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Early Spring Issue (Apr.)


Life-long learning at Waseda responds to the desire to learn

In recent years, creating an open educational atmosphere at universities has become important due to heightened needs for learning among the general public.
Ever since shortly after our founding, Waseda University has worked to return academics to society by actively promoting university extension (opening the university to the general public) through publication of lectures and holding lectures in various regions of Japan. These activities were led by Shigenobu Okuma and were known as extracurricular education. This article reflects on our university’ history of life-long learning to respond to needs of the general public, and also introduces the rich environment for life-long learning that currently exists.

Life-long learning at Waseda provides various ways to study

Waseda University provides various forms of life-long learning.
This article introduces the objectives, details and appeal for some of those forms.

Open College Courses (Extension Center)
Various programs which respond to the educational needs of students

The main building (Waseda School) of the Extension Center stands near the main gate to Waseda University

The Extension Center's Hacchobori School was opened in 2001 on the 3rd floor of the renovated Keika Elementary School, which had been built in the early Showa Period (Keika Square)

The Extension Center was established in 1981 as a life-long learning institution with the goal of broadly opening (extending) to society the research and educational results of Waseda University. The center holds non-degree classes known as Open College. Approximately 1,500 classes are provided annually in a four-semester (spring, summer, autumn, winter) system at the Waseda School and the Hacchobori School. The center uses a membership system which is updated every four year and enables members to enroll in courses regardless of their age or academic background.

All classes at the Open College are taught by Waseda University professors, professors emeritus, or researchers and business professionals who are active in the front line of their field. Class contents cover a wide variety of genres including literary spirit, Japanese history and culture, learning about the world, art, exploring mankind, lifestyle and health, modern society and science, business and certification, sports, foreign languages and Edo/Tokyo.

Members come from a variety of backgrounds with a focus on senior citizens, parents who now have free time from child-raising, businesspeople and university students. Based on their personal desire to learn, members select from the many classes and study with enthusiasm.

Furthermore, a unique credit system of the Open College is established for each class. A “Completion of Studies System” exists for students who have acquired 76 credits. Currently, 1,578 members have achieved completion (as of April 2011). Completed members are presented with an Open College Completion Certification from the president of Waseda University. This tradition has continued unbroken from the very first completed member. Additionally, in order to support continued learning after achieving completion, an Open College Azure Prize was established last year to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the center’s founding. This prize is awarded to members who have acquired 150 credits.

The pamphlet "Waseda University Open College" (left, center) published by the Extension Center, and the member communication newsletter "Waseda Forest Magazine" (right)

From 2009 e-learning classes conducted via the internet were established under the keywords of "any time, any place, as many times as the student wants." In addition to liberal arts courses which are currently the most popular among existing classes, practical business classes are also offered for a total of 25 classes (classes scheduled to be opened in April 2012).

There is also a full lineup of classes which seek to support the formation of careers by students. For example, classes to help student prepare for various certification examinations, as well as a Fundamental Class for Aspiring Legal Professionals which will start from April 2012 in order to support students who seek to become legal professionals in the future. The center plans to open more classes in the future for cultivating the fundamental abilities of working professionals.

For further details, please visit http://www.ex-waseda.jp/

"Fun Wrestling for Working Professionals," taught by Professor Akira Ota (Faculty of Sports Sciences)

"International Relations of Tang Dynasty-Eurasia and Japan," taught by Professor Kiyohiro Iwami

"Professional Communication Skills," taught by Professor Keiko Sato

Locations & list of main classes
Classes at Waseda School
● 100 Years of Modern Literature
● Introduction to Archaeology
● Death Education-Living while confronting death
● Modern Japanese Political History
● Reading Zeami
Support for formation of student careers
● Fundamental Class for Aspiring Legal Professionals (starts April 2012)
● Seminar for improving the employment & job-search ability of university students
● Preparatory Class for Civil Servant Examination
Classes at Hacchobori School
● Sumida River Topography
● Waka (Japanese Poetry) and Traditional Culture
● Logical Japanese Structure—Methods for Writing in Japanese
● Leadership Class for Managers
● Assertive Communication
e-learning classes
● Psychology for Self-Reflection
● Critical Reading of Wagahai wa Neko de Aru
● Revitalization Using Regional Resources
● Fun & Easy Statistics
● Logical Presentations

—Next goal after completion certificate—
Open College Azure Prize

The Open College Azure Prize was newly established in order to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Extension Center and to support the continued learning of students who have obtained completion certificates. This system awards members who have acquired 150 credits. The prize is named after Azure Sky, which is our university’s foremost cheering song. 203 members were awarded the prize in 2011, the first year of the system. Such a large number of prize-winners are proof that many members have studied seriously with a strong desire to learn.

Student’s Voice
What I learned is useful for considering my future career

Yoshito Ichikawa
(1st year student in the Accounting Course, Master’s Program of the Graduate School of Accountancy, Professional Graduate School)

Class Name:
Proposal &Execution of Career Strategy for Realizing an Ideal Self

No. of Years at Open College: 1

Based on a desire to cultivate fundamental business skills such as accounting and ICT, I entered the Waseda University Graduate School of Accountancy, a professional graduate school. Recently, I decided to enroll in Professor Keiko Sato’s career strategy class because I was getting ready to start searching for employment and I wanted to clarify how I would use my accounting skills in the future.

