Hokkaido University

Hokkaido University
Motto 少年よ、大志を抱け
(Boys, Be Ambitious)
Type Public (National)
Established Founded March 1876,
Chartered April 1, 1918
Endowment JP¥92.297 billion (US$821 million)
President Keizo Yamaguchi
Administrative staff
Undergraduates 11,153
Postgraduates 9,128
Location Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
Campus Urban,
3.0 km²
Athletics -- varsity teams
Mascot None
Website www.hokudai.ac.jp
Japan Hokkaido Prefecture
Hokkaido University, September 2009
Secretariat of Hokkaido University
Hokkaido University Furukawa Hall
The Hokkaido University Museum
Near the library at Sapporo Campus
Forest Elm at Sapporo Campus

Hokkaido University (北海道大学 Hokkaidō daigaku), or Hokudai (北大), is one of the national universities of Japan.[1] It is a member of the National Seven Universities, which were established as the best national higher education or research institute. It is located in downtown Sapporo, just north of Sapporo Station, and stretching approximately 2.4 kilometers northward. It is considered one of the top universities in Japan.


Hokkaido University (Hokudai for short) was originally founded in 1876 as Sapporo Agricultural College (札幌農學校 Sapporo nōgakkō) by William S. Clark with the help of five faculty members and a first class size of 24 students. In September 1907, Tohoku Imperial University (東北帝國大學 Tōhoku teikoku daigaku) set up the faculty of Agriculture in Sapporo. Sapporo Agricultural College took the lead it. Tohoku Imperial University ceded the Faculty of Agriculture to Hokkaido Imperial University (北海道帝國大學 Hokkaidō teikoku daigaku) on April 1, 1918. It was one of nine Imperial Universities. The School of Medicine was established in 1919, at which time the Agricultural College became the Faculty of Agriculture. This was followed by the Faculty of Engineering, the Faculty of Science, and finally in 1947, the Faculty of Law and Literature. The current name of Hokkaido University also came into use in 1947. In 1953, the Graduate School was established.[2]

Since 2004 the university has been incorporated as a National University Corporation under a new law which applies to all national universities. Although the incorporation has led to increased financial independence and autonomy, Hokkaido University is still partially controlled by the Japanese Ministry of Education.

In 2014 the university was selected under the Super Global Universities program that began as an initiative of Prime Minister Shinzō Abe who stated its aim was to help more of Japan's universities rank in the top 100 worldwide.[3] Under the program, it is listed in the top university category or Type A—(Top Type) The Top Type is for world-class universities that have the potential to be ranked in the top 100 in world university rankings. Each Type A university will receive ¥420 million ($US 4.2 million) annually[4] until 2023.

Faculties and graduate schools


  • Letters
  • Education
  • Law
  • Economics
  • Medicine
  • Health Sciences (radiation technology, laboratory technology, physical therapy, occupational therapy)
  • Nursing
  • Dental medicine
  • Engineering
  • Veterinary medicine
  • Fisheries sciences
  • Agriculture
  • Pharmaceutical sciences
  • Science (mathematics,physics, chemistry, biology, biological chemistry, earth and planetary sciences)

Graduate schools

  • Letters
  • Education
  • Law
  • Economics and business administration
  • Medicine
  • Dental medicine
  • Engineering
  • Veterinary medicine
  • International media and communication
  • Information science and technology
  • Fisheries sciences
  • Environmental earth science
  • Science
  • Pharmaceutical sciences
  • Agriculture
  • Life science
  • Public policy


The University's Institute of Seismology and Volcanology, Hokkaido University|Institute of Seismology and Volcanology is represented on the national Coordinating Committee for Earthquake Prediction.[5]


Sapporo Campus

The main Sapporo campus is located just north of Sapporo Station, and holds every program available in Hokkaido University except its Faculty of Fisheries Science, and also Graduate School of Fisheries Science.

