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History of Kumamoto University

1756   Saishunkan established (Origin of School of Medicine and University Hospital)
1874   Kumamoto Teachers College established
1885   Kumamoto Pharmaceutical College established
1887   The Fifth High School established
1896   Kumamoto Medical College established
1897   Kumamoto Technical College established
There were five institutions of higher education in Kumamoto during the Meiji Era, which eventually united to form Kumamoto University. Among these institutions was The Fifth High School, which was a center for higher learning in western Japan that provided students with preparatory education to enter the Japanese Imperial Universities. A number of foreign teachers joined the new school to offer western culture and knowledge to the students. These young men, who ranged in age from their teens to their late twenties, resided in a dormitory and built a tradition of student community as well as lasting friendships.
1949   Kumamoto University established
Kumamoto University was established under the National School Establishment Law, which reformed the preceding Japanese educational system. The new university incorporated the older institutions.
At its establishment, The Fifth High School comprised six departments, with an enrollment of approximately 1,100 students.
Discussions of the school's curriculum began soon after the founding of the school. After the Graduate School of Medicine was established at the university in 1955, other graduate schools were subsequently founded.
The establishment of research and education institutions within the university was started early on. In the 1950s, both Kumamoto University Hospital and the University Library were completed. A number of research centers that conduct the highest level of scholarly research have been established over the past 20 years.
2004   Kumamoto University enters the 21st Century
The university started accepting government-sponsored international exchange students around 1960, but records indicate that several international exchange students studied in the Faculty of Medicine as early as the 1950s. It is since the 1960s, though, that the number of international students has been steadily increasing. By 1984, there were approximately 50 international students at the university, and that number increased to over 300 by 2004.
Since Kumamoto University became a National University Corporation in 2004, the university has been ushering in an era of change. Despite the changes, the university will continue to strive for further advancements in education, research, and medical care based on the knowledge and experience it has gained since it was first established in order to contribute to society in the 21st century.

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