Japan Data

Criteria Revision Sees Japanese Universities Rise in Global Ranking


Japanese institutions enjoyed a boost in this year’s Times Higher Education World University Rankings due to a revision of performance indicators, including new recognition of the importance of patents. The University of Tokyo rose 10 places to rank at 29th.

The University of Tokyo was the top Japanese institution in the Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings for 2024, moving up to 29th from 39th place last year. Kyoto University was second, in 55th place, as compared to 68th place in 2023. Other Japanese representatives among the top 200 worldwide were Tōhoku University (130th), Osaka University (175th), and Tokyo Institute of Technology (191st)—all moving up in the ranking significantly compared to the previous year. The top four ranking institutions in Japan are all former imperial universities. A revision of the performance indicators used as evaluation criteria, including the addition of patents as a new metric, contributed to the increase in the rankings of Japanese universities.

The University of Oxford (Britain) ranked first for the eighth consecutive year, followed by Stanford University (United States), and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States), as well as other Anglo-American universities that filled out the top 10. The highest ranked Asian university was Tsinghua University (China), which placed 12th, followed by Peking University (China) in 14th.

Other high-ranked national universities in Japan included Nagoya University (201st–250th), Kyūshū University (301st–350th), Hokkaidō University (351st–400th), University of Tsukuba (351st–400th), and Tokyo Medical and Dental University (401st–500th). The top private Japanese universities were Juntendō University and Keiō University (601st–800th), and Waseda University (801st–1000th). (After the top 200, universities were ranked in groups of 50, 100, 200, etc.)

World University Rankings 2024

Rank (2023 Rank) University Country/region
1 (1) University of Oxford Britain
2 (4) Stanford University United States
3 (5) Massachusetts Institute of Technology United States
4 (2) Harvard University United States
5 (3) University of Cambridge Britain
6 (7) Princeton University United States
7 (6) California Institute of Technology United States
8 (10) Imperial College London Britain
9 (8) University of California, Berkeley United States
10 (9) Yale University United States
12 (16) Tsinghua University China
14 (17) Peking University China
19 (19) National University of Singapore Singapore
29 (39) University of Tokyo Japan
32 (36) Nanyang Technological University Singapore
55 (68) Kyoto University Japan

Created by Nippon.com based on data from the Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

Times Higher Education (THE) evaluates and ranks 1,904 universities across 108 countries and regions according to 18 performance indicators in five main areas of teaching, research environment, research quality, industry, and international outlook.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo: Akamon [Red Gate] entrance of the University of Tokyo. © Pixta.)

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