With over 130 years of history, and ranked in the top 10 Japanese universities, the University of Tsukuba has a long and proud history as
one of Japan's premier educational institutions. In this section, we
want to introduce the history, present and future of the University, and
explain why we think Tsukuba is one of the best places to study in Japan.
The University of Tsukuba is consistently ranked in
Japan's top 10 universities, and in the top 200 worldwide (QS Worldwide
rankings). The University has produced three Nobel prize winning
scientists. We have particular strengths in the natural sciences,
while our School of Social and International Studies was ranked #1 in
Japan in 2010 by Toyokeizai (Eastern Economics) magazine.
Tsukuba was created to become Japan's science and
technology city. Currently, over 200 private research organizations
and approximately 60 public research organizations call
Approximately half of Japan's research funding is spent in Tsukuba, and
over 15,000 PhD scientists are employed in the city. The city was
recently named as Japan's robotics and nanotechnology hub, with new
research facilities planned.
The University of Tsukuba has some of the best sports
facilities in Japan. Our sports science department has numerous
internationally recognized staff members. For example, our
gymnastics coach, Prof Sawao Kato, has won 12 Olympic medals, including
8 gold medals, our head judo coach, Prof Hirotaka Okada, is a two-time
world champion, and won a bronze medal at the Olympics. Our Kendo
coach, Prof Kunihide Koda, is a former world champion and holds the
highest rank awarded in Kendo (8th dan). We have sent over 60
athletes to the Olympics.
The Tsukuba Express runs from Tsukuba center to Akihabara in central
Tokyo. The trains operate on three different schedules - local trains take 56 minutes,
while express trains take only 45 minutes.
As Japan's science city, Tsukuba has a large number of
research institutes ranging from biotechnology to robotics and
nanotechnology. However, the city is located in Ibaraki prefecture
- one of Japan's most traditional areas. To the north of the city
is Tsukuba mountain, home to the third oldest working Shinto shrine in
Japan, and to a number of Japanese traditional "onsen" spa baths.
The city has a large number of fesitvals throughout the year.
As one of the top ranked universities in the world, you
can be confident of receiving a high quality education at Tsukuba.
However, as a public, research university, we are able to offer first
year free to undergraduate students, and domestic fees thereafter.
Domestic fees are low by world standards, with universities in other
countries often being several times more expensive than similarly ranked
Japanese universities. While Tsukuba is convenient for Tokyo, it
retains much of its rural feel, and housing is far more affordable than
Since the completion of the Tsukuba express, and the
increased convenience of visiting Tokyo which that brings, Tsukuba has
seen a huge amount of development. In 2011 the city hall moved to
Kenkyu-gakuen, near the new Iias mall, and a huge number of new shopping
and residential areas are being developed. Tsukuba's population is
young by national standards, mainly due to the large concentration of
educational and research institutes in the city.
Approximately 7,500 of Tsukuba's 220,000 residents hail
from overseas, with around 2000 of these studying or working at the
University. The percentage of foreign residents is one of the
highest for any Japanese city, making Tsukuba a friendly, welcoming
place for international students. The city provides a wide range
of services in English, including residents services, a weekly legal
consulation, lists of medical care facilities which provide multilingual
support, and also cultural and educational activies helping Japanese and
non-Japanese residents meet. There are over 1,100 residents
subscribed to the "News for Tsukuba residents" Facebook page, while the
International Student Association (TISA) is one of the biggest student
clubs in the university.
Every incoming international student is guaranteed
university accommodation for the first year of their time in Tsukuba.
Our dormitories are excellent value for money - prices start at
approximately 14,000 yen per month (~US$200), excluding utilities.
The campus has a wide variety of dining and other facilities available
for student, while the area surrounding the university offers many
low-cost possibilties for dining and recreation. After the first
year, many students move out of university accommodation into a private
apartment. Local estate agents offer a huge variety of rental
accommodations, often with only small deposits, and low monthly rents.
Tsukuba's student support is second to none. We
have a large Istudent support section providing catering, accommodation
and a wide variety of other services, and also a vibrant International
Student Center located in the heart of the campus, which provides
services specific to incoming international students, such as visa and
registration support, scholarship information, living information and
support, multi-lingual counselling and support as well as providing
Japanese language and cultural training to all registered students.
We also have on-campus medical support at the University medical center
which provides very low-cost medical care to all students and staff.