National

Kyoto University sits at top of Japanese college rankings for second year running

Kyodo

Kyoto University was crowned the best among about 330 Japanese universities in rankings released Wednesday by Times Higher Education, moving into sole possession of first after sharing the top spot in 2018 with the University of Tokyo, which finished second this year.

The top nine spots were dominated by national universities, with Tohoku University ranking third, followed by Kyushu University. Hokkaido University and Nagoya University jointly held fifth place.

The third annual Japan University Rankings were produced in cooperation with Benesse Corp., an education services company. Unlike the annual global rankings, which focus on quality of research, the Japanese version places importance on universities’ strength in developing student abilities.

Japanese universities were judged on four areas — resources, engagement, outcomes and environment. These were quantified by 16 “individual performance indicators” such as resources spent on students, faculty-to-student ratio, scholarly output, research grants and academic reputation.

Akita International University, a public university, came in 10th. Known for encouraging study abroad, it was also ranked first for fostering an international environment.

Private universities ranked lower.

International Christian University was in 11th place, Waseda University was 13th and Keio University was 14th.