General information on ranking

Name of the ranking (in English) THE Japan University Rankings
Name of the ranking (in original) THE Japan University Rankings
Scope of the ranking general ranking
Name of person in charge of ranking Phil Baty
Website of the ranking
First year of publication 2017
Most recent year of publication 2023
Date of last update 2023-05-07
Publication frequency annual
Ranking organization Times Higher Education
Methodology website

The Times Higher Education Japan University Rankings use a balanced scorecard approach, with 16 individual performance indicators combining to create an overall score that reflects the broad strength of an institution. The overall methodology explores four key areas, which are called pillars:


  • finance (income) per student (8%), which shows whether the institution has the money to effectively deliver teaching,
  • faculty per student (8%), which gives a sense of whether the college has enough teachers to teach,
  • research output per member of staff (7%),
  • research grants per member of staff (5%),
  • mock university entrance exam scores (6%) received by institutions’ entrants to get an indication of the academic calibre required to gain admission to a particular university and its popularity among top students. 



This pillar measures opinions of the university from two sources: the High School Advisors Survey and the Japan Student Survey. The High School Advisors Survey gathers the views of student careers advisers from between 1,000 and 2,000 Japanese secondary schools each year. It asks advisers to name the top 15 universities that they believe teach students to the highest global standards (6%), and the 15 universities that they think are best at developing students’ abilities (6%). Responses to seven questions are used in three metrics in the following manner: 

  • student engagement metric (6%) uses scores from four questions, asking to what extent teaching at the university (1) supports critical thinking, (2) supports making connections among the things students have learned, (3) supports applying the students’ learning to the real world, and (4) offers classes that challenge the students,
  • interaction with teachers/students metric (6%) uses scores from two questions, asking how many opportunities the students had to (1) interact with the staff and faculty and (2) collaborate with their peers,
  • student recommendation metric (6%) uses scores from one question, which asks how likely students would be to recommend their university to friends or family. 



This pillar looks at the overall academic reputation (8%) of the university in Japan, based on votes from Japanese scholars in THE’s annual Academic Reputation Survey of leading academics worldwide, which helps to determine which institutions have the best reputation for excellence in teaching. The reputation of the university among employers (8%) is also considered to get a sense of whether the university produces graduates the market wants. This is based on a survey of human resources departments from 815 listed and non-listed companies. 


This pillar looks at the make-up of the student and staff body at each campus, helping students to determine whether they will find themselves in a diverse, supportive and inclusive university environment. The following indicators are considered: 

  • proportion of international students (5%)
  • propotion of international staff (5%)
  • number of students in various types of international exchange programs (5%) 
  • number of courses taught in a language other than Japanese (5%)

Additional information

  • Main target groups: students and parents, higher education institutions
  • Level of comparison: institutional: 271
  • Major dimensions covered: internationalization, reputation, research, teaching
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