Informatics Educational Institutions & Programs

The University of Tsukuba (筑波大学, Tsukuba daigaku) is a national research university located in Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.

University of Tsukuba
MottoImagine the future
TypePublic (National)
EstablishedOctober 1973 (founded in 1872)
PresidentKyosuke Nagata [ja]
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Location, ,
The University of Tsukuba campus

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 university has a branch campus is in Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, offering graduate programs for working adults in the capital and managing K-12 schools in Tokyo that are attached to the university.

Three Nobel Prize laurates have taught at the university, Leo Esaki, Hideki Shirakawa and Sin-Itiro Tomonaga.[3] Apart from them, Satoshi Ōmura studied as an audit student.[4]


The University of Tsukuba can trace its roots back to Tokyo Higher Normal School (東京高等師範学校, Tōkyō Kōtō Shihan Gakkō), a normal school established in 1872 to educate primary and secondary teachers. The school was promoted to a university in 1929, as Tokyo University of Literature and Science (東京文理科大学, Tōkyō Bunrika Daigaku). In 1949, Tokyo University of Education (東京教育大学, Tōkyō Kyōiku Daigaku) was established under the post-war educational system, and most faculties and facilities were transferred to the new university. The old university was closed officially in 1962.[5] When the plan was made to build an entirely new city dedicated to science and research and education in 1963, it was decided that the university was to be relocated to the new city as the hub for the research activities. This plan caused outrage amongst some students, and fierce student protests forced the university to cancel classes for a few months and even the admission process for 1969. Meanwhile, the new university, the University of Tsukuba, was established by the government in 1973, and the first group of students were matriculated at the new campus in Tsukuba in April 1974. The old university was officially closed in 1978, with most of its assets and faculties transferred to the new university in Tsukuba.[6]

In October 2002, the University of Tsukuba merged with the University of Library and Information Science (図書館情報大学). The School of Library and Information Science and the Graduate School of Library and Information – Media Studies were subsequently established.

In April 2024, the university announced that it would open its first overseas campus, housing the School of Transdisciplinary Science and Design, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, starting in September.[7]


The university is primarily focused on STEMM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Medicine), physical education, and related interdisciplinary fields. This focus is reflected by the university's location in the heart of Tsukuba Science City, alongside over 300 other research institutions.[8] The university counts among its faculty three Nobel laureates (two in Physics and one in Chemistry), and over 70 Olympic athletes.[9]

It has established interdisciplinary PhD programs in both 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.[10]

International education

Their founding philosophy states the University of Tsukuba is "a university which is open to all within and outside Japan."[11] 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[12] and the "Super Global University Project"[13] (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, Irvine 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.[14]

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.[15] 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[16] and 13 overseas offices in 12 countries, located in Brazil, China, Germany, France, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Tunisia, Taiwan, United States, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.[17]

In March 2023, the university announced the establishment of a new international campus in Malaysia, becoming the first Japanese public university to set up a campus outside Japan.[18]

Outside the Main Library

Academic rankings

University rankings
THE National[19] General 9
T. Reuters National[20] Research 12
WE [ja] National[21] Employment 60
Shimano National[22] Selectivity A1
QS Asia
(Asia version)[23]
General 55
THE Asia
(Asia version)[24]
General 82
THE World[25] General 351–400
QS World[26] General 355
ARWU World[27] Research 201–300
Program rankings

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.[34]

Weekly Diamond [ja] reported that Tsukuba has the 27th highest research standard in Japan in research fundings per researchers in COE Program.[35] 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.[36]

Eduniversal ranked Tsukuba as seventh in the rankings of "Excellent Business Schools nationally strong and/or with continental links" in Japan.[37]

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.[38] By contrast, the alumni of Tsukuba's average salary is very high with the 8th best in Japan, according to PRESIDENT, Inc.[39]

Popularity and selectivity

The University of Tsukuba is regarded as a selective university, with the selectivity for its undergraduate programmes usually ranked amongst the top 20 in the country.[40][41]


Undergraduate schools and colleges

  • School of Humanities and Culture, with separate colleges for the humanities, for comparative culture and for Japanese language and culture.
  • School of Social and International Studies, including colleges for social sciences and for international studies.
  • School of Human Sciences, with separate colleges for education, for psychology and for disability sciences.
  • School of Life and Environmental Sciences, incorporating colleges for biological sciences, for agro-biological resources and for geoscience.
  • School of Science and Engineering, with colleges for mathematics, physics, chemistry, engineering sciences and engineering systems, as well as for policy and planning sciences.
  • School of Informatics, incorporating separate colleges for information sciences; for media arts, science and technology; and for knowledge and library sciences.
  • School of Medicine and Medical Sciences, including schools of medicine, nursing nd medical sciences.
  • School of Health and Physical Education.
  • School of Art and Design.

