Kobe University

Kobe University (神戸大学, Kōbe daigaku), also known in the Kansai region as Shindai (神大), is a leading Japanese national university located in the city of Kobe, in Hyōgo. It was established in 1949, but the academic origins of Kobe University trace back to the establishment of Kobe Higher Commercial School in 1902, which was renamed as Kobe University of Commerce, and Kobe University of Economics. Kobe University is one of the oldest and largest national universities in Japan, as well as one of the highest ranking national universities in the country. It comprises 14 graduate schools and 11 undergraduate faculties, and holds about 16,000 students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs. The institution welcomes overseas students, which accounted for a total of 1,179 students, as of 1 May 2021. [3] It also has 3,102 staff members, including professors, associate professors and administrative officials.[4]

Kobe University
Latin: Kobienasis Universitas
Other name
Shindai (神大)
MottoIntegrity - Freedom - Cooperation
真摯 - 自由 - 協同
TypePublic (National)
EstablishedMarch, 1902 (as the Kobe Higher Commercial School)
( 31 May, 1949 at reformation of educational system)
PresidentMasato Fujisawa
Academic staff
1,288 full-time (May 1, 2022)[1]
Students15,870 (May 1, 2022)[1]
Undergraduates11,426 (May 1, 2022)[1]
Postgraduates4,444 (May 1, 2022)[1]
1,580 (May 1, 2022)[2]
Location, ,

Located beside the foothills of Mount Rokkō, the university provides a view of the city and port of Kobe, providing a privileged environment for the pursuit of academic studies, especially in social science areas.

Kobe Higher Commercial School was one of the oldest institution with business and economics majors in Japan. Especially, the Graduate School of Economics benefits fully from a century of the history and the tradition. Kobe is also the first collegiate business school in Japan. Therefore, Kobe is called the birthplace of Japanese higher education in economics and business administration, and it has always been the center of Japanese business studies.

Furthermore, the Graduate School of Law was also established with the legal studies section of the former Kobe University of Economics. It has become a leading institution of high academic institution in the field of legal and political studies, and has been successful in becoming a reputable academic center.

The Research Institute for Economics and Business Administration, founded in 1919, has a history as a high-level research institution for international economics and international management. The institute has been highly regarded internationally for its outstanding achievements in theoretical, historical, empirical, and quantitative research.

In the meantime, Kobe Hospital was established in 1869; it was a training center for medical practitioners, which was one of the oldest institutions in the modern medical education in Japan.

In 1990, they made new changes as one of the major universities specializing in graduate research and education. Under the Japanese Ministry of Education and Science, it has started a new Center of Excellence (COE) projects, the "Research and Education Center of New Japanese Economic Paradigms", "Development and Education Center for Advanced Business Systems", and "Research Center for Dynamic Legal Processes of Advanced Market Societies".


Kobe College of Commerce main gate in 1930s

The roots of the university can be traced back to 1902, when the Kobe Higher Commercial School (神戸高等商業学校, Kōbe kōtō shōgyō gakkō) was established. Its first president was Tetsuya Mizushima (水島銕也, 1864—1928). In 1929 this school was renamed Kobe University of Commerce (神戸商業大学, Kōbe shōgyō daigaku),[5] and it was further renamed in 1944, Kobe University of Economics (神戸経済大学, Kōbe keizai daigaku).[5]

In 1949, under Japan's new educational systems, the university was merged with Hyogo Normal School, Hyogo Junior Normal School, Kobe Technical College and Himeji High School, all of which were in Hyōgo Prefecture, leading to the creation of Kobe University.

The university has since been expanded and has created new faculties to complement its main academic foundations, which have been strongly established in the fields of economics and commerce.

