The Japan News by The Yomiuri Shimbun

Home > Campus Now > Evolution of the University : Spring Verdure Issue (May. 2014)

Campus Now

Spring Verdure Issue (May. 2014)

Evolution of the University

This series explains evolving projects at Waseda University including new organizations and systems. The first installment features the Global Education Center (GEC) which was established in 2013 and began full-scale operation from April 2014.

Global Education Center (GEC)

Cultivating global leaders with rich human character and insight

Takenobu Takizawa
Director, Global Education Center
Professor, Faculty of Political Science and Economics

Providing multifaceted educational programs

The Global Education Center (GEC) is an educational institution founded with the purpose of cultivating global leaders with rich human character and insight, a goal set in Waseda Vision 150. The GEC provides multifaceted educational programs by combining the educational functions of the Media Network Center and the courses/educational functions of the Open Education Center.

In addition to basic education and liberal arts education courses such as Waseda-Style Academic Literacy, language courses and sports practice courses and liberal arts courses, the GEC provides courses and systems for deepening expertise and expanding the breadth of knowledge. Examples include university-wide academic minors and a credit exchange system in cooperation with other universities. We also offer non-credit programs such as My Vision Program, which assists students in structuring their student lifestyle and forming a career after graduation. Ultimately, the GEC seeks to create a more structured system for providing detailed content in courses which instill students with a foundation for learning at university, basic skills as a working professional, and a broad liberal arts education. Currently, we are preparing to implement a course numbering system scheduled to take effect from the 2015 academic year. The system indicates the field and level of courses in an easy-to-understand system.

*The Open Education Center and Media Network Center were closed as of March 31st, 2014.

Creating a foundation for learning at university and performing well as a working professional

Waseda-Style Academic Literacy and university-wide academic minors are open to all students regardless of academic year. Waseda Academic Literary enforces the foundation for learning based on 5 fields: the existing courses in academic writing (Writing Academically), mathematics (Basic Mathematics + α/β/γ) and English (Tutorial English), and the new courses in information science (Expressing Information via PCs and Networks; Basic Information Science; etc.) and statistics (Statistic Literacy α/β/γ). All academic fields of science and the humanities require logical writing ability and mathematical though, English language professional as a tool in global society, the ability to utilize information and operate computers in an information society growing with the spread of IT, and statistical skills for use in academic research. At the same time, all of these skills will be useful no matter what path students take in the future. As such, I hope that students will acquire such skills while at university.

University-wide academic minors expand the student's learning beyond their field of expertise (major) at undergraduate school, or create a “secondary strength” outside the field of expertise. This system allows students to learn while pursuing their interests in two fields. By expanding the breadth of their knowledge, students can acquire the ability to assess matters from various perspectives and think logical. These skills are essential for global leaders. 29 themes for university-wide academic minors have been established in the current academic year. 192 students finished minors in the 2013 academic year. In the future, the center will further enhance the offered content and support students in their quest for a well-rounded education.

Embrace the challenge of the unknown

Program guide issued by the GEC.

The GEC provides interaction with society through a variety of methods, both in Japan and overseas. In addition to joint lectures with foreign embassies and overseas volunteer courses, we also offer domestic exchange study at Doshisha University. The GEC offers many courses and programs to cultivate a global perspective.

The following comment was made by a student from the School of Law who enrolled in a basic mathematics course: “The study of math and the study of law are essentially the same.” In other words, legal text written logically to avoid misinterpretation and basic mathematics are similar. Recognizing such points is a base for further study.

GEC courses are a gateway to taking the initiative to acquire experience and sensation. Waseda's unique courses provide learning opportunities only available at our school. Instead of passive learning, I want students to embrace challenges and leap into the unknown. The GEC is here to support such learning. I hope that students refine themselves while learning through the various courses offered at Waseda University, from undergraduate courses to the GEC's Waseda-Style Academic Literacy and university-wide academic minors.

Global Education Center website

Check out this movie introducing the GEC!

Takenobu Takizawa
Director, Global Education Center
Professor, Faculty of Political Science and Economics

Takenobu Takizawa graduated from Waseda University School of Science and Engineering in 1974. Afterwards, he completed the Doctoral Program at the Waseda University Faculty of Science and Engineering without degree. After serving as a Full-Time Instructor at the Tamagawa University School of Engineering, he was appointed as Full-Time Instructor at the Waseda University school of Political Science and Economics in 1985, as Assistant Professor in 1987, and as Professor in 1992. He became Director of the Open Education Center in 2012 and Director of the Global Education Center in 2013. His major written works include Fuzzy Logic (co-written; Kyoritsu Shuppan Co., Ltd., 2010) and Creating Computer Shogi to Defeat Humans (co-written; Gijutsu-Hyohron Co., Ltd., 2012).

Waseda-Style Academic Literacy
  1. Academic Writing
    Students learn skills required when writing thesis and reports. Topics include characteristics of academic writing, appropriate use of words and phrases, methods for creating an easy-to-understand structure, and methods for clarifying quotations and other sources. In addition to refining writing skills, the course also strengthens critical thinking.
  2. Mathematics
    Through familiar themes such as calculating interest, students acquire basic mathematic knowledge and cultivate to exercise logical mathematical thinking. This course is taken by humanities students who lack basic mathematics ability, by science students who don't know how to calculate interest despite being skilled at mathematics, and by humanities/science students who plan to work at financial institutions.
  3. Statistics
    Statistical analytical ability is required in all academic fields of the humanities and sciences. Indeed, basic knowledge of statistics is necessary to live in today's society. As a base for further learning, new students at the School of Commerce are required to take the GEC's statistical literacy course.
  4. Information
    In addition to basic knowledge such as computer skills required in today's information society and the ability to utilize information on a network, these courses also focus on information literacy topic such as cautions and manners for using email and SNS.
  5. English
    English language proficiency is essential in today's global society. Tutorial English features small-group classes consisting of 4 students and 1 tutor. This course is very popular with students and has proven to be effective. An increasing number of undergraduate schools are making Tutorial English a required course. Critical Reading and Writing provides training in critical thinking, a skill which can be used immediately upon entering society.
Liberal Arts Courses

Currently, Waseda offers about 3,500 courses which cover a broad range of fields only possible by a comprehensive university. Many of the courses provide the opportunity to experience new topics in each field while interacting with society. Examples include volunteer courses offered by The Hirayama Ikuo Volunteer Center (WAVOC), Professionals Workshop courses in which students, corporations, municipalities and other organizations cooperate to solve problems, and courses provided by or in affiliation with corporations, public institutions or NPOs.

My Vision Program

In addition to programs on logical thinking, marketing and branding, and other topics designed to refine character and provide liberal arts education, offers other non-credit educational programs to refine basic knowledge and skills required by society.

Credit exchange agreements with other universities

In addition to “f-Campus” program operated together with Gakushuin University, Gakushuin Women's College, Japan Women's University and Rikkyo University, these agreements provide a broader range of learning by enabling students to enroll in courses at schools including Tokyo Women's Medical University, Tokyo Kasei University and Musashino Art University. The long-term domestic exchange study at Doshisha University enables students to have a richer taste of culture and lifestyle that cannot be experienced through travel. This helps students to cultivate a global perspective.

Various Language Courses

In addition to major languages such as English, German, French and Chinese, we offer a full lineup of language courses including Basque, Arabic and Ainu. There is little opportunity to study such languages outside of university. Students can enroll in language courses according to their interests, or to gain proficiency in local languages related to their academic major.