Graduate schools and programs

  • Master's Program in Education
    • School Leadership and Professional Development
    • Secondary Education
  • Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences
    • Doctoral Program in Philosophy
    • Doctoral Program in History and Anthropology
    • Doctoral Program in Literature and Linguistics
    • Master's Program in Modern Languages and Cultures
    • Doctoral Program in Modern Languages and Cultures
    • Master's Program in International Public Policy
    • Doctoral Program in International Public Policy
    • Master's Program in Economics
    • Doctoral Program in Economics
    • Master's Program in Law
    • Doctoral Program in Law
    • Master's Program in International Area Studies
    • Doctoral Program in International and Advanced Japanese Studies
  • Graduate School of Business Sciences (programs for working individuals)
    • Master's Program in Systems Management
    • Master's Program in Advanced Studies of Business Law
    • Doctoral Program in Systems Management and Business Law
    • Law School Program
    • MBA Program in International Business
  • Graduate School of Pure and Applied Sciences
    • Master's Program in Mathematics
    • Doctoral Program in Mathematics
    • Master's Program in Physics
    • Doctoral Program in Physics
    • Master's Program in Chemistry
    • Doctoral Program in Chemistry
    • Doctoral Program in Nano-Science and Nano-Technology
    • Master's Program in Applied Physics
    • Doctoral Program in Applied Physics
    • Master's Program in Materials Science
    • Doctoral Program in Materials Science
    • Doctoral Program in Materials Sciences and Technology
  • Graduate School of Systems and Information Engineering
    • Master's Program in Policy and Planning Sciences
    • Master's Program in Service Engineering
    • Doctoral Program in Policy and Planning Sciences
    • Master's Program in Risk Engineering
    • Doctoral Program in Risk Engineering
    • Master's Program in Computer Science
    • Doctoral Program in Computer Science
    • Master's Program in Intelligent Interaction Technologies
    • Doctoral Program in Intelligent Interaction Technologies
    • Master's Program in Engineering Mechanics and Energy
    • Doctoral Program in Engineering Mechanics and Energy
    • Master's Program in Social Systems Engineering
    • Master's Program in Business Administration and Public Policy
    • Doctoral Program in Social Systems and Management
  • Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences
    • Doctoral Program in Integrative Environment and Biomass Sciences
    • Master's Program in Geosciences
    • Doctoral Program in Geoenvironmental Sciences
    • Doctoral Program in Earth Evolution Sciences
    • Master's Program in Biological Sciences
    • Doctoral Program in Biological Sciences
    • Master's Program in Agro-bioresources Science and Technology
    • Doctoral Program in Appropriate Technology and Sciences for Sustainable Development
    • Doctoral Program in Biosphere Resource Science and Technology
    • Doctoral Program in Life Sciences and Bioengineering
    • Doctoral Program in Bioindustrial Sciences
    • Master's Program in Environmental Sciences
    • Doctoral Program in Sustainable Environmental Studies
    • Doctoral Program in Advanced Agricultural Technology and Sciences
  • Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Sciences
    • Master's Program in Medical Sciences (Tokyo Campus (evening programs for working adults))
    • Master's Program in Sports and Health Promotion
    • Master's Program in Education Sciences
    • Doctoral Program in Education
    • Doctoral Program in School Education
    • Master's Program in Psychology
    • Doctoral Program in Psychology
    • Master's Program in Disability Sciences
    • Doctoral Program in Disability Sciences
    • Master's Program in Lifespan Development (Tokyo Campus (evening programs for working adults))
    • Doctoral Program in Lifespan Developmental Sciences (Tokyo Campus (evening programs for working adults))
    • Master's Program in Kansei, Behavioral and Brain Sciences
    • Doctoral Program in Kansei, Behavioral and Brain Sciences
    • Master's Program in Nursing Sciences
    • Doctoral Program in Nursing Sciences
    • Master's Program in Health and Sport Sciences
    • Doctoral Program in Physical Education, Health and Sport Sciences
    • Master's Program in Art and Design
    • Doctoral Program in Art and Design
    • Master's Program in World Heritage Studies
    • Doctoral Program in World Cultural Heritage Studies
    • Doctoral Program in Human Care Science
    • Doctoral Program in Sports Medicine
    • Doctoral Program in Coaching Science
    • Doctoral Program in Biomedical Sciences
    • Doctoral Program in Clinical Sciences
  • Graduate School of Library, Information and Media Studies
    • Master's Program in Library, Information and Media Studies
    • Doctoral Program in Library, Information and Media Studies
  • School of Integrative and Global Majors (SIGMA)
    • PhD Program in Human Biology
    • PhD Program in Empowerment Informatics
    • Master's Program in Life Science Innovation
    • Doctoral Program in Life Science Innovation