Graduate Schools

The main building of Kobe University
  • Graduate School of Humanities
  • Graduate School of Intercultural Studies
  • Graduate School of Human Development and Environment
  • Graduate School of Law
    • Tier 1 full-time law school
  • Graduate School of Economics
    • The Okishio Theorem (Nobuo Okishio) is well known and appreciated worldwide
  • Graduate School of Business Administration
    • Tier 1 full-time MBA school
  • Graduate School of Science
  • Graduate School of Medicine
  • Graduate School of Health Sciences
  • Graduate School of Engineering
  • Graduate School of System Informatics
  • Graduate School of Agricultural Science
  • Graduate School of Maritime Sciences
  • Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies


  • Faculty of Letters (文学部)
  • Faculty of Global Human Sciences (国際人間科学部)
  • Faculty of Law (法学部)
  • Faculty of Economics (経済学部)
  • Faculty of Business Administration (経営学部)
  • Faculty of Science (理学部)
  • Faculty of Medicine (医学部)
  • Faculty of Engineering (工学部)
  • Faculty of Agriculture (農学部)
  • Faculty of Maritime Sciences (海洋政策科学部)

Research Institutes

  • Research Institute for Economics and Business Administration


Kobe University Library

The university is formed by four campuses: Rokkodai, Kusunoki, Myodani, and Fukae. Rokkodai Campus is considered the main campus, and it comprises nine out of eleven faculties.

Rokkodai area

  • The First Rokkodai (六甲台第1, Rokkōdai Dai-ichi) Campus
Law, Economics, Business Administration (2-1, Rokkodai, Nada-ku, Kobe)
  • The Second Rokkodai (六甲台第2, Rokkōdai Daini) Campus
Letters, Science, Agriculture, Engineering (1-1, Rokkodai, Nada-ku, Kobe)
  • The First Tsurukabuto (鶴甲第1, Tsurukabuto Dai-ichi) Campus
Intercultural Studies (1-2-1, Tsurukabuto, Nada-ku, Kobe)
  • The Second Tsurukabuto (鶴甲第2, Tsurukabuto Daini) Campus
Human Development (3-11, Tsurukabuto, Nada-ku, Kobe)

Kusunoki area

  • Kusunoki (, Kusunoki) Campus
Medicine (7-5-1, Kusunoki, Chūō-ku, Kobe)

Myodani area

  • Myodani (名谷, Myōdani) Campus
Health Sciences (7-10-2, Tomogaoka, Suma-ku, Kobe)

Fukae area

  • Fukae (深江, Fukae) Campus
Maritime Sciences (5-1-1, Fukaeminami, Higashinada-ku, Kobe)

Academic rankings

University rankings
T. Reuters National[6] Research 14
WE National[7] Employment 18
NBP Kansai[8] Reputation 6
Shimano National[9] Selectivity A1
QS Asia
(Asian Ranking version)[10]
General 26
ARWU Asia[11] Research 44-68
QS World[12] General 234
ARWU World[11] Research 301-400
ENSMP World[13] Alumni 25
Program rankings
Social Sciences & Humanities


Asahi National[14]Research 5
Natural Sciences & Technology


Kobe University is one of the leading universities in Japan. It can be seen in the several rankings such as shown below.

General rankings

The university is ranked 10th in 2010 in the ranking "Truly Strong Universities" by Toyo Keizai.[15] In another ranking, Japanese prep school Kawaijuku ranked Shindai as the 11th best university in Japan.[16]

In 2010 QS World University Rankings[17] ranked Shindai 234th in the world. It is also ranked as the 26th best university in QS Asian University rankings.[10]

Research performance

Kobe University is one of the leading research institutions in Japan. According to Thomson Reuters, Shindai is the 14th best research university in Japan.[6]

Weekly Diamond reported that Shindai has the 15th highest research standard in Japan in terms of research funding per researchers in COE Program.[18] In the same article, it is also ranked 20th in terms of the quality of education by GP funds per student.

It especially has a high research standard in Social Science and Humanities.

