The World University Rankings 2018, published by Times Higher Education (THE) in September, shows a continued decline of Japanese universities — with only two of them, the University of Tokyo (43rd) and Kyoto University (74th), ranked among the world’s top 200 institutions. In the 2014 ranking, five Japanese institutions were among the world’s top 200, but just two years later, the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Osaka University and Tohoku University failed to make the cut.

A target proposed to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2013 by the government’s council on resuscitation of education called for having at least 10 Japanese universities among the global top 100 within a decade. But the target now seems out of reach.

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