History: Founded in 1871 as a temporary hospital and medical school, Nagoya University became, in 1939, the last of the seven “imperial universities” to be established in Japan. Its relatively late establishment had the effect of drawing large numbers of outstanding young scientists, particularly in physics and chemistry. Because these professors were not regarded with the deference given to older, established professors, an academic culture flourished where students were encouraged to challenge existing bodies of knowledge, to forge their own thoughts and ideas. This gave rise to an open and vibrant atmosphere where professors and students were able to interact without the formal and rigid seniority system that has been the norm at most Japanese universities.
Today, it has 13 graduate schools, 9 undergraduate schools, 3 research institutes and 18 research centers. With a student population of 16,395 (9,946 undergraduate and 6,449 graduate students), the University’s campuses have a strong international flavor with research and education conducted at the global level. The flagship departments are in the basic Natural and Physical Sciences, Agricultural Science, Engineering, and Medicine. It also boasts strong Social Science faculties, notably in Law, Economics, Humanities and in International Development.
A research-intensive university, its internationally-recognized research capabilities set it apart and it has produced some of the world’s leading scientific achievements, and has been the creative crucible for the work of four of the seven Japanese Nobel Prize winners since the beginning of the 21st century (Dr. Ryoji Noyori in 2001 and Dr. Osamu Shimomura in 2008 each won a Nobel Prize in Chemistry, while in 2008, Dr. Toshihide Maskawa and Dr. Makoto Kobayashi shared the Nobel Prize in Physics.)
In University Ranking 2010, compiled by Asahi Shimbun, Nagoya University ranked 2nd and 3rd among Japanese universities in terms of number of patents registered in the United States and in Japan between 1999 and 2008. Further, Nagoya University continues to be among those selected, through a competitive process, to receive significant government grants, most recently through the 21st-Century Center of Excellence (COE) and Global COE Programs.
NU offers an education that emphasizes self-initiative and creativity and a stimulating intellectual environment of academic freedom for students to fully pursue their deep thirst for knowledge. This is attested by the high percentage of undergraduates who chose to continue with postgraduate studies–about 50% of the entire graduating class of 2007–with the highest proportions from the Schools of Science and Agricultural Science (70%) and the School of Engineering (90%).
In 1993, Nagoya University integrated the undergraduate curriculum combining the multi-disciplinary general education required of all students, together with advanced specialization in a major field of study. Students have the option to take specialized lectures and seminars relating to their majors in as early as their first year. In addition, the cross-over format requires humanities students to take basic courses in natural sciences, and natural science students to take basic humanities courses. This inter-disciplinary arrangement helps students develop comprehensive and multifaceted perspectives.
Ultimately, Nagoya University’s fundamental objective is to cultivate what it terms “courageous intellectuals”who are able to responsibly exploit their freedom with their research and educational pursuits. Its multi-disciplinary curriculum is designed to cultivate ethical and productive leaders who are able to develop innovative solutions, through inquiry and analysis, with strong communication skills.
Nagoya University offers an environment for students to develop their ability to interact internationally. Students can take advantage of international exchange programs as NU has academic exchange agreements with 270 universities and research institutes in 44 countries/regions around the world. Many students take full advantage of these international exchange programs.Nagoya University also receives exchange students through its Program for Academic Exchange (NUPACE) – the exchange students receive intensive Japanese language education and participate in both academic and cultural activities. Nagoya University’s reputation as an outstanding research university has attracted students from around the world. Currently, of the 16,395 total enrollment, 1,344 or approximately 9% are international degree-seeking students.
Located in the nerve center of the Chubu Industrial Zone (an area that accounts for 60% of Japan’s trade), the campus is convenient and affordable … many students either walk or bike to campus as there are myriad housing options close to the main campus. Monthly rent can be as low as 30,000 Yen (approx. US$300) and dormitory space can be guaranteed for all international students the first 6-months of their arrival. As a national university, Nagoya University’s tuition fees are relatively low—currently, approx. US$5,700 per academic year (2 semesters)—making it 3-4 times cheaper than comparable institutions in the US, the UK and Australia.
The main campus of Nagoya University is huge, unlike any Japanese university, blooming with trees and lush with greenery. Several outdoor athletic fields and indoor facilities host the games and activities of the American Football team, the University baseball team, the Karate and Kendo teams, and approximately fifty other athletic teams and student associations. Available student cultural activities include a manga club, a tea ceremony circle, a traditional dance group and numerous musical groups such as choirs, a-cappella groups and the Nagoya University Symphony Orchestra. There are other more eclectic student groups such as a Human-Powered Airplane-Making Team, and the Railway Fan Club.
A bright future awaits NU’s students with over 90% of Nagoya University’s undergraduate students securing job offers prior to their graduation. Internship programs allow students to define their career goals and form relationships with regional and multinational corporations. Toyota, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Denso, Panasonic, Hitachi, and Canon are among the multinational companies that regularly hire NU graduates.