大学) but the word "daigakkō" is a word to clarify that the daigakkō does not award academic degrees of its own. Currently no institutions (their English names could be "university", "institute of technology", "medical college" or "junior college") established or recognised directly by the MEXT and can offer academic degrees of their own carry "daigakkō" in their names. They use "daigaku (大学)" or "tanki daigaku" (短期大学 for a junior college) instead.
Daigakkō with NIAD-UE accredited courses: equivalent as universities 
Some daigakkō's mainstream courses are accredited by the National Institution for Academic Degrees and University Evaluation (NIAD-UE), an independent administrative institution (IAI) affiliated with the MEXT and the graduates can obtain academic degrees awarded by the NIAD-UE by application.
Administered by the national government: tuition-fee free, salary paid 
The following daigakkō are administered by the national government, and the tuition-fee is for free and the students are paid salary. In addition, these daigakkō are specially called "Shō-Chō-Daigakkō"(Ministry-Agency-Daigakkō, 省庁大学校) which are regulated to be founded by laws. The students in the following schools are appointed as government officials automatically when they entered, and they are paid salary every month, and they are exempted from paying tuition-fee.
|English Name||Japanese orthography||Pronouciation||abbreviation||Provider(national government)||Foundation|
|Japan Coast Guard Academy||海上保安大学校||Kaijō Hoan Daigakkō||JCGA||Japan Coast Guard||1951|
|National College of Nursing(ko)||国立看護大学校||Kokuritsu Kango Daigakkō||NCN||National Center for Global Health and Medicine||2001|
|National Defense Academy of Japan||防衛大学校||Bōei Daigakkō||NDA
|Ministry of Defense||1952|
|National Defense Medical College||防衛医科大学校||Bōei Ika Daigakkō||NDMC||Ministry of Defense||1973|
|Meteorological College||気象大学校||Kishō Daigakkō||MC
|Japan Meteorological Agency||1922|
The mainstream students of above daigakkōs are tuition fee free. They are paid salaries (except the NCN) by the national government as the establishing administrations' employees. The NDMC's graduates who retire before serving nine years for Japan Self-Defense Forces must refund their training costs.
Independent administrative institutions: tuition fee payable 
- National Fisheries University (ja:水産大学校 Suisan Daigakkō ) (NFU ): an IAI affiliated with the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
- Polytechnic University (ja:職業能力開発総合大学校 Shokugyō Nōryoku Kaihatsu Sōgō Daigakkō ) (PU ): an IAI affiliated with the MHLW.
The mainstream students of the above daigakkō must pay tuition fee similar to Japanese national universities.
Academic degrees 
If the courses set by daigakkō were certified as they come up to the level of master's course or doctoral courses by NIAD-UE, the alumni and alumnae are certificated as Bachelors, Masters, and Doctors after investigation. The following schools are the only daigakkō which are certified by NIAD-UE, and other educational institutes named as "daigakkō" can not provide any academic degrees.
|Name||Bachelor's degree||Master's degree||Doctor's degree|
|National Defense Academy of Japan||Science, Engineering, Humanities, Social Science||Science, Engineering, Security Studies||Science, Engineering|
|National Defense Medical College||Medicine||-||Medicine|
|Japan Coast Guard Academy||Coast Guard||-||-|
|National College of Nursing||Nursing||Nursing||-|
|National Fisheries University||Fisheries science||Fisheries science||-|
|Polytechnic University (Japan)||Engineering||Engineering||-|
Daigakkō without NIAD-UE accredited courses 
Administered by the national government 
The run training courses for public servants. Note institutions whose objectives and functions are similar but names are not daigakkō, say gakkō (School) are not included in this list. These schools are not certified by NIAD-UE, so they can not give any academic degrees.
|English Name||Japanese orthography||Pronouciation||abbreviation||Provider||Foundation|
|Aeronautical Safety College(zh)||航空保安大学校||Kōkū Hoan Daigakkō||ASC||Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport||1959|
|National Police Academy (Japan)||警察大学校||Keisatsu Daigakkō||NPA
|National Police Agency||1885|
|Local Autonomy College||自治大学校||Jichi Daigakkō||LAC||Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications||1953|
|Fire and Disaster Management College||消防大学校||Shōbō Daigakkō||FDMC||Fire and Disaster Management Agency(ja)||1959|
|National Tax College||税務大学校||Zeimu Daigakkō||NTA||National Tax Agency||1964|
|Social Insurance College||社会保険大学校||Shakai Hoken Daigakkō||SIC||Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare||1971|
|College of Land, Infrastructure and Transport||国土交通大学校||Kokudo Kōtsū Daigakkō||CLIT||Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport||2001|
Administered by a special institution 
Postal College runs training courses for the employees of Japan Post.
- Postal College (ja:郵政大学校 Yūsei Daigakkō ) (URL unknown): Japan Post
Administered by Independent Administrative Institutions 
All of the providers of the following daigakkō are Independent Administrative Institutions(IAI).
|English Name||Japanese orthography||Pronouciation||abbreviation||Provider(IAI)||Foundation|
|National College of Nursing||国立看護大学校||Kokuritsu Kango Daigakkō||NCN||NCGM(ja)||2001|
|National Fisheries University||水産大学校||Suisan Daigakkō||NFU
|National Fisheries University||1885|
|Polytechnic University (Japan)||職業能力開発総合大学校||Shokugyo Noryoku Kaihatsu Daigakkō||PU||EHRDOJ(ja)||1961|
|Marine Technical College||海技大学校||Kaigi Daigakkō||MTC||Marine Technical Education Agency(ja)||2001|
|Civil Aviation College||航空大学校||Kōkū Daigakkō||CAC||Civil Aviation College||1964|
|National Farmers Academy||農業者大学校||Nōgyōsha Daigakkō||NFA||NARO(ja)||1968|
|Labour College||労働大学校||Rōdō Daigakkō||LC||JILPT(ja)||2003|
|SME University||中小企業大学校||Chūshō Kigyō Daigakkō||SMEU||SMRJ(ja)||2002|
Administered by local governments 
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Independent Administrative Institution 
Private Institutions 
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Before 1947 
|English Name||Japanese orthography||Pronunciation||Provider||Foundation||Abolition|
|Imperial College of Engineering||工部大学校||Kōbu Daigakkō||Ministry of Industry||1877||1886|
|Army War College||陸軍大学校||Rikugun Daigakkō||Imperial Japanese Army||1883||1945|
|Naval War College||海軍大学校||Kaigun Daigakkō||Imperial Japanese Navy||1888||1945|
|Japan Women's University||日本女子大学校||Nihon Joshi Daigakkō||Japan Women's University||1901||1948|
- NCGM means National Center for Global Health and Medicine
- EHRDOJ means Employment and Human Resources Development Organization of Japan
- NARO means National Agriculture and Food Research Organization
- JILPT means The Japan Institute for Labour Policy and Training
- SMRJ means Organization for Small & Medium Enterprises and Regional Innovation, JAPAN
- Imperial College of Engineering was merged into University of Tokyo in 1886.
See also 
See for a partial list.