Keio University is a private, comprehensive higher education institution located on six campuses spread across the Greater Tokyo area. It offers an environment of academic and research excellence in a wide range of fields, and includes a university hospital.
Founded in 1858, it is Japan's first modern institution of higher learning, and over the last century and a half it has established itself as a leader in Japan through its continued commitment to education, research and medicine.
Keio has 10 undergraduate faculties, 14 graduate schools, over 30 research centers, a university hospital, and a university library boasting one of Japan's largest collections of books. Between its undergraduate faculties and graduate schools, Keio offers an extensive range of subjects, including 7 programs which can be taken entirely in English and 16 double-degree programs with distinguished overseas universities. The Japanese Language Program also provides students with high quality Japanese language training and fosters students' affinity for, and specialist knowledge of, Japan. Many of the students use their experiences on the program towards successful international careers.
Since its founding in 1858, the history of Keio University parallels the history of Japan's modern era. The vision and clarity of founder Yukichi Fukuzawa's original teachings have held up well for nearly a century and a half of serious academic inquiry in the service of Japan's development and modernization. Fukuzawa believed that Japan's only choice for catching up with Western technology and social organization was to "always strive for progress and enlightenment, and provide the academic and moral education needed to create a generation of wise and capable leaders." To this end, Keio University has continued to provide intellectual leadership that addresses the issues facing Japanese society in its quest for development, transformation, and modernization.
Keio founder Yukichi Fukuzawa (1835-1901) was a young man at the time of the Meiji Restoration, which saw the end of nearly 300 years of national isolation and the start of a period of rapid political and cultural modernization for Japan. Keen to learn about Western culture, Fukuzawa made three trips to Europe and America, during which he realized that Japan would require a new education system based on the European and American systems.
This was the origin of the founding of Keio, and the university owes its continued development to its emphasis on international exchange. Since receiving the first international students to study in Japan in 1881, Keio has formed over 250 student exchange and research agreements with universities and research institutions in 40 countries across the globe.
Graduates of Keio University occupy top leadership positions in government, business and society. The university has produced three prime ministers and numerous cabinet ministers and prefectural governors. Many presidents of Japanese and foreign affiliated companies are graduates of Keio University, reflecting the prominence of the university in the business community.
One distinguishing feature of Keio University is the strong ties between the university and its graduates. Keio's alumni organizations, called "Mita-kai", promotes the exchange of information and the sharing of mutual interests between the university and alumni, as well as among alumni. Both at home and abroad, Keio alumni pursue successful careers in politics and public service, industry, academia, and the arts.