Research centers

  • Center for Computational Sciences
  • Shimoda Marine Research Center
  • Gene Research Center
  • Plasma Research Center
  • University's inter-department education research institutes (Research)
    • Life Science Center of Tsukuba Advanced Research Alliance (Life Science Center of TARA)
    • International Institute for Integrative Sleep Medicine (WPI-IIIS)
    • Agricultural and Forestry Research Center
    • Terrestrial Environment Research Center
    • Laboratory Animal Resource Center
    • Sugadaira Montane Research Center
    • Research Center for University Studies
    • Proton Medical Research Center
    • Tsukuba Industrial Liaison and Cooperative Research Center
    • Center for Research on International Cooperation in Educational Development
    • Research Center for Knowledge Communities
    • Tsukuba Research Center for Interdisciplinary Materials Science
    • Special Needs Education Research Center
    • The Alliance for Research on North Africa
    • Academic Computing and Communications Center
    • Research Facility Center for Science and Technology
    • Radioisotope Center
    • Tsukuba Critical Path Research and Education Integrated Leading Center
    • Center for Cybernics Research
  • University's inter-department education research institutes (student support)
    • Foreign Language Center
    • Sport and Physical Education Center
    • International Student Center
    • Admission Center
    • University Health Center

University libraries

  • Central Library (Central Area, Tsukuba Campus)
  • Art and Physical Education Library (South Area, Tsukuba Campus)
  • Medical Library (West Area, Tsukuba Campus)
  • Library on Library and Information Science (Kasuga Area, Tsukuba Campus)
  • Otsuka Library (Tokyo Bunkyo School Building)[42][43]

University hospital

  • University of Tsukuba Hospital (Tsukuba Campus)[44]

Laboratory schools

  • Education Bureau of the Laboratory Schools
  • Illm|Elementary School, University of Tsukuba
  • Junior High School at Otsuka
  • Junior High School at Komaba
  • Senior High School at Otsuka
  • Senior High School at Komaba
  • Senior High School at Sakado
  • Special Needs Education School for the Visually Impaired
  • Special Needs Education School for the Deaf
  • Special Needs Education School for the Mentally Challenged
  • Special Needs Education School for the Physically Challenged
  • Special Needs Education School for Children with Autism

Notable 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.[46] 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.[47]

On 12 July 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 initiated 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.[48]

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.'[49] Indeed, the decision was heavily criticized by both the Science Council of Japan and Japanese academics.[50] 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.[51]

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.[52] Additionally, the president's selection committee decided to scrap limits on the president's term of office allowing Nagata to remain in charge indefinitely.[52] This created backlash among academic staff resulting in the genesis of a campaign against Nagata's presidency.[53]

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.[52] As a result, Times Higher Education launched an investigation and advised the university on its submission of data in the future.[51] 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 21 April 2021.[54] Critics have suggested that the university is attempting to circumvent its short comings in research which negatively affects its ranking by falsifying data.[52]

