Hokkaido University,or Hokudai, is one of the national universities of Japan.
It is a member of the National Seven Universities, which were established as
the best national higher education or research institute. It is located in
downtown Sapporo, just north of Sapporo Station, and stretching approximately
2.4 kilometers northward. It is considered one of the top universities in Japan.
Hokkaido University (Hokudai for short) was founded in 1876 as Sapporo
Agricultural College by William S. Clark with the help of five faculty members
and a first class size of 24 students. In September 1907, Tohoku Imperial
University set up the faculty of Agriculture in Sapporo. Sapporo Agricultural
College took the lead it. Tohoku Imperial University ceded the Faculty of
Agriculture to Hokkaido Imperial University on April 1, 1918. It was one of nine
Imperial Universities. The School of Medicine was established in 1919, at which
time the Agricultural College became the Faculty of Agriculture. This was
followed by the Faculty of Engineering, the Faculty of Science, and finally in
1947, the Faculty of Law and Literature. The current name of Hokkaido University
also came into use in 1947. In 1953, the Graduate School was established.
Since 2004 the university has been incorporated as a National University
Corporation under a new law which applies to all national universities. Although
the incorporation has led to increased financial independence and autonomy,
Hokkaido University is still partially controlled by the Japanese Ministry of
In 2014 the university was selected under the Super Global Universities program
that began as an initiative of Prime Minister Shinzō Abe who stated its aim was
to help more of Japan’s universities rank in the top 100 worldwide. Under the
program, it is listed in the top university category or Type A—(Top Type) The
Top Type is for world-class universities that have the potential to be ranked in
the top 100 in world university rankings. Each Type A university will receive
¥420 million ($US 4.2 million) annually until 2023.