Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University


About APU

Awards and Rankings

APU wins four stars from international external evaluation system QS Stars

In March 2021, APU received four stars in the comprehensive evaluation by the QS Stars Rating System conducted by Quacquarielli Symonds (QS), a global higher education evaluation organization in the United Kingdom.

The QS Stars Rating System is an international external evaluation system that assesses eight indexes, including “teaching,” “employability,” “internationalization,” “academic development,” “facilities,” and “program strength,” and grants one to five stars in each area.

APU excelled in the four areas of "employability," "internationalization," "inclusiveness," and "facilities," winning 5 stars in each.

In terms of "employability," APU was particularly praised for its graduates’ high reputation among companies, as well as its substantial career support for students. In the field of internationalization, in addition to the extremely high percentage of international students studying at APU, the school’s active acceptance and dispatch of short-term and medium-term study abroad students were highly appreciated.

We will continue our efforts to improve the quality of APU's education and research by actively receiving third-party evaluations.

QS Stars University Ratings (Links to an external site)

Times Higher Education Japan University Rankings 2021

The Times Higher Education (THE), a British journal specializing in higher education, released the Japan University Rankings 2021 on March 25.

Of the 278 schools surveyed, APU took the top spot among private universities in western Japan for the fourth consecutive year, while placing fifth among private universities nationwide. The school’s overall ranking among all Japanese universities was 22nd, falling a place from last year.

Of the four pillars evaluated –Resources, Engagement, Outcomes, and Environment– APU maintained its previous year’s outstanding ranking of #2 in the Environment category.

In the field of Engagement, determined through surveys of student satisfaction and reputation among high school teachers, APU was ranked 3rd in the country, a step up from last year's ranking. Moreover, reflecting the growing reputation of our graduates among employers as well as esteem among academics, APU made a significant leap from last year’s 44th place to 31st in terms of Outcomes.

"THE Japan University Rankings 2021" (external link)

Whereas the THE World University Rankings are centered on research capacity, the Japan University Rankings are designed to measure teaching capacity at universities, focusing on student growth and learning.

APU Receives Full Internationalization Marks in QS World University Rankings Asia

In October, the UK-based Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) published its yearly ranking of universities in the Asia region.

The Asia edition of the QS World University Rankings listed more than 400 universities. In the categories of International Faculty (percentage of faculty from outside the country) and International Students (ratio of international to domestic students), APU received a full 100 points out of 100 possible.

APU was one of only eight institutions in the region to receive a perfect score in these two categories. The others include: Nanyang Technological University (Singapore), The University of Hong Kong, City University of Hong Kong, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Macau University of Science and Technology, University of Macau, and Al-Madinah International University (Malaysia).

QS University Rankings evaluates universities based on academic reputation, employer reputation, faculty/student ratio, citations per paper, papers per faculty, staff with a PhD, proportion of international faculty, proportion of international students, proportion of inbound exchange students, and proportion of outbound exchange students.

This year, APU was the only Japanese university to receive a perfect score in the International Faculty and International Students categories in the Asia rankings. According to QS, APU ranks within the top 2.5% of universities in Asia overall.

For more information, you can visit the QS World University Rankings Asia page here:

Graduate School of Management Named in QS Asia Top 30 MBA Ranking

In November, UK-based Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) released its annual Global MBA Rankings for 2018. APU appears in the top 30 of the list of MBA programs in Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. Only three other Japanese universities placed in the top 30: Waseda Business School, Doshisha Business School, and Nagoya University of Commerce and Business.

Taught entirely in English, APU’s Master of Business Administration program prepares students for a rapidly globalizing business world, focusing on Japanese style management in a global context. MBA students at APU come from diverse backgrounds, contributing to the university’s multicultural environment.

In 2016, the Graduate School of Management received accreditation from The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), joining a global body of high quality institutions that adhere to a strict international standard of business education. Students in the Graduate School of Management (and undergraduate students in the College of International Management) also have the opportunity to join Beta Gamma Sigma, the honors society for top students at AACSB-accredited schools.

For more details about the QS World University Rankings: Global MBA Rankings 2018: Asia, Australia & New Zealand, click here:

MBA Program Enters Eduniversal Best Masters Ranking’s Top 20

Paris-based Eduniversal placed the Graduate School of Management’s MBA in the top 20 of International Management programs in the region of Far East Asia for 2018.

For more details, click the link below.
(link to external site)

2020 University Rankings (Asahi Shimbun Publications)

Asahi Shimbun Publications has released its AERA Shingaku MOOK (Weekly Magazine Asahi University Guide Magazine Book) 2020 University Rankings, which evaluate 777 of Japan's universities from a variety of different perspectives. Below are the main categories in which APU was highly evaluated.

Total number of undergraduate international students1

University Students
1 Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University 2,721
2 Waseda University 2,147
3 Ritsumeikan University 1,281
4 Toyo University 1,075
5 Nihon University 960

International students as a percent of total undergraduate population1,2

1 Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University 48.3
2 Tokyo University and Graduate School of Social Welfare 20.9
3 Osaka University of Economics and Law 16.9
4 Bunka Gakuen University 15.6
5 University of Marketing and Distribution Sciences 13.9

International faculty members as a percentage of total faculty population

(Among universities with 3,000 students or more)

1 Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University 48.8
2 Kanda University of International Studies 46.3
3 International Christian University 38.4
4 Kansai Gaidai University 38.3
5 Tokyo International University 30.9

1. Regular full-time international students.
Does not include auditing students, research students, or exchange students.
2. For universities of 2,500 students or more.

(Published with the permission of The Asahi Shimbun Company 19-3028. Reproduction or republication without permission from The Asahi Shimbun Company is prohibited.)

International Co-authorship Publication Rate

Connections with overseas research centers or institutions can lead to more publications co-authored through international collaboration. The international co-authorship rate here is expressed as a percentage of total publications for the university in question.

Universities by percent of publications authored internationally

University Internationally
1 Akita International University 50.5% 109
2 University of Aizu 49.2% 1334
3 Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University 46.7% 285
4 Seinan Gakuin University 39.7% 58
5 Rikkyo University 39.5% 1169

Source: Nikkei Trendy September 2019, International Co-authorship Paper Rate (according to Elsevier Japan). International paper co-authorship rate vs. total number of papers from 2014 to 2018.