Partner institution



  1. ^ a b c d e f 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. ^ "ノーベル賞受賞者 - 筑波大学". Retrieved 11 February 2024.
  4. ^ INC., SANKEI DIGITAL (5 October 2015). "【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.
  5. ^ "History – Celebrating the 151st+50th Anniversary of the University of Tsukuba". Retrieved 11 February 2024.
  6. ^ "History - University of Tsukuba". Retrieved 11 February 2024.
  7. ^ "University of Tsukuba to open 1st Japan college campus abroad in Malaysia". Kyodo News. Retrieved 7 April 2024.
  8. ^ "Outline of Tsukuba City | Tsukuba Science City Network". Retrieved 10 September 2015.
  9. ^ "University of Tsukuba's Official HP=". Retrieved 10 September 2015.
  10. ^ Organizations with ties to CCEP CCEP, accessed 2011-03-19
  11. ^ "University of Tsukuba|Prospectus|About the University|ConceptConcept". Retrieved 11 September 2015.
  12. ^ "Universities – Study in Japan(Japanese university) – Global30". Archived from the original on 21 August 2016. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  13. ^ "Selection for the FY 2014 Top Global University Project" (PDF). MEXT.
  14. ^ "University of Tsukuba Top Global University Project". Retrieved 10 September 2015.
  15. ^ "Bank Group Participates in TICAD IV," African Development Bank (Tunis). 3 June 2008.
  16. ^ "University of Tsukuba|International |Promotion of Internationalization in Everyday Life|List of Overseas Partner UniversitiesList of Overseas Partner Universities". Retrieved 10 September 2015.
  17. ^ "Overseas Offices". Retrieved 10 September 2015.
  18. ^ "Tsukuba University to set up campus in Malaysia". New Straits Times. 23 March 2023.
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  20. ^ "Thomson Reuters 20 Top research institutions in Japan". Thomson Reuters. 2011. Retrieved 22 July 2022. (this raking includes 5 non-educational institutions)
  21. ^ "Employment rate in 400 major companies rankings" (in Japanese). Weekly Economist. 2011. Retrieved 29 April 2011.
  22. ^ "GBUDU University Rankings" (in Japanese). YELL books. 2009. Retrieved 29 April 2011.
  23. ^ "QS Asian University Rankings". QS Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 2023. Retrieved 8 November 2023.
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  25. ^ "THE World University Rankings". Times Higher Education. 2024. Retrieved 27 September 2023.
  26. ^ "QS World University Rankings". QS Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 2024. Retrieved 27 June 2023.
  27. ^ "Academic Ranking of World Universities". Institute of Higher Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. 2023. Retrieved 15 August 2023.
  28. ^ Asahi Shimbun University rankings 2010 "Publification rankings in Law (Page 4)" (PDF) (in Japanese). Asahi Shimbun. 2010. Retrieved 11 May 2011.
  29. ^ "Kawaijuku japanese universities rankings in Engineering field" (in Japanese). Kawaijuku. 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
  30. ^ "QS topuniversities world rankings in Engineering field". Topuniversities. 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2012.
  31. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Thomson Reuters 10 Top research institutions by subject in Japan" (in Japanese). Thomson Reuters. 2010. Retrieved 11 May 2011.
  32. ^ a b "ARWU in Mathematics". Shanghai Jiaotong University. 2011. Retrieved 11 May 2011.
  33. ^ a b "ARWU in Computer Science". Shanghai Jiaotong University. 2010. Retrieved 11 May 2011.
  34. ^ "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)
  35. ^ Weekly Diamond [ja], Diamond Inc. [ja] (27 February 2010) "The article" (PDF) (in Japanese).
  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 15 July 2015.
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  38. ^ "Employment rate in 400 major companies rankings". Weekly Economist (in Japanese). 2011. Retrieved 29 April 2011.
  39. ^ (4 November 2006) (in Japanese)
  40. ^ 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.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  41. ^ 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. ASIN 4753930181.
  42. ^ University Library (the university's site)
  43. ^ Official website
  44. ^ Official website
  45. ^ "Yoshiyuki Sankai". Forbes. Retrieved 4 March 2015.
  46. ^ "BLACKLIST OF JAPANESE UNIVERSITIES". Retrieved 22 April 2021.
  47. ^ 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.
  48. ^ "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.
  49. ^ 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.
  50. ^ "Defense Ministry will fund Tsukuba University military-academia research – @JapanPress_wky". Retrieved 22 April 2021.
  51. ^ a b c Exposing Academic Fraud, archived from the original on 21 December 2021, retrieved 22 April 2021
  52. ^ a b c d "Rankings data row fuels push to oust university leader". University World News. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
  53. ^ "2020筑波大学学長選挙". Retrieved 22 April 2021.
  54. ^ "衆議院インターネット審議中継". Retrieved 23 April 2021.

External links

36°06′41″N 140°06′14″E / 36.11143°N 140.10383°E / 36.11143; 140.10383