Japanese University Rankings 2022: Methodology


The 2022 Japanese University Rankings will be released at 5:00 p.m. JST (08:00 GMT) on March 24

the Times Higher Education The Japanese University Rankings uses a balanced scorecard approach, with 16 individual performance indicators combined to create an overall score that reflects an institution’s overall strength. The overall methodology explores four key areas, which we call pillars:


This pillar includes measures on funding (income) per student (8%)that indicate whether the institution has the necessary funds to provide education effectively, and faculty/student ratio (8%), which gives an idea of ​​whether the college has enough teachers to teach. We also look at the scientific output (7%) and fellowships per staff member (5%) at each establishment. Having professors who are experts in their academic fields can greatly enhance a student’s educational experience. The final measurement measures the national university exam simulation grades (6%) received by applicants from institutions to get an indication of the academic caliber required for admission to a particular university and its popularity among top students.


This pillar measures opinions about college from two sources: the survey of high school counselors and the survey of Japanese students. The High School Advisors Survey collects the views of student guidance counselors from 1,000 to 2,000 Japanese high schools each year. He asks advisers to name the top 15 universities they believe are teaching students to the highest standard global standards (6%)and the 15 universities they think are the best developing student abilities (6%). We also use data from the last two years of our student survey, which is based on the same model used in previous teaching-focused rankings. The answers to seven questions are used in three measures as follows:

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


This pillar examines all academic reputation (8%) of the university in Japan, based on the votes of Japanese scholars in THE’s annual academic reputation survey of top academics around the world, which helps us determine which institutions have the best reputation for teaching excellence. We also consider the reputation of the university with employers (8%) to find out if it is producing the graduates the market wants. This is based on a survey of the human resources departments of 815 listed and unlisted companies. Each department was asked to identify the top 10 universities based on the strengths of their employees from those institutions. Each department then completed a survey for each of the 10 universities it identified, evaluating the employees of these institutions in several areas.


This pillar examines the composition of the student body and staff at each campus, helping students determine whether they will find themselves in a diverse, supportive, and inclusive academic environment. We examine the proportion of international students (5%) and international staff (5%) on campus, which are key indicators of the university’s ability to attract talent from around the world. It also shows which institutions have cultivated a multicultural campus where students from different backgrounds have the opportunity to learn from each other. We also examine two dimensions of internationalization: the number of students in the different types of international exchange programs (5%)and the number of courses taught in a language other than Japanese (5%).

Note: International exchange programs have been significantly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, with travel restrictions decreasing the number of participating students or causing some programs to be canceled altogether. As a result, most institutions reported a significantly lower number for this metric this year compared to last year. To ensure the stability of the ranking, we are therefore reusing the scores of international trade metrics from last year in the 2022 ranking.

Data sources

Ranking data comes from a variety of sources. These include self-submitted data by institutions as well as data collected from Elsevier, Benesse Corporation, Nikkei Human Resources, the Japanese government and the Times Higher Education Academic reputation survey. Our data is, in most cases, normalized so that the value we assign to each metric can be reasonably compared with other metrics.

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