Hakodate Campus

The campus is located in Hakodate, the city located in southern part of Hokkaidō. Faculty and Graduate School of Fisheries Science are practiced in this campus. However, the students of Fisheries Science start their education in Hakodate campus from the second semester of their sophomore year, due to the fact that it is required for all freshmen and sophomores at their first semester to take courses in liberal arts at Sapporo campus.

Educational philosophy

Academic rankings

University rankings (overall)
Toyo Keizai National[7]General 14
Kawaijuku National[8]General 9
T. Reuters National[9]Research 7
WE National[10]Employment 49
Shimano National[11]Selectivity SA
QS Asia
(Asian Ranking version)[12]
General 20
ARWU Asia[13]Research 19-26
QS World[14]General 144 (2013)
ARWU World[15]Research 151-200
University rankings (by subject)
Social Sciences & Humanities


BE Success National[16]Qualification 9
BE Pass rate National[17]Qualification 6


RePec National[18]Research 16


Eduni MBA National[19]General 11
Eduni MBA World[20]General 495
Natural Sciences & Technology


Kawaijuku National[21]General 6
QS World[22]General 135


T.Reuters National[23]Research 7
T.Reuters World[23]Research 86


T.Reuters National[23]Research 8
T.Reuters World[23]Research 52


T.Reuters National[23]Research 6
T.Reuters World[23]Research 104


ARE Success National[24]Qualification 25
* T. Reuters World rankings include non-educational institutions

Hokkaido University is one of the most prestigious universities in Japan. It can be seen in the several rankings such as shown below.

General rankings

The university has been ranked 9th, 10th and 14th in 2008, 2009 and 2010 respectively in the ranking "Truly Strong Universities" by Toyo Keizai.[7] In another ranking, Japanese prep school Kawaijuku ranked Hokkaido as the 9th best university in Japan.[8]

In 2013 QS World University Rankings ranked Hokkaido at 144th in the world. Their highest score was for Faculty Student Score (88 out of 100). Their lowest was for International Faculty Score (13.5 out of 100).[25] In an effort to boost their International Faculty Score, Hokkaido has recently been selected to be part of Japan's Super Global Universities Program. This program provides special funding to hire international faculty.[26]

Research performance

According to Thomson Reuters, Hokkaido is the 6th best research university in Japan.[9] Its research standard is especially high in Materials Science (7th in Japan, 86th in the world), Chemistry (8th in Japan, 52nd in the world), and Biology & Biochemistry (6th in Japan, 104th in the world).[27]

Weekly Diamond reported that Hokkaido has the 10th highest research standard in Japan in terms of research funding per researchers in the COE Program.[28]

In addition, Nikkei Shimbun on 16 February 2004 surveyed the research standards in Engineering studies based on Thomson Reuters, Grants in Aid for Scientific Research and questionnaires to heads of 93 leading Japanese Research Centers, and Hokkaido was placed 17th in this ranking.[29]

According to the Qs World university rankings in September 2012, Hokkaido University was placed 135th (worldwide) and 6th (in Japan) for general standards in engineering and technology.[30]

It also has a good research standard in Economics, as RePec ranked Hokkaido as the 16th best Economics research university in Jan 2011.[18]

The university received attention in 2010 when Professor Akira Suzuki won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry jointly with Richard F. Heck and Ei-ichi Negishi.[31]

Graduate school rankings

Hokkaido Law School was ranked 6th in 2010 (8th in 2009) in the passing rate of Japanese Bar Examination.[32]

Eduniversal ranked Hokkaido as 2nd in the rankings of "Excellent Business Schools nationally strong and/or with continental links " in Japan.[33]

Alumni rankings

According to the Weekly Economist's 2010 rankings, graduates from Hokkaido have the 49th best employment rate in 400 major companies in Japan.[34]

Popularity and selectivity

Hokkaido is one of the most selective universities in Japan. Its entrance difficulty is usually considered as one of the top in Japan.[35][36]