People of many different ages and professions are enrolled in the class. Everyone frankly shares their own problems during group work and discussions held after class. This experience was very useful for considering my own future career.

I believe that a person should continue to think about their career throughout their entire life. Therefore, I intend to take this class periodically even after I join the workforce.

I want to increase my knowledge while being stimulated by others

T.H. (woman in her 60s)

Class Name:
International Issues & Japanese Foreign Diplomacy, International Relations of the Tang Dynasty—Eurasia and Japan, etc.

No. of Years at Open College: 10

For more than 20 years, I worked very hard to support my family as a stay-at-home mother. However, my children will soon graduate from university and I decided to enroll in Open College classes because of my desire to study something new. Since I have always enjoyed art museums, I first took a class in art history. I am stimulated by something every day, whether it is lectures by instructors who are among the finest in Japan and the world, or the sight of classmates who are over 90 years old yet still sit in the front row of class and study hard.

10 years have passed since I first took classes at the center. During that time, I have studied a broad range of subjects from history to international politics. As I become more knowledgeable, I enjoy talking with my family about the contents of my class. I also reading the newspaper and watching news programs with a different perspective than before. In the future, I hope to continue studying a broad variety of subjects in daily life and increasing my knowledge.

On-demand classes such as the Distance-Education Program
A learning system for study that exceeds generational and regional boundaries

Students can take classes which interest them while studying at home. Therefore, students from a wide range of age groups are enrolled.

Image of On-Demand Class (Welfare Theory for the Elderly, taught by Professor Yuko Kase (Faculty of Human Sciences))

On-demand classes are part of a new learning system that allows studying at any time, any place and as many times as the student wants. On-demand classes are a system in which students take classes for which video is transmitted via a learning system on the internet. Classes include the Distance Education Program (e-School) at the School of Human Sciences, Japanese-language education on-demand classes at the Center for Japanese Language, and e-learning classes at the Extension Center. Enrollees in these classes include undergraduate students, working professionals seeking to enhance their careers, and individuals who cannot commute to classes due to time constraints and distance.

The Distance Education Program (e-School) at the School of Human Sciences is the first official university education program in Japan which allows students to graduate by taking only on-demand classes (excluding some schooling courses which involve physical activity, experiments or practical training). Since starting in 2003, the program has produced more than 450 graduates. Mini-tests and the submission of reports are also performed using a learning system on the internet. Furthermore, a “homeroom” is established on a BBS (electronic bulletin board system) as a place for interaction to form a feeling of camaraderie among fellow students, as well as to support students by offering consultation on enrollment, learning and any other problems.

Locations & Overview
School of Human Science, Distance Education Program (e-School)

● α Course: 2nd-year transfer system which recognizes a maximum of 32 credits. For graduates or students who plan to graduate from junior colleges or technical colleges, as well as students who have acquired 62 credits or more at a 4-year university. Instead of a yearly term, students advance through 3 levels. Students can study courses such as statistics, experimental research techniques, practical exercises and specialized courses.

● β Course: For graduates or students who plan to graduate from high school. Students study for a minimum of 4 years after entering the program, advancing through 4 levels.

For further details, please visit http://www.waseda.jp/e-school/

Center for Japanese Language, Japanese-Language Education On-Demand Classes

Featuring classes in Japanese language education theory, Japanese language teaching methods, Japanese language research theory, and Japanese language education which is spreading throughout the community (total of 8 times), as well as a course for enrolling in all of the classes listed above.

For further details, please visit http://www.waseda.jp/cjl/ researcher/

Extension Center, e-Learning Classes
Student’s Voice
While learning at home, seeking to obtain certification by studying from experts at e-School

My work has been to provide support and consultation for truancy and behavioral problems at elementary schools. I decided to further my education because I want to acquire expert knowledge, to earn a graduate school degree in the future, and to obtain certification as a clinical psychologist.

In particular, I wanted to study many subjects related to behavioral therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. The appeal of e-School is that I can study such fields from expert instructors while at home. I can also learn together with fellow enrollees by submitting reports and engaging in discussion on the BBS, thus enabling me to study from a variety of perspectives.

I am currently taking a class in practical exercises for behavioral therapy. In addition to psychology, I hope to systemically deepen my studies and to become a clinical psychologist that is capable of understanding and helping people.

Business classes for working professionals
Studying to acquire the flexibility and knowledge for quickly adapting to social changes

Appealing classes based on actual experiences shared by professionals from each field (students learning in Investment Banking Class)

In an increasingly complex economic environment, businesspeople have a heightened need for learning to acquire flexibility and sufficient knowledge for adapting to changes. By exceeding the conventional boundaries of graduate school education, Waseda University is actively developing learning opportunities for working professionals.

The Business and Information Academy (part of the Center for Finance Research) offers programs to cultivate professionals with the flexibility and knowledge for adapting to changes in a drastically changing financial and economic environment.

Through cooperation with the Waseda Business School (WBS), business classes at the WBS Research Center (part of the Research Institute of the Faculty of Commerce) offer practical non-degree programs for individuals who want to continue studying while working and who want to acquire new business knowledge and skills. More than 11,000 students have studied in this program and are now putting their new skills and knowledge to practical use in society.

Locations & Main Classes
Center for Finance Research
Classes at