Osaka University

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Osaka University
Osaka University logo
Motto in English
Live Locally, Grow Globally
TypePublic (National)
EstablishedKaitokudo founded 1724; Osaka Imperial University established 1931
Budget147 billion yen (2018)[1]
PresidentShojiro Nishio
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Other students
2,480 (international)[1]
Location, ,
CampusSuburban, 1.58 km²[1]
Authorized Student Groups59 sports-related, 70 culture-related[2]
Colors     Sky blue
MascotDr. Wani[3]

Osaka University (大阪大学, Ōsaka daigaku) (also called the University of Osaka), or Handai (阪大, Handai), is a public research university located in Osaka Prefecture, Japan. It was one of Imperial Universities in Japan, one of the Designated National University[4] and selected as a Top Type university of Top Global University Project by the Japanese government. It is usually 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. Thomson Reuters, in its 'World's Most Innovative Universities' ranking ranked Osaka University as the 18th in the world and 1st in Japan.

Osaka University was the sixth modern university in Japan at its founding in 1931. However, the history of the institution includes much older predecessors in Osaka such as the Kaitokudō founded in 1724 and the Tekijuku founded in 1838. Numerous prominent scholars and scientists have attended or worked at Osaka University, such as Nobel Laureate in Physics Hideki Yukawa, manga artist Osamu Tezuka, Lasker Award winner Hidesaburō Hanafusa, author Ryōtarō Shiba, and discoverer of regulatory T cells Shimon Sakaguchi.

Osaka University's English-medium degree programmes attract international students from all over the world.


Osaka Imperial University Nakanoshima campus

The academic traditions of the university reach back to the Kaitokudō (懐徳堂), an Edo-period school for local citizens founded in 1724, and the Tekijuku (適塾), a school of Rangaku for samurai founded by Ogata Kōan in 1838. The spirit of the university's humanities programmes is believed to be intimately rooted in the history of the Kaitokudō, whereas that of the natural and applied sciences is based upon the traditions of the Tekijuku.[5] Osaka University traces its modern origins back the founding of Osaka Prefectural Medical School in downtown Osaka City in 1869. The school was later designated the Osaka Prefectural Medical College with university status by the University Ordinance (Imperial Ordinance No. 388) in 1919. The Medical College merged with the newly founded College of Science to form Osaka Imperial University in 1931. Osaka Imperial University was the sixth imperial university in Japan. Osaka Technical College was incorporated to form the School of Engineering two years later. The entire university was renamed Osaka University in 1947.

After 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. Since that time new faculties and research institutes have been established, including the first Japanese School of Engineering Science and the School of Human Sciences, which covers such cross-disciplinary research interests as broadly as psychology, sociology, and education. Built on the then-existing faculties, ten graduate schools were set up as part of the government's education system reform program in 1953. Two more graduate faculties were added 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 the Osaka University of Foreign Studies in Minoh was completed. The merger made Osaka University one of two national universities in the country with a School of Foreign Studies, along with the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. The merger also made Osaka University the largest national university in Japan.


Osaka University Toyonaka Campus Main Entrance
Osaka University Hospital

Suita, Toyonaka, and Minoh are the contemporary 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.

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 undergraduates attend classes on the Toyonaka campus during their first year of enrollment. Sports activities are primarily concentrated on the Toyonaka campus, with the exception of tennis, which is located in Suita.

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

In addition to these three campuses, 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.[6] In April 2004, the Nakanoshima campus became the university's Nakanoshima Center, serving as a venue for information exchange, adult education classes, and activities involving academic as well as non-academic communities.


Osaka University is organized into 11 faculties for undergraduate programs and 16 graduate schools.[7] The undergraduate programs are the School of Letters, School of Human Sciences, School of Foreign Studies, School of Law, School of Economics, School of Science, Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Dentistry, School of Pharmaceutical Science, School of Engineering, and School of Engineering Science. The graduate programs are in the Graduate School of Letters, Graduate School of Human Sciences, Graduate School of Law and Politics, Graduate School of Economics, Graduate School of Science, Graduate School of Medicine, Graduate School of Dentistry, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Science, Graduate School of Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering Science, Graduate School of Language and Culture, the Osaka School of International Public Policy, the Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, the Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences, and the Law School.

