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New Year Issue (Jan.)

Appointment of the new President

On November 5, 2010 Professor Kaoru Kamata of the Faculty of Law was appointed as the 16th President.

Embodying knowledge in the global society, taking up the challenge of nurturing human resources.

Developing new ways of firming the foundations of reform

I am Kaoru Kamata and I have been appointed as the 16th president of Waseda University. I look forward to working with you all.

In a world of accelerating globalization and technological innovation, environmental change and the advancement of emerging nations, it has become extremely difficult to get a clear view of the future, and hopes have been placed on universities, as educational and research institutions, to play an active role in opening up a new generation.

Former presidents Okujima and Shirai, in taking up the spiritual legacy of this university's foundation, put in the utmost effort to develop education which responded to the demands of internationalization and the new generation. In continuing this basic stance through embodying knowledge in the global society and taking up the challenge of nurturing human resources, I would like us to take a leading role at this turning point in history. To achieve this, we need to firm the foundations already put in place and strengthen internal cooperation. By strengthening the maintenance of internal systems and cooperation, I aim to display the potential held by the university and further develop it.

In the past 10 years this university has established Professional Graduate School and independent postgraduate courses, as well as joint graduate schools with three universities such as Tokyo Women's Medical University. We have also provided substantial specialist education by raising high-level specialists with problem-solving and policy-planning abilities and management skills through the application of theory and practice. In 2012 we will open the Graduate School of International Communication (application for approval planned), where we will educate workers and researchers with specialist knowledge in English so they can face the broad sense of communication research in the world today.

On the other hand, from September 2010, the School of Political Science and Economics and three science and engineering faculties and graduate schools started Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) international base maintenance projects (Global 30). Through these, Waseda has become the university with the most courses conducted in English only in Japan where you can gain Bachelor and Master degrees. Also, to respond to rising social needs, we are looking into creating a new field at the Open Education Center by adding subjects related to health and medicine. Through that we aim to produce human resources with knowledge in natural science, and cultural and social sciences in the narrow sense of the medical field, through a broad range of fields including medical journalism, medical administration and hospital management.

Making full use of the dynamism created from diversity

At the moment in Japan there is a demand for those with communication skills in English to deal with people in foreign businesses and organizations. At our university we have close to 4000 foreign exchange students studying here and have 1700 Waseda students overseas, giving us quite a good record in internationalization terms. From the undergraduate school level we have established lessons for strengthening English speaking, writing and listening skills in every subject across the board, and in 2014, an international dormitory with a 900 student capacity will be completed in Tokyo's Nakano Ward, providing an environment for Japanese students to learn with exchange and foreign students. In addition to maintaining an environment where students can attend lectures at a world-class university, I hope that Waseda will actively open its lectures to the rest of the world.

Our university aims to improve its quality of education alongside the internationalizing of our education. We are moving forward with subjects such as "Tutorial English", a practical lesson where one native teacher is allocated to four students, "Technical Writing" in order to improve essay writing skills, "Basic Mathematics Plusα/β" to foster mathematical thinking, and furthermore, fulfilling methodological subjects involving experiments and measurements. Also, other than just theory, we also provide internships and professional workshops where students can conduct problem solving with businessmen and various practical learning experiences through volunteer activities both locally and overseas.

On the other hand, in graduate school education, I would like us to make the most of the merits of the coexistence of traditional research schools and specialist schools and develop the multiple effects of the progression of merging theory and practice, improving educational methods through problem-solving thinking, and expanded fields of study and mutual stimulus through the intermingling of graduate students from diverse backgrounds.

On today's campuses we can see more and more diversification with internationalization through the presence of foreign exchange students, and the increase of working adults centered on industry, government and academia cooperation and specialist graduate schools. In recent years in research fields, efforts to improve the efficiency of education and research have become more widespread by standardizing the materials and equipment for resources and personnel. Even at Waseda we are trying to utilize cooperation between diverse and abundant knowledges as much as possible by promoting medical, science and technology cooperation and health and medicine education, fields of education said to have high interdisciplinary compatibility. By developing, applying and practicing new fields outside of traditional academic systems, our university is forging a path toward making full use of the dynamism created from diversity.

