Top 10 Universities in Japan and The Available Scholarships

Japan is one of the most popular destinations for international students. The country attracts students with its high educational standards and rich cultural heritage. Japan is also one of the safest countries in the world – making it a perfect place for students to focus on their studies. In addition, many Japanese universities are considered as the best universities in the world, with over 40 Japanese universities listed on the QS World University Rankings. These universities not only provide high-quality educations but also offer a wide range of scholarship opportunities through their cooperation with the Japanese Government, private organizations and scholarship foundations, for both Japanese and international students who wish to study or are current students in Japan.

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  1. The University of Tokyo

The University of Tokyo, abbreviated as Todai or UTokyo, is a public research university located in Bunkyo, Tokyo, Japan. Established in 1877 as the first Imperial University, it is Japan’s most prestigious university – ranking first in the country and 23rd worldwide according to QS.  UTokyo has a total of 10 faculties, 15 graduate schools, 11 affiliated institutes, 13 university-wide centers, two special institutes, around 30,000 students (2,100 of whom are international students), and 5 major campuses in Hongo, Komaba and Kashiwa areas.

A variety of scholarships are available for students who wish to study in Japan. Although many of them are provided by external entities, there are some scholarships awarded directly by UTokyo. Some scholarships should be applied for prior to arrival in Japan while others can be applied for after arriving in Japan.

Further details can be found in the Scholarships page at www.u-tokyo.ac.jp.

  1. Kyoto University

Kyoto University or Kyodai is a national university located in Kyoto, Japan. Established in 1897 as Kyoto Imperial University, it is the second-oldest Japanese university, and was part of the Imperial University system. Kyodai is one of Asia’s highest ranked universities and one of Japan’s National Seven Universities. It ranks 2nd in the country and 35th worldwide according to the QS World University Rankings 2019. The University has 20 faculties / graduate schools, 13 research institutes, 21 centers and 3 campuses in Katsura, Uji and Yoshida.

A wide variety of scholarship programs are available to international students wishing to study at Kyoto University. The selection processes are highly competitive, however, and in most cases applications are accepted only after matriculation. It is therefore advisable that students secure sufficient financial resources before coming to Kyoto.

Visit the Scholarships page for more information on how you can fund your study at Kyoto University. Learn more about Kyoto University at www.kyoto-u.ac.jp.

  1. Tokyo Institute of Technology

Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech. Tokodai or TITech) is a national research university located in the Greater Tokyo Area, Japan. Tokyo Tech is the largest institution for higher education in Japan, dedicated to science and technology and is generally considered to be one of the most prestigious universities in the country. Tokyo Tech ranks amongst the top 5 universities in Japan and amongst the top 50 worldwide. Its main campus is located in Ōokayama, and its other campuses are in Suzukakedai and Tamachi. It has 6 schools, over 40 departments and research centers, around 4,700 undergraduate students and around 1,500 graduate students.

Non-Japanese students attending Tokyo Institute of Technology at their own expense are eligible to apply for two types of scholarships from private scholarship foundations. The procedure for applying for each of these private scholarships is different. In one case, the student can apply directly for the scholarship without any recommendation from the University. In another case, a recommendation from the University is required.

Find out more on how you can fund your study at Tokyo Institute of Technology on the Financial Support page, and learn more about the University at www.titech.ac.jp.

  1. Osaka University

Osaka University is a public research university located in Osaka Prefecture, Japan. It is one of Japan’s National Seven Universities and is generally considered one of Japan’s most prestigious institutions of higher education. Osaka University is usually ranked among the top 5 public universities in Japan, and ranked 67th worldwide according to QS World University Rankings 2019. Established in 1931, Osaka University was the 6th modern university in Japan. It has over 15,000 undergraduate students and around 8,000 graduate students spread across 27 schools, of which 2,480 of the students are from countries all around the world.

Osaka University offers scholarships and loans to its students as its way to support their studies.