Osaka University also has 21 research institutes, 4 libraries, and 2 university hospitals.[8]

Some staff at Osaka University are represented by the General Union, a member of the National Union of General Workers, which is itself a member of the National Trade Union Council.[9]

Osaka University maintains four overseas Centers for Education and Research, in San Francisco, Groningen, Bangkok, and Shanghai.

English-medium programs[edit]

Osaka University's School of Human Sciences on the Suita Campus hosts an English-medium four-year undergraduate degree program.[10] The program started in 2011 as a result of the national government's G30 (Global 30) Project. Although the government ended the G30 Project in 2014[11] and replaced it with the Top Global University Project, the Human Sciences International Undergraduate Program at Osaka University continues.

Areas of study include sociology, anthropology, philosophy, education, behavioral sciences, psychology, human development, and area studies. Focus is on the development of an interdisciplinary, international, and problem-solving orientation to research and education. The degree programme is based on international benchmarking standards, has competitive entry requirements and attracts students from all over the world. The current director of this programme is Professor Beverley Yamamoto, who leads a UNESCO Chair in Global Health and Education.

Osaka University's Graduate School of Letters hosts another English-medium program in Global Japanese Studies for graduate students, one of the Graduate Programs for Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies.[12]

Academic alliances[edit]

Osaka University has completed academic exchange agreements with a large number of universities (92 as of 2011) throughout the world and also exchange agreements between schools at Osaka University and schools and institutes in other countries (366 as of 2011). These agreements facilitate the visits of international students studying at Osaka University and the travel of Osaka University students studying at overseas universities, schools, and institutes. In many cases students are able to participate in these exchange agreements without paying additional tuition.[13]

Osaka University's academic alliances include Cornell University (1989), Harvard University (2008), Stanford University (2008), and the California Institute of Technology (2008) in the United States, McGill University (1996) and the University of Toronto (1999) in Canada, Seoul National University (2000) and Yonsei University (1998) in South Korea, Peking University (2001) and Tsinghua University (2004) in China, the National University of Singapore (2008), and Australian National University (1995). In Europe, alliances include the University of Bologna (2006), University of Geneva (2007), and the University of Cologne (1982). Allied institutions in the United Kingdom include the University of Oxford (1997) and Imperial College London (2006).

Academic rankings[edit]

QS World University Rankings (World rank followed by Japanese rank)
2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
University of Tokyo 17 (1) 22 (1) 22 (1) 24 (1) 25 (1) 30 (1) 32 (1)
Kyoto University 25 (2) 25 (2) 25 (2) 25 (2) 32 (2) 35 (2) 35 (2)
Osaka University 46 (3) 44 (3) 43 (3) 49 (3) 45 (3) 50 (3) 55 (3)
Tokyo Institute of Technology 90 (4) 61 (4) 55 (4) 60 (4) 57 (4) 65 (4) 66 (4)
Tohoku University 102 (5) 112 (5) 97 (6) 102 (6) 70 (5) 75 (5) 75 (5)
Nagoya University 112 (6) 120 (6) 92 (5) 91 (5) 80 (6) 86 (6) 99 (6)
Keio University 161 (9) 214 142 (7) 206 188 200 193 (9)
Waseda University 180 (10) 180 (9) 148 (8) 182(10) 185 (10) 198 (10) 220

Osaka University is considered one of the most prestigious universities in Japan, as seen in various foreign and domestic rankings. Internationally, Osaka University was ranked 71st among the world's best universities and the third best Japanese university in 2020 according to the QS World University Rankings produced by Quacquarelli Symonds.[14] Osaka University is third in Japan and 53rd worldwide in the 2019 Center for World University Rankings.[15] It is also ranked third in Japan in the 2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.[16] Domestically, the university was ranked third in 2009 and fourth in 2008 and 2010 in the ranking "Truly Strong Universities" by Toyo Keizai, which measures alumni productivity.[17]

Osaka University is one of the most productive research institutions in Japan. According to Thomson Reuters, Osaka University among the three top research universities in Japan[18] and is the second most innovative university in the country (22nd worldwide).[19] Its research is noted in such fields as immunology (first in Japan and fourth in the world), material science (fourth in Japan, fifteenth in the world), and chemistry (fifth in Japan, fourteenth in the world).[20] Weekly Diamond [ja] also reported that Osaka University has the seventh highest research funding per researcher in the Japanese COE Program [ja].[21] Osaka University had the third most patents accepted (150) among Japanese universities during 2017.[22]

