Kyushu University


Founded in 1911 as one of Japan’s seven Imperial Universities, Kyushu University has established itself as a leader in education and research not just in Japan, but also throughout Asia. It has a student population of 18,659, of which about 11% are international students, and it has 2,407 full-time faculty members. Kyushu University has a remarkable research output, and was ranked 86th among world universities in terms of Nature Index’s WFC metric in 2017.

Innovative approach to tackling global problems

The university is adopting a multidisciplinary approach to addressing energy challenges. As one example, it is fusing engineering with applied maths, economics and big data to open new paths for renewable energy and the integration of renewables with the power grid.

Kyushu University has attracted global attention since establishing the largest, best-funded hydrogen-related research facility in the world. Building on that lab’s success, the International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research (I2CNER) was initiated to advance low-carbon technology, improve energy efficiency and develop CO2 mitigation schemes in collaboration with the University of Illinois and other partner universities in the US and Europe.

Establishing a platform for comprehensive energy research

To expand I2CNER’s global leadership, the Kyushu University Platform of Inter/Transdisciplinary Energy Research, or Q-PIT, was founded in October 2016. It brings together green-energy engineers with abstract mathematicians, political scientists and economists — to better assess the social impact of new technology breakthroughs. Initial projects under the Q-PIT strategy include capturing CO2 emissions from coal gasification, studying water-splitting catalysts atom by atom to learn their secrets, and validating the techno-economic impacts of switchgrass biofuels. Technology transfer to companies in the Fukuoka area is helping to kick-start a new energy technology hub — a key step in returning research results back to society.

Wide range of courses in both Japanese and English

Kyushu University’s strengths lie in its particularly active and innovative science programmes. With the aim of educating new generations of global leaders, Kyushu University offers many graduate programmes in English that allow students that have no knowledge of Japanese to obtain degrees in a wide range of subjects.

Kyushu University retains sole responsibility for content. © 2017 Kyushu University.

1 March 2016 - 28 February 2017

Region: Global
Subject/journal group: All

The table to the right includes counts of all research outputs for Kyushu University published between 1 March 2016 - 28 February 2017 which are tracked by the Nature Index.

Hover over the donut graph to view the WFC output for each subject. Below, the same research outputs are grouped by subject. Click on the subject to drill-down into a list of articles organized by journal, and then by title.

Note: Articles may be assigned to more than one subject area.

273 91.87 90.38

Outputs by subject (WFC)

Subject AC FC WFC
Chemistry 101 46.71 46.71
Physical Sciences 115 22.75 21.27
Earth & Environmental Sciences 10 2.94 2.94
Life Sciences 68 29.95 29.95

Highlight of the month: Kyushu University

Ostrich’s ancestor was airborne

© Photo by Bobby-Jo Clow/Moment/Getty

© Photo by Bobby-Jo Clow/Moment/Getty

The southerly stomping grounds of ostriches and emus may have been first the landing post of a small bird that flew in from North America.

Flightless birds, or ratites, are thought to have originated on Gondwana, the supercontinent that broke up into the land masses of the Southern Hemisphere. An international team, including a researcher from The Kyushu University Museum, have established an evolutionary tree of the ratites using DNA fragments from a fossil, found in Madagascar, of the extinct elephant bird, a giant ratite. They found physical and genetic similarities between the elephant bird and a much smaller bird species, Lithornis, whose fossils, found in North America and Europe, predate those of the monstrous elephant bird.

The evolutionary tree places Lithornis as a common ancestor of ratites. It had functional wings so could have flown overseas from the North to the Southern Hemisphere where it eventually evolved into ostriches and emus, the authors suggest.

Supported content

  1. Current Biology 27, 68-77 (2017). doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2016.10.029

View the article on the Nature Index

1 March 2016 - 28 February 2017

International vs. domestic collaboration by WFC

  • 50.95% Domestic
  • 49.05% International

Note: Hover over the graph to view the percentage of collaboration.

Top 10 domestic collaborators by WFC (158 total)

  • Kyushu University, Japan
  • Domestic institution
  1. Kyoto University, Japan (20.49)
  2. The University of Tokyo (UTokyo), Japan (10.92)
  3. Nagoya University, Japan (8.27)
  4. Osaka University, Japan (7.78)
  5. KYOCERA Corporation, Japan (6.47)
  6. Tohoku University, Japan (5.65)
  7. RIKEN, Japan (4.53)
  8. National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), Japan (4.09)
  9. Institute of Systems, Information Technologies and Nanotechnologies (ISIT), Japan (4.08)
  10. Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech), Japan (3.84)

Note: Collaboration is determined by the weighted fractional count (WFC), which is listed in parentheses.

Affiliated joint institutions and consortia

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