Any other or further information regarding tuition fees and funding can be found on the Financial Aid page at www.osaka-u.ac.jp.

  1. Tohoku University

Tohoku University is a Japanese national university located in Sendai, Miyagi in the Tōhoku Region, Japan. Established in 1907, it was the 3rd Imperial University in Japan and is one of the National Seven Universities. Tohoku University has been considered as one of the most prestigious universities in Japan. It ranks among the top 5 universities countrywide and ranks 77th on the QS World University Rankings 2019. The University has around 17,000 students, which 2,000 of them are international students, and a total of 4 campuses and 6 research institutes.

Tohoku University offers reduction or exemption of tuition fees for students in financial difficulty. Prospective and current international students may have scholarship opportunities as follows.

  • Japanese Government (MEXT) Scholarship: a total of 350 scholarships for international students, to cover tuition fees. Value:
  • Undergraduate student: JPY 119,000 per month
  • Research student: JPY 145,000 per month
  • Graduate student (MA): JPY 146,000 per month
  • Graduate student (PhD): JPY 147,000 per month
  • President Fellowship: merit-based scholarships for international students, to cover tuition fees
  • Monbukagakusho Honors Scholarship: 12-month scholarships for international college students. Valued JPY 48,000 for both undergraduate and graduate studies.
  • Other scholarships: various scholarships provided by private foundations or other organizations in Japan.

Learn more about Financial Aid offered at Tohoku University on the official website, at www.tohoku.ac.jp.

  1. Nagoya University

Nagoya University is a Japanese national university located in Chikusa-ku, Nagoya. Established in 1871 and chartered in 1939, it was the last Imperial University in Japan and is one of the National Seven Universities. Nagoya University is known as one of the best Japanese universities in the world, having to be ranked among the top 10 universities countrywide and 111th worldwide according to QS World University Rankings 2019. The University has 13 graduate schools, 3 research institutes and 19  centers.

Financial support for students admitted to Nagoya University is offered as the following scholarships:

  • Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho) Scholarships
  • Undergraduate Students: JPY 123,000
  • Japanese Language / Japanese Study Students: 123,000
  • Research Students and Teacher Training Students
  • Research students and Non-degree students: JPY 150,000
  • Master’s students: JPY 152,000
  • Doctoral students: JPY 153,000
  • Young Leaders’ Program Students: JPY 255,000
  • Scholarship for Independently-financed Students
  • Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho) Scholarship: merit-based scholarships for students enrolled in a graduate degree program and those entering the 4th year (6th year for students of medicine) of their undergraduate degree.
  • Honors Scholarships (Gakushu Shoreihi): merit-based and need-based scholarships for eligible undergraduate, graduate and research students. Valued JPY 48,000 for undergraduate students and JPY 65,000 for graduate / research students.
  • Scholarships from Local Public and Private Organizations: scholarships for students enrolled in degree programs.

Visit the Scholarships page for more information. Learn more about Nagoya University at en.nagoya-u.ac.jp/index.html.

  1. Kyushu University

Kyushu University is a Japanese national university located in Fukuoka, in the island of Kyushu. It is the 4th oldest university in Japan and one of the former Imperial Universities. Kyushu University has been considered as one of the most prestigious research oriented universities in the country. The history of Kyushu University can be traced back to the medical schools of the feudal domains established in 1867. Today, the University is ranked among the top 10 universities in Japan and 126th worldwide according to QS World University Rankings 2019. Kyushu University currently has over 18,000 students enrolled in 12 undergraduate and graduate schools, with 12% of the total students enrolled are international students who came across from 102 countries.

