The University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Japan (UOEH), as a university for the training of qualified occupational physicians and the promotion of occupational health, was established in Kitakyushu city in 1978 under the enactment of the Industrial Safety and Health Act of 1972 for the securement of occupational physicians experienced in occupational health management. This act rules that every company over a certain size is obliged to appoint an occupational physician to control its workers’ health.
UOEH promotes education and research that pertains to medical science, especially occupational medicine and occupational health. It also produces many excellent medical doctors/scientists, occupational physicians and occupational health professionals who are active in society while conducting world-class research in the field of basic medicine, clinical medicine, occupational medicine and occupational health. Highly regarded publications on auto-immune diseases and asbestos related diseases written by our colleagues have been frequently cited by researchers around the world, which contributed to our position in the World University Rankings 2020 published by Times Higher Education. UOEH ranked in the 7th among Japanese Universities and 1st among Japanese private universities.
UOEH has the Institute of Industrial Ecological Sciences (IIES) which conducts research on occupational medicine through three different groups; Group for optimization of Work Environment, Group for Occupational Health Support, and Group for Environmental Evaluation. IIES actively contributes to international cooperation, for example by implementing a JICA group training course. It also plays an important role as a WHO collaborating center for Occupational Health, which IIES was designated by WHO in 1988.
In addition to the Graduate School of Medicine where students are trained to be health professionals who lead the field of medicine globally, UOEH has the Graduate School of Occupational Health. At the Graduate School of Occupational Health, students can pursue occupational health professionally by focusing on issues including nanoparticles, asbestos, and aging working populations. The Graduate School of Occupational Health trains researchers and practitioners who contribute to improving working conditions and discovering health effects in order to promote occupational health. Students receive “Doctor of Philosophy in Occupational Health”. This is possible only at UOEH in the world.
The Graduate School of Medicine has been successfully contributing to the society by conducting international-level research and training of health professionals, as evidenced by First Department of Internal Medicine being selected as “The Center of Excellence for Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, Japan”. As one of UOEH’s 40th anniversary projects, UOEH established the “Asia International Educational Program for Graduate Students in the field of Occupational Health”, which allows selected non-Japanese students to be exempt from tuition fee.