Kyushu University was established as Kyushu Imperial University, which was composed of the College of Medicine and the College of Engineering, in 1911. It was founded as the fourth of the imperial universities, which comprised the highest educational institutions of the time.

Following its foundation, undergraduate schools were gradually added in succession, leading to the establishment of the School of Agriculture (1919), the School of Law and Letters (1924), and the School of Sciences (1939).

In 1947, after World War II, Kyushu Imperial University was renamed Kyushu University, and reforms in the educational system led to its operation under the new university system from 1949. The Faculties of Humanities, the Faculties of Sciences, and each of the research institutes that were established following this time formed the basis for the current organizational structure of the University.

In the 1970s, a framework was put forth for an interdisciplinary graduate school that would cover existing fields of research, as a part of the link to reforms in the Graduate School. This was because, at that time, the Graduate School was fielding diverse demands in line with an increasingly advancing and diversifying society. The implementation of this framework can be seen in the establishment of the Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Engineering Sciences in 1979.

In 1991, a Council decision set forth the framework for an integrated relocation to Kyushu University’s new campus. Following this, reforms continued through such mechanisms as the Proposed Outline for Reforms at Kyushu University (1998 Council Decision), and groundbreaking efforts were made in the formulation and implementation of the University’s own long-term plan for reforms. At the core of the Proposed Outline, a stricter focus, aiming for improvement and enrichment, was directed at the Graduate School (completed in 2000), and the Graduate School/Graduate Faculty System was introduced at the same time. This system split what had been called the Graduate School into an educational element (Graduate School) and a research element (Graduate Faculty), and made it possible to rearrange the composition of each as necessary. The plan for the integrated relocation to the new campus incorporated an attempt at implementing these reforms spatially.

In October of 2003, Kyushu University was integrated with the Kyushu Institute of Design, and the new School of Design, Faculty of Design, and Graduate School of Design were born. From an educational perspective, this integration made it possible for students to take classes in a variety of subjects, and from a research perspective, the links between the School of Design and a wide field of sciences have allowed research to evolve, and are expected to lead to the creation of new value.

On the incorporation of national universities throughout Japan in April of 2004, the University positioned education, research, social solidarity, and international cooperation as areas on which it should focus its efforts, and with its vision for the future―the Development of New Fields of Science and a Focus on Asia―as its pillars, the University has been working hard to implement reforms that aim to position it at the global level in education and research.

In October of 2005, the new Ito Campus opened, straddling the Motooka/Kuwabara District in the city of Fukuoka’s Nishi Ward and Maebaru city and the town of Shima, and the relocation of the engineering facilities was completed in March of 2006, when these facilities were moved from the Hakozaki Campus.Progress also continued on improving facilities designed to support student life, such as the Support Center and the Student Dorms, and education and research are carried out amidst state-of-the-art equipment and high-tech surroundings, while students share a harmonious existence with nature. The Integration and Relocation Project to Ito Campus was completed by moving Ropponmatsu Campus, where General Undergraduate Education was held, in April 2009, the science department in October 2015, and finally the humanities and agriculture departments to Ito Campus in October 2018.

Former Presidents

1st Kenjiro Yamakawa Doctor of Science 13th Hideo Irie Doctor of Medicine
2nd Bunji Mano Doctor of Engineering 14th Kazuyoshi Ikeda Doctor of Medicine
3rd Gintaro Daikuhara Doctor of Agriculture 15th Kenji Takeya Doctor of Medicine
4th Shizujiro Matsuura Bachelor of Laws 16th Yoshiya Kanda Doctor of Science
5th Masao Takayama Doctor of Medicine 17th Kenzo Tanaka Doctor of Medicine
6th Bunroku Arakawa Doctor of Engineering 18th Ryohei Takahashi Doctor of Science
7th Gengo Hyakutake Naval Councilor Admiral 19th Koji Wada Doctor of Agriculture
8th Yuzuru Okuda Doctor of Agriculture 20th Yoichi Sugioka Doctor of Medicine
9th Isao Kikuchi Doctor of Laws 21st Chisato Kajiyama Doctor of Engineering
10th Minoru Yamada Doctor of Engineering 22nd Setsuo Arikawa Doctor of Science
11th Munenori Enjoji Doctor of Medicine 23nd Chiharu Kubo Doctor of Medicine
12th Takaaki Mizuno Doctor of Engineering 24th Tatsuro Ishibashi Doctor of Medicine