Kyushu University is aware of the students’ academic achievements and other exceptionally outstanding skills. In order to support the students in maintaining these qualities, the University offers financial aid in the form of fee exemption and scholarships which include:

  • Japanese Government (Monbukagakusho) Scholarship
  • Kyushu University Friendship Scholarship
  • Asian Student Exchange Program (ASEP)
  • JASSO (Japan Student Services Organization) Scholarship
  • Scholarships for Self-supporting International Students
  • Yamakawa Prize and Grant (Kyushu University Fund)
  • Grant for Students’ Unique Studies and Social Activities (Kyushu University Fund)
  • Grant for Students’ Participation in International Conferences (Kyushu University Fund)
  • Kyushu University KIKAN Education Award (Scholarship)
  • Doctoral Scholarship
  • Emergency Grant (Kyushu University Student Support Association)

Further details can be found on the Financial Aid page of the Kyushu University website, at www.kyushu-u.ac.jp.

  1. Hokkaido University

Hokkaido University is a Japanese national university located in Sapporo, Hokkaido. It has two campuses: Sapporo and Hakodate. Founded in 1876 as Sapporo Agricultural College, the University was a member of the Imperial Universities, which were established to be the nation’s finest institutes of higher education or research. Considered as one of the best universities in Japan, Hokkaido University has made it to the list of QS World University Rankings and ranks 128th worldwide as of 2019.

Hokkaido University has a range of scholarships available to both prospective and current students. The scholarships include:

  • Scholarships for Prospective Students
  • Japanese Government Scholarships: for graduate-level students who are citizens of countries that have diplomatic relations with the Japanese government.
  • Hokkaido University Scholarships: for prospective international students enrolling in Master’s, Professional or Doctoral degree programs.
  • Private Scholarships
  • JICA
  • JASSO (Japan Student Services Organization)
  • The Konosuke Matsushita Memorial Foundation
  • Scholarships for Current Students
  • Scholarships applied for through the University

Registration procedures should be completed on ELMS, otherwise you cannot apply for any scholarships.

  • Scholarships applied for individually

There are various scholarship programs offered by private organizations and local governments each year. The application period and requirements for each scholarship are different.

Visit the Scholarships page for further details. Learn more about Hokkaido University at www.global.hokudai.ac.jp.

  1. Keio University

Keio University is a leading research university committed to excellence and innovation in education, research and medicine. It is located in Minato, Tokyo, Japan and is known as the oldest institute of modern higher education in the country. It was originally established as a school for Western Studies in 1858 in Edo, Tokyo. Today, it has 12 campuses in Tokyo and Kanagawa. The University is one of the 13 universities of the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology’s “Global 30” Project. In the United States, Keio has a high school called the Keio Academy of New York. According to the QS World University Rankings 2019, Keio University is ranked among the top 200 universities worldwide.

Keio University provides scholarships to international students in order to support them and help them focus on their studies without financial worries. The scholarships are broadly divided into the following: those offered by Keio University, those offered by public organizations such as the Japanese Government (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) and Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO), and those from scholarship sponsors such as private companies and scholarship foundations.

Find out more about the offered scholarship opportunities on the Scholarships page of the Keio University’s website, at www.keio.ac.jp.

  1. Waseda University

Waseda University is a private, independent research university in central Tokyo.  Founded in 1882 as the Tōkyō Senmon Gakkō, the school was formally renamed Waseda University in 1902. Waseda is organized into 36 departments: 13 undergraduate schools and 23 graduate schools. It also operates 21 research institutes at its main Shinjuku Campus. Wased consistently ranks among the most academically selective and prestigious universities in Japanese university rankings. It is often ranked alongside Keio University, its rival, as the best private university in Japan. In 2019, Waseda University is ranked 208th worldwide by QS.

A wide range of scholarship opportunities are offered for your study at Waseda University. International students can also apply for scholarships after being admitted to the University. However, the scholarships can only be available for degree studies. Visit the Center for International Education (CIE)’s website to find out more about financial support for international students.

There is also a list of scholarships offered to current students at Waseda University that you can look up on the University’s website, at www.waseda.jp. Visit the Scholarships page for further information.

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