Asahi Shimbun summarized the number of academic papers in Japanese major legal journals by university, and Shindai was ranked 5th during 2005–2009.[14] Economics is also a notable field for Shindai. According to RePec, Shindai is the 7th best Economics research university in Jan 2011.[19]

In addition, Nikkei Shimbun on 2004/2/16 surveyed about the research standards in Engineering studies based on Thomson Reuters, Grants in Aid for Scientific Research and questionnaires to heads of 93 leading Japanese Research Centers, and Shindai was placed 12th (informative ability of research outcome 3rd) in this ranking.[20]

Graduate school rankings

Eduniversal ranked Shindai's MBA as 6th best in Japan in their MBA rankings.[21] It also means 129th best in the world.

Shindai has one of the leading law schools in Japan as it was ranked 4th in 2009 (and 5th in 2011) in the passing rate of Japanese Bar Examination.[22]

Alumni rankings

Alumni of Shindai enjoy their good success in Japanese industries such as shown below.

According to the Weekly Economist's 2010 rankings, graduates from Shindai have the 18th best employment rate in 400 major companies in Japan.[23] By contrast, the alumni of Shindai's average salary is very high with the 10th best in Japan, according to the PRESIDENT.[24]

Mines ParisTech : Professional Ranking World Universities ranks Shindai as 25th in the world in 2011 in terms of the number of alumni listed among CEOs in the 500 largest worldwide companies.[13] The university is also ranked 12th in Japan for the number of alumni holding the position of executive in the listed companies of Japan, and this number per student (probability of becoming an executive) is 21st.[25][26]

Shindai graduates were ranked 8th in Japan in the number of successful national CPA exam applicants.[27]

Popularity and selectivity

Shindai is a popular university in Japan. Its entrance examination is usually considered as very selective. It is ranked in top 10 in Japan.[28][29]

Scholarships for international students

Kobe university encourages international students to study at the university through a number of scholarships for eligible students. Some of them are:[30]

  • Japanese Government Scholarship System
  • JASSO/ Honors Scholarship
  • Hyogo Prefecture Private Foreign Student Scholarship
  • Kobe/Sugawara Scholarship

Evaluation from Business World

The university ranking of the ratio of "president and chief executive officer of listed company" in Japan
all universities in Japan 12th[31] out of all the 744[32] universities which existed as of 2006
Source 2006 Survey[31] by Weekly Diamond 〈ja〉 on the ranking of the universities which produced the high ratio of the graduates who hold the position of "president and chief executive officer of listed company" to all the graduates of each university
The university ranking according to the ratio of the number of the officers & managers produced by each university to the number of graduates
all universities in Japan 29th[33] out of all the 778[34] universities which existed as of 2010
Source 2010 Survey[33] by Weekly Economist 〈ja〉 on the ranking of universities according to the ratio of the number of the officers & managers produced by each university to the number of graduates
The university ranking according to the order of the evaluation by Personnel Departments of Leading Companies in Japan
Japan 17th[35] (out of 781[36] universities in Japan as of 2020)
Source 2020 Nikkei Survey[37] to all listed (3,714[38]) and leading unlisted (1,100), totally 4,814 companies[37]

Notable alumni

Notable alumni from Kobe University
Sanae Takaichi, Minister of State for Economic Security of Japan

