The Future of ZEN University(provisional name)

remote learning

Preparatory Association of The Nippon Foundation and DWANGO Educational Institute

  • Headquarters

    Zushi City, Kanagawa Prefecture

  • Opening

    April 2025

  • A single faculty

    Faculty of Social Informatics

  • Initial year admission capacity

    5,000 students (Total capacity: 20,000 students)

Plan as of October 30, 2023

About ZEN University

ZEN University (provisional name) is a fully online undergraduate university based in Japan. Recognizing that various factors such as household income and geographical location can prevent students from seeking higher educational opportunities, we provide a platform that aims to eliminate these barriers and contributes to equal access to education. At ZEN University, we provide students with the desire to learn the opportunity to pursue their higher educational goals anytime, anywhere.

The name ‘ZEN’ reflects our interpretation of three different characters, all pronounced ‘ZEN’: 全 (wholeness: the study of the whole self to thrive in a complex world), 然 (nature: the understanding of information and mathematics as the foundation of society), and 善 (virtue: contribution to society through the cross-disciplinary study of the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences). The multi-layered meanings fuse into our single ‘ZEN’ to convey the significance of learning at our university.

Preparations are underway for the opening of ZEN University in Spring 2025. With our carefully selected faculty, we are ready to welcome a capacity of up to 20,000 students and are dedicated to equipping each student with the qualities and knowledge required for the intelligent information society through cross-disciplinary learning.


The Nippon Foundation and DWANGO Educational Institute constitute a university preparatory association formed (collaboratively) by Dwango and The Nippon Foundation. The association is working toward the opening of ZEN University in 2025. Dwango operates the nation's leading online high schools by enrollment, and The Nippon Foundation provides young people with valuable real-world experiences.

In Japan, factors such as income, location, and gender create educational disparities. To bridge these gaps and ensure equal access to higher education, the establishment of an online university, free from the constraints of time and place, is crucial.

ZEN University will solve these challenges through affordable tuition fees, online learning, and a comprehensive support system.

Young woman writing in notebook while looking at PC

About the collaboration
between The Nippon Foundation and Dwango

ZEN University, created through a partnership between The Nippon Foundation, a non-profit philanthropic organization and DWANGO Co., Ltd., is a new kind of online university. Dwango, with its track record in online education at N High School and S High School, boasting the largest number of students among high schools in Japan, and The Nippon Foundation, with its achievements in youth support, have partnered to leverage their strengths in opening a university.


Real-world experiences focused on social innovation

  • A woman is playing a card game with two children

    Establishing safe spaces for children in 200 locations across Japan

  • A look at agriculture in Africa

    Learning through agricultural supporting for African countries


Founding N/S High Schools, among the largest in Japan by student enrollment

  • The N Preparatory School website is displayed on the computer screen.

    Over 27,000 students attending online high school

  • Four students are studying on laptops

    Providing toptier learning experiences both online and in real life