Waseda University, walking alongside and learning with society

We are currently in an era where results of research at institutions of higher learning are being questioned. Our university boasts top class results as a private university having established eight bases in MEXT's Global COE program which aims to build international quality research bases. For example, we have created cell sheets freely using nanotechnology and nanoplasters which dissolve in fiber, and produced results in green computing systems which regulate energy consumption in unprecedented fashion. In order to further strengthen cooperation within the university, as well as integrating faculties and research departments in the graduate schools, in April 2009, we started a research academy to stimulate exchanges among researchers outside of the framework of the faculties. Also, we have set up a research strategy center to analyze and evaluate research activities and plan research strategies. In addition to these, by enriching research institutions and project laboratories and establishing advanced research institutes, we have nurtured young researchers and shown flexibility in employing researchers. In the future we will continue the opening of affiliated research institutes, and plan to create a researcher map in order to smoothly apply for outside funding.

Finally, for private universities to continue responding to the demands of modern society, the establishment of a management base is indispensible. Fortunately, our management is in a sound position, and received an AA+ ranking for 2010. But, based on the economy and financial situation of recent years, while planning even more efficiently in the future, it is our duty to provide substantial education and research in order to realize an improvement in the quality of education.

Also, this university has a valuable asset in the form of 560,000 alumni. In order to have new academic results and sporting and cultural achievements accessible to alumni, we are strengthening our dispatch system for outside of the university via the Extension Center. At the same time, through the abilities and knowledge in many fields and the various activities of our alumni in education and research at the university, and by establishing an advisory board made up of alumni, I would like to make the most of them in the management of the university.

Since the foundation of the university, we have had a proud tradition of walking alongside and learning with society. Amid concerns that Japan's standing in today's international society is falling, it is strongly expected that Waseda fulfills its mission. In an era which has become globalized and increasingly diversified, the disposition of discoveries and consummation is being questioned by society, so I want us to embody knowledge, continue the challenge of being a university producing human resources, and be even stronger in our progress. I ask for all your support and cooperation to achieve this.

President Shirai stands down at the end of his term

On November 4, 15th President Katsuhiko Shirai retired after completing eight years as two terms in the post. In addition to supporting this university as Executive Advisor for Academic Affairs, he will continue as President of the Japan Association of Private Universities and Colleges until February 2011.

Presenting a self-penned work to the Okuma Memorial Hall in Saga City before his retirement. To the right is Saga-city mayor Toshiyuki Hidejima. (November 3)

Message from former President Shirai

My high point was the 125th anniversary in 2007, but in my eight years in the post, Waseda's reformation has progressed at top speed. All the staff truly put in their best efforts. I would also like to offer my heartfelt thanks to alumni, parents and interested parties who understood this and gave their support.

As a result of the advancement of globalization, this university's name has become well known throughout the world, especially in Asia. It is now time for us to show our capabilities. I'm looking forward to seeing energetic activity from students, alumni and staff alike.

In the future, I intend to help the development of the university where I can, and hope to do a job from a position where I can think more freely about the university and education.

Kaoru Kamata
16th President

16th President of Waseda University. Graduated from the School of Law at Waseda University in 1970, and completed his Master's degree from the Graduate School of Law in 1972 before obtaining his doctorate in 1975. Visiting researcher at the University of Paris II, France in 1978. Assistant professor in Waseda University's School of Law from 1978 and professor from 1983. Professor at Waseda University Graduate School of Law from 2004 and Dean from 2005 before taking up his current post in November 2010. Majors in civil law. Has worked as Legislative Council Civil Law (Claims) Section chief from 2009.