Notable faculty

See also

  • Category:Kobe University faculty


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  2. "入学者数・収容定員・在籍者数" (PDF). Disclosure of educational information. Kobe University. Archived (PDF) from the original on 29 January 2023. Retrieved 29 January 2023.(in Japanese)
  3. 神戸大学概覧2021 (PDF). Kobe University. 2021-10-31. pp. 22–23. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2021-11-02. Retrieved 2021-11-02.(in Japanese)
  4. 神戸大学概覧2021 (PDF). Kobe University. 2021-10-31. pp. 17–18. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2021-11-02. Retrieved 2021-11-02.(in Japanese)
  5. Graduate School of Economics, Faculty of Economics, Kobe University
  6. "Thomson Reuters 20 Top research institutions in Japan". Thomson Reuters. 2011. Retrieved July 22, 2022. (this raking includes 5 non-educational institutions)
  7. "Employment rate in 400 major companies rankings" (in Japanese). Weekly Economist. 2011. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  8. "Nikkei BP Brand rankings of Japanese universities" (in Japanese). Nikkei Business Publications. 2010. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  9. "GBUDU University Rankings" (in Japanese). YELL books. 2009. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  10. "QS Asian University Rankings". QS Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 2016. Retrieved September 24, 2017.
  11. "Academic Ranking of World Universities". Institute of Higher Education, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. 2017. Retrieved September 24, 2017.
  12. "QS World University Rankings". QS Quacquarelli Symonds Limited. 2018. Retrieved September 24, 2017.
  13. "ENSMP World University Rankings" (PDF). École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris. 2011. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  14. Asahi Shimbun University rankings 2010 "Publification rankings in Law (Page 4)" (PDF) (in Japanese). Asahi Shimbun. 2010. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
  15. "Truly Strong Universities" (in Japanese). Toyo Keizai. 2010. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  16. "Kawai 30 Top Japanese Universities". Kawaijuku. 2001. Retrieved April 29, 2011.
  17. "QS World University Rankings 2010 Results". Archived from the original on 2010-09-16.
  18. "週刊ダイヤモンド" ダイヤモンド社 2010/2/27 http://web.sapmed.ac.jp/kikaku/infomation/0227daiyamondokiji.pdf
  19. "Top 25% Institutions and Economists in Japan, as of January 2011". REPEC. 2011. Retrieved May 11, 2011.
  20. "wHw͒i04.2.22j". Archived from the original on 7 May 2015. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  21. "University and business school ranking in Japan". Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  22. "2011年(平成23年)新司法試験法科大学院別合格率ランキング -法科大学院seek-". Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  23. "Employment rate in 400 major companies rankings" (in Japanese). Weekly Economist. 2011. Retrieved Apr 29, 2011.
  24. "年収偏差値・給料偏差値ランキング(2006・10・16):稼げる大学はどれ?". Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  25. 出身大学別上場企業役員数ランキング (in Japanese). 大学ranking.net. Archived from the original on 2010-12-06. Retrieved 2011-05-13.
  26. 出身大学別上場企業役員数ランキング (in Japanese). 大学ranking.net.
  27. "図録▽大学ランキング:公認会計士・一級建築士の国家試験合格者数". Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  28. e.g. Yoyogi seminar published Hensachi (the indication showing the entrance difficulties by prep schools) rankings "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-04-22. Retrieved 2016-07-29.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  29. Japanese journalist Kiyoshi Shimano ranks Shindai's entrance difficulty as A1 (2nd most selective/out of 10 scales) in Japan. 危ない大学・消える大学 2012年版 (in Japanese). YELL books. 2011. ASIN 4753930181.
  30. "KOBE UNIVERSITY - MARITIME SCIENCES (KUMS) AT KOBE, HYOGO, JAPAN". EduMaritime.com. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
  31. Weekly Diamond The ranking of the universities which produced the high ratio of the graduates who hold the position of "president and chief executive officer of listed company" to all the graduates of each university(in Japanese)
  32. The number of universities and students|National Universities Association(in Japanese)
  33. Is it a story of the past that graduates from famous universities can easily move up the career ladder? / RECRUIT AGENT(in Japanese)
  34. University reform reference materials / Cabinet Secretariat(in Japanese)
  35. Survey on the image seen from human resources personnel:Ranking of the ability to get jobs|Nikkei HR 2020.06.03 release
  36. The number of universities in Japan is 781 as of April 1, 2020. About 80% are private universities.|Ōbun Sha
  37. Image held by human resources personnel of companies of Japan / Yokohama National University ranked 1st in Kantō & Kōshin'etsu region / Valuation from the ex-students already employed / The Nikkei・Nikkei HR Survey 2020-06-04 17:27
  38. Number of listed companies & listed shares of stock|JPX

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