Notable alumni

Points of interest


  1. Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Hokkaido Daigaku" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 343, p. 343, at Google Books.
  2. "Hokkaido University". Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  3. "QS Intelligence Unit | Prime Minister Abe to Accelerate Internationalisation of Japanese Universities". www.iu.qs.com. Retrieved 2016-01-16.
  4. Maruko, Mami (2014-10-22). "Universities aim to boost their global ranking". The Japan Times Online. ISSN 0447-5763. Retrieved 2016-01-16.
  5. Organizations with ties to CCEP CCEP, accessed 2011-03-19
  6. "Hokkaido University". Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  7. 1 2 "Truly Strong Universities" (in Japanese). Toyo Keizai. 2010. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  8. 1 2 "Kawai 30 Top Japanese Universities". Kawaijuku. 2001. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  9. 1 2 "Thomson Reuters 20 Top research institutions in Japan". Thomson Reuters. 2011. Retrieved April 29, 2011. (this raking includes 5 non-educational institutions)
  10. "Employment rate in 400 major companies rankings" (in Japanese). Weekly Economist. 2011. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  11. "GBUDU University Rankings" (in Japanese). YELL books. 2009. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  12. "QS Asian University Rankings". QS Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 2013. Retrieved June 16, 2013.
  13. "Academic Ranking of World Universities in Japan". Institute of Higher Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. 2012. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  14. "QS World University Rankings". QS Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 2012–2013. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  15. "Academic Ranking of World Universities". Institute of Higher Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. 2012. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  16. "Bar Exam Successful Applicants rankings" (in Japanese). Shikaku Seek. 2010. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
  17. "Bar Exam Pass rate rankings" (in Japanese). Shikaku Seek. 2010. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
  18. 1 2 "Top 25% Institutions and Economists in Japan, as of January 2011". REPEC. 2011. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
  19. "Business School Ranking in Japan". Eduniversal. 2010. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
  20. "University and business school ranking in 5 palms (Top100)". Eduniversal. 2010. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
    "University and business school ranking in 4 palms (Top101-300)". Eduniversal. 2010. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
    "University and business school ranking in 3 palms (Top301-696)". Eduniversal. 2010. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
    "University and business school ranking in 2 palms (Top697-896)". Eduniversal. 2010. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
  21. "Kawaijuku japanese universities rankings in Engineering field" (in Japanese). Kawaijuku. 2012. Retrieved July 20, 2012.
  22. "QS topuniversities world rankings in Engineering field". Topuniversities. 2012. Retrieved July 20, 2012.
  23. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Thomson Reuters 10 Top research institutions by subject in Japan" (in Japanese). Thomson Reuters. 2010. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
  24. "Architects Registration Exam Successful Applicants rankings" (in Japanese). Shikaku Seek. 2010. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
  25. "Top 200 QS World University Rankings 2013". the Guardian. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  26. "Universities aim to boost their global ranking". The Japan Times. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  27. "Thomson Reuters 20 Top research institutions in Japan" (in Japanese). Thomson Reuters. (this raking includes non-educational institutions)
  28. "週刊ダイヤモンド" ダイヤモンド社 2010/2/27 http://web.sapmed.ac.jp/kikaku/infomation/0227daiyamondokiji.pdf
  29. "wHw͒i04.2.22j". Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  30. "QS world university ranking(2012)". topuniversities.com. Retrieved September 18, 2012.
  31. "The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2010 - Press Release". Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  32. "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.
  33. "University and business school ranking in Japan". Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  34. "Employment rate in 400 major companies rankings" (in Japanese). Weekly Economist. 2011. Retrieved Apr 29, 2011.
  35. e.g. Yoyogi seminar published Hensachi (the indication showing the entrance difficulties by prep schools) rankings http://www.yozemi.ac.jp/rank/gakubu/index.html
  36. Japanese journalist Kiyoshi Shimano ranks Hokkaido's entrance difficulty as SA (most selective/out of 11 scales) in Japan. 危ない大学・消える大学 2012年版 (in Japanese). YELL books. 2011.
  37. "三浦雄一郎先生 エベレスト登頂成功、おめでとうございます。". Retrieved 9 June 2013.


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