Osaka University , or Handai, is a national university located in Osaka, Japan. It is the sixth oldest university in Japan as the Osaka Prefectural Medical College, and one of
Japan’s National Seven Universities. Numerous prominent scientists have worked at Osaka University such as the Nobel Laureate in Physics Hideki Yukawa.
It is the 4th best ranked higher education institution in Japan (96th worldwide) in 2016 by the Academic Ranking of World Universities.
Academic traditions of the university reach back to Kaitokudō, an Edo-period school for local citizens founded in 1724, and Tekijuku, a school of Rangaku for samurai founded by
Ogata Kōan in 1838. The spirit of the university’s human sciences is believed to be intimately rooted in Kaitokudo, whereas that of the natural and applied sciences, including
medicine, is widely believed to be based on Tekijuku.
Osaka University traces its origin back to 1869 when Osaka Prefectural Medical School was founded in downtown Osaka. The school was later transformed into the Osaka Prefectural
Medical College with university status by the University Ordinance in 1919. The college merged with the newly founded College of Science to form Osaka Imperial University in 1931.
Osaka Imperial University was inaugurated as the sixth imperial university in Japan. As part of the University, Osaka Technical College was later included to form the school of
Engineering two years later. The university was eventually renamed Osaka University in 1947.
Merging with Naniwa High School and Osaka High School as a result of the government’s education system reform in 1949, Osaka University started its postwar era with five
faculties: Science, Medicine, Engineering, Letters, and Law. After that, faculties, graduate schools, and research institutes have been successively established. Among these are
the School of Engineering Science, the first of its kind among Japanese national universities, which draws upon the excellence of both sciences and engineering disciplines, and
the School of Human Sciences, which covers its cross-disciplinary research interest as broadly as psychology, sociology, and education. Built on the then-existing faculties, 10
graduate schools were set up as part of the government’s education system reform program in 1953. Two graduate schools, the Graduate School of Language and Culture and the cross-
disciplinary and cross-institutional Osaka School of International Public Policy, add to the list, making the number of graduate schools reach 12 in 1994.
In 1993, Osaka University Hospital was relocated from the Nakanoshima campus in downtown Osaka to the Suita campus, completing the implementation of the university’s plan to
integrate the scattered facilities into the Suita and Toyonaka campuses. In October 2007, a merger between Osaka University and Osaka University of Foreign Studies was completed.
The merger made Osaka University one of two national universities in the country with a School of Foreign Studies (with Tokyo University of Foreign Studies). In addition, the
merger made the university the largest national university in the country.
Osaka University Hospital
In 2009, Osaka University implemented a major revision of its website. The result is a website much more accessible and informative to persons not versed in the Japanese language
— a site much more user-friendly to international exchange students, international researchers, and expatriates living in the Osaka area. Currently, thanks to the work of the
“Creative Unit,” virtually all Osaka University’s web pages come in pairs — a Japanese page and the same page in English. These pairings include frequent updates on symposiums,
seminars, and other events open to staff, students and, often, the general public.