Learn about Japanese universities: Nagoya University

If you've ever thought about studying abroad in Japan, chances are you've come across Nagoya University, or Meidai, as it is known throughout Japan. While Meidai might not be as famous as other universities, it's still one of the best in Japan, as well as one of the National Seven Universities. Find out more about Meidai!

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What kind of university is Meidai?


Nagoya University (名古屋大学 Nagoya daigaku), abbreviated to Meidai (名大), is a Japanese national university headquartered in Chikusa-ku, Nagoya. It is one of Japan's National Seven Universities.


While Tokyo University and Kyoto University are obviously called "Todai" and "Kyodai," Nagoya University is a little different. Because Nagoya is comprised of 3 kanji - 名古屋 - "Meidai" uses the first kanji, 名, which is pronounced "Mei" (not "Na"). The second part, "dai," comes from "daigaku," which means university. Thus: Meidai.

Surrounded by academia


Nagoya is the 4th largest city in Japan, and thus has a lot of universities and colleges located within the city. Nagoya University is located directly next to Nanzan University (pictured), which is a private university focused on languages and other liberal arts. There is also the Nagoya University of Foreign Studies, Chukyo University, Kinjo Gakuin, Daido University and several others.



Nagoya University (NU) was first founded in 1871 as a temporary hospital and medical school. After undergoing several transitions, Nagoya Imperial University was established in 1939. The name was changed to Nagoya University in 1949 and the University has, since then, grown to be one of the world’s top research universities.

A total population of 16,574 students (9,879 undergraduate students and 6,095 graduate students) are currently studying in 14 graduate schools, 9 undergraduate schools, 3 research institutes and 18 research centers. And today, more than 1,649 international students give NU’s campus a diverse, international flavour.


The ideal written in the Nagoya University academic charter is to encourage the intelligentsia with courage by providing an education which respects independent thought.



Nagoya University is known for its science and law programs, although it has many other departments that are all highly regarded.


Information Culture

Graduate Schools

Educational Growing
Arts and Sciences
Life Sciences and Agriculture
International Language Culture
International Development (GSID)
Environmental Studies
Information Science


Asia and World Rankings


The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) 2009 ranks Nagoya University as fourth in Japan. The 2009 THE-QS World University Rankings (From 2010 two separate rankings will be produced by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings and the QS World University Rankings) ranks Nagoya University as fifth in Japan. The 2010 QS Asian University Rankings rated Nagoya number ten in Asia and number five in Japan, while the QS World University Rankings for 2011 ranked Nagoya 80th in the world.


Nagoya is one of the top research institutions in Japan. According to Thomson Reuters, Nagoya is the 5th best research university in Japan. Its research standard is especially high in Physics (6th in Japan, 61st in the world), Chemistry (7th in Japan, 43rd in the world), and Biology and Biochemistry (5th in Japan, 97th in the world).


International Population

Currently there are over 1300 foreign students (150 undergraduate) from 78 countries studying in the faculties of Nagoya University. The majority of them are from China (47%, as of May 1, 2009) and Korea (9.5%). Among other countries, Taiwan, Indonesia, Viet Nam, Malaysia, Cambodia and Uzbekistan are represented by more than 30 students. The United States and Brazil with 16 students each are the most represented non-Asian countries.


Meidai is part of the Global 30 project, which aims to internationalize Japanese universities and offer degree programs in English. No Japanese proficiency is required when you apply to these programs.

Number of international students

Chubu Feature

The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.

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Melissa Tolentino
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