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Message from the President

Message from the President

The 20th President of Hokkaido University,
Kiyohiro Houkin

Born in Sapporo in 1954. Doctor of Medicine. Dr. Houkin graduated from the Hokkaido University School of Medicine in 1979, and has worked as neurosurgeon at Hokkaido University Hospital and at private hospitals. He was appointed the Director of Hokkaido University Hospital in 2013, and has been serving in his current position since October 2020.


Thank you for your interest in studying abroad at Hokkaido University.

Hokkaido University got its start as Sapporo Agricultural College in 1876, and was one of the first higher education institutions that awarded bachelor’s degrees in Japan. Today, Hokkaido University has developed into a comprehensive research university, having cultivated four founding principles throughout its history. These principles are: “Frontier Spirit,” which involves exploring uncharted academic territory; “Global Perspectives,” the development of an international mindset and a respect for diversity; “All-Round Education,” based on developing students’ character; and lastly, “Practical Learning,” which focuses on returning the fruits of one's efforts to society.

More than 2,000 international students are currently enrolled at Hokkaido University. As a university, we strive to be an institution that respects the individuality of all cultures and backgrounds. We create an ideal research environment where both international and domestic students can gain fresh perspectives through an understanding of diverse ways of thinking. To further this goal, we offer educational programs that respect diversity, provide language support, and establish support systems that ensure international students' voices are heard. 

Sapporo Agricultural College began as a center for studying agriculture, forestry, and livestock: industries directly connected to the environment and human activity. Ever since, we have continuously contributed to creating a sustainable society through research and education activities. You could almost say that the Sustainable Development Goals are a restatement of the ideals held by our university since the beginning; they have been part of Hokkaido University’s DNA for the last 150 years. We have been ranked 1st in Japan for the last four consecutive years, and 22nd internationally in 2023, in the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings. 

Hokkaido University has its main campus in Sapporo, and the Graduate School of Fisheries in Hakodate. Sapporo is a city where city comforts and natural beauty harmonize, consistently ranked among the top cities that Japanese people want to live in. The areas around Hokkaido University offer an optimal living environment for international students and their families. We have it all, from a safe campus, comfortable residential spaces like our International Student Dormitories, a vibrant array of dining options, well-developed transportation infrastructure, and a variety of cultural activities.

We welcome and support you in making the most of your talents: join us in working towards solving the issues that face our world. The life of an international student in our graduate schools is not all fun and games; however, you will meet friends with whom you’ll overcome challenges together. At Hokkaido University, which is rooted in the “Frontier Spirit,” let us forge a new road ahead, together!