Osaka University also has a high research reputation in Economics. Repec ranked Osaka's economics department second in Japan in 2011.[23] Osaka University graduates has served as presidents of the Japanese Economic Association five times in its history.[24]

According to the Weekly Economist [ja]'s 2010 rankings, graduates from Osaka University have the seventh highest employment rate among the 400 major companies in Japan.[25]

Popularity and selectivity[edit]

Osaka University is one of the most selective universities in Japan. Its entrance difficulty is usually considered one of the highest in Japan.[26][27]

Nikkei BP's "Brand rankings of Japanese universities" ranks Osaka University's brand the second strongest in the Kansai region after Kyoto University.[28]

Notable people[edit]

Business and Arts[edit]

Physics and Technologies[edit]


Mathematic and Economic[edit]


Entertainment creators[edit]


Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Osaka University: Outline of the University". Retrieved 2018-12-18.
  2. ^ Introduction to Official Student Groups. Accessed on 2018-12-18.
  3. ^ [1]. Accessed on 2018-12-18.
  4. ^ "Designated National University Corporation Osaka University". Retrieved 4 December 2018.
  5. ^ "History of the University". Osaka University. Retrieved 2008-02-08.
  6. ^ History of Osaka University — Osaka University. Retrieved on 2011-06-26.
  7. ^ Undergraduate and Graduate schools & facilities — Osaka University. Retrieved on 2011-06-26.
  8. ^ History of Osaka University — Osaka University. (2007-10-01). Retrieved on 2014-06-17.
  9. ^ General Union website Osaka U: Massive cuts to come for part-timers Retrieved on June 6, 2012
  10. ^ "Human Science International Undergraduate Degree Program OSAKA UNIVERSITY". Human Science International Undergraduate Degree Program OSAKA UNIVERSITY. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  11. ^ "DEGREE PROGRAMS in English at Kyushu University | Our Globalization Project : MEXT's "Global 30" Project |". (in Japanese). Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  12. ^ "高度副プログラム「グローバル・ジャパン・スタディーズ」(Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies Program in Global Japanese Studies)" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2018-11-30.
  13. ^ University Exchange Agreements — Osaka University Archived 2010-01-08 at the Wayback Machine. (2010-11-01). Retrieved on 2011-06-26.
  14. ^ "Osaka University". QS Top Universities. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  15. ^ "Japan - CWUR World University Rankings 2018-2019". Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  16. ^ "World University Rankings 2019". Retrieved 4 December 2018.
  17. ^ "Truly Strong Universities" (in Japanese). Toyo Keizai. 2010. Archived from the original on March 13, 2012. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  18. ^ "Thomson Reuters 20 Top research institutions in Japan". Thomson Reuters. 2011. Retrieved April 29, 2011. This ranking includes 5 non-educational institutions.
  19. ^ "Reuters Top 100: The World's Most Innovative Universities - 2018". Thomson Reuters. 2018. Retrieved February 4, 2019.
  20. ^ "Thomson Reuters 20 Top research institutions in Japan" (PDF). Thomson Reuters. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-06-08. Retrieved 2012-05-20. This ranking includes non-educational institutions.
  21. ^ "週刊ダイヤモンド" ダイヤモンド社 2010/2/27
  22. ^ (in Japanese)特許行政年次報告書2018年版, Japanese patent office, accessed February 4, 2019.
  23. ^ Within Country and State Rankings at IDEAS: Japan. Retrieved on 2011-06-26.
  24. ^ Japanese Economic Association – JEA Global Site. Retrieved on 2011-06-26.
  25. ^ "Employment rate in 400 major companies rankings" (in Japanese). Weekly Economist. 2011. Retrieved Apr 29, 2011.
  26. ^ e.g. Yoyogi seminar [ja] published Hensachi (the indication showing the entrance difficulties by prep schools) rankings "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-04-22. Retrieved 2016-07-29.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  27. ^ Japanese journalist Kiyoshi Shimano ranks its entrance difficulty as SA (most selective out of 11 grades) in Japan. 危ない大学・消える大学 2012年版 (in Japanese). YELL books. 2011.
  28. ^ NBPC ニュースリリース「大学ブランド・イメージ調査 2018-2019」(2018年8月実施)【近畿編】 Retrieved on 2019-02-04.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°49′09″N 135°31′36″E / 34.81917°N 135.52667°E / 34.81917; 135.52667