University Profiles: Times Higher Education

A selection of the university profiles written while working for the Times Higher Education magazine.

Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU)


TMDU is a medical training and research facility based in Tokyo, and its beginnings can be traced back to the Eiraku Hospital, opened in 1899. The school of dentistry was opened in 1928 as the first of its kind in Japan, and currently TMDU is Japan’s only graduate school of medical and dental sciences.

The university’s logo is in the shape of a plum blossom which is the symbol of the Yushima Tenjin, the shrine to the god of knowledge which exists on the site. There are five petals in the blossom representing TMDU’s five faculties; Medicine, Dentistry, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Biomaterials and Bioengineering, and the Medical Research Institute.

Entrance into TMDU for full time students is predicated with a foundation year at the Liberal Arts and Sciences college on Kounodai campus. This is another unique aspect of the student experience in Japan, as aspiring medical professionals are taught modules outside of their specified majors, learning techniques and fields such as ethical standards and contemporary discussions in science and nature.

Some of the most pioneering medical research in Japan is conducted at TMDU. In 2014 a team at the department of Molecular Biology identified the key gene to cause the ageing induced bone loss ofosteoporosis. The university’s Medical Hospital still runs 24 hours a day, with a focus on critical care and serving those in the community.

TMDU has an active exchange programme with Imperial College London, a highly regarded world university, and each year students from TMDU travel to Imperial to engage in research activities lasting three to five months.

Ca’ Foscari University of Venice


Ca’ Foscari was founded in 1868 in a gothic palace from which the university name is inspired, and is located in central Venice on the banks of the Grand Canal. Students so fortunate to study here will find themselves in one of the most beautiful locations in the world, that of Italy’s legendary floating city and World Heritage Site. It is not only the location that can appeal, as Ca’Foscari’s academic performance consistently places it highly in places to study an undergraduate degree in Italy.

There are eight departments and five interdepartmental schools at Ca’ Foscari, as well as a dedicated graduate school. As a humanities oriented institution there is a committed element to the study of international cultures, and courses can be taken in the Department of Asian and North African studies and the Department of Linguistics and Comparative Cultural Studies.

Among the sciences studied at Ca’Foscari is the department of Molecular Sciences, which combines the study of traditional sciences and a dual focus on developing renewable energy sources and biotechnologies.

Ca’ Foscari has a dedicated international college with accommodation on the island of San Servolo within the Venice lagoon. Students will take studies as part of their degree at Ca’ Foscari while also taking English language taught activities at the international college itself. The first cycle degree programme Philosophy, International Studies and Economics is taught entirely in English.

Notable graduates from Ca’ Foscari include billionaire businessmen Giuseppe De’Longhi and opera director Damiano Michieletto. There is a dedicated alumni website at Ca’Foscari, where graduates can make career contacts and keep in touch with university friends through their profiles and messaging services.

Creighton University


Creighton University is a interdisciplinary collegiate institution in Omaha, Nebraska. The university was founded in 1878 from a donation by philanthropist Mary Lucretia Creighton, in honour of her late husband.

There are more than 100 academic programmes, courses and majors at Creighton. Of the nine schools and colleges the College of Arts and Sciences is the largest, and comes with a dedicated academic advisory service known as the Ratio Studiorum Program. The medical colleges at Creighton are Nursing, Dentistry and Medicine, and there is also a dedicated graduate school on campus.

Creighton offers a Magis Core curriculum, which allows students to pick from a wide range of courses while still being able to attain an accredited major in four years. In a typical freshman year a student will opt for a 15-17 credit hours of teaching per semester. There is expansive on-campus accommodation for undergraduate students, and Creighton also has programmes in place aimed at adults who may have to fit studies around a family and working life.

Creighton is a Jesuit and Roman Catholic led university, and inspires an ethos that infuses the curriculum and student experience. The division of Mission and Ministry is devoted to aiding students of all faiths and none in their studies, ensuring an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere at Creighton.

The sports teams represented at Creighton are known as the Bluejays. The women’s soccer team has won four Missouri Valley Conference Tournament championships, and play at the 6000 seater Morrison Stadium built adjacent to Creighton campus. In 1991 Creigton’s men’s baseball team progressed to the College World Series.

Congresswoman Barbara Cubin, owner of the Chicago Cubs J. Joseph Ricketts, astronaut Michael Anderson, and theologian Nancey Murphy all attended Creighton University.

Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research


Khalifa University was founded in 2007 by the President of the UAE, his highness Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Khalifa University’s main campus is in the UAE’s capital Abu Dhabi, and there is also a university campus in Shanjar province.

Khalifa University offers 10 B.Sc. programmes in its undergraduate division, ranging from Biomedical Engineering to Applied Mathematics with Statistics. The university operates on a credits based system, and students are expected to take courses that fulfil both general education and College of Engineering requirements.

One of the most exciting research centres at Khalifa University is the Aerospace Research and Innovation Centre. Opened in 2012, the centre aims to act as a global development hub in the research and creation of aerospace technologies. In 2016, Khalifa University opened a brand new Micro Electro Mechanical Systems Lab, containing the most recently designed technologies in the sector.

Khalifa is also the organiser of the Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge. The 2017 competition attracted 316 teams from 45 countries, with total prize money coming to $5 million dollars.

Applicants for undergraduate courses at Khalifa must be a maximum age of 20 years, unless exception is given by the university. Those taking an IB diploma must score with a minimum four out of seven in all courses, and the course should include Mathematics, Physics and one additional science.

Graduates become a part of the KU alumni association, which holds an annual reunion and can be an effective networking resource.

Lappeenranta University of Technology


Lappeenranta University of Technology is a higher learning institution founded in 1969 near the southeastern Finnish lake of Saimaa, in the city from which it derives its name. The university is based in a single consolidated campus ensuring a genuine university feel, and lower rents in Lappeenranta than in larger Finnish cities such as Helsinki ensure a fun social atmosphere where students can afford to regularly socialise and explore local culture.

Bachelors programmes are available in business studies and across eight areas of technology. Students who complete their undergraduate degree at Lappeenranta will immediately be extended the option of further study and the completion of a Master of Science degree, although from 2017 tuition fees are charged at all universities in Finland for non-EU citizens at Bachelors and Masters level. Those wishing to obtain their doctoral sword at Lappeenranta can do so through its PhD programmes in Philosophy, Business and Technology. All overseas students who apply to study a bachelor’s in the fields of technology will need to attain a language test certificate proving that they can speak proficient Finnish.

As a part of its Trailblazer campaign the university is the first WWF certified environmentally friendly ‘green office’ higher learning institute in Finland. There is also an established School of Energy system on campus, which contains the Voima research unit, and the school as a whole is quality accredited by the EUR-ACE and ASIIN organisations.

The biennial Viipuri prize is held at Lappeenranta and honours achievement in strategic management and business economics. In 2003 the inaugural recipient of the award was New Zealander and organisational theorist David Teece.

Twitter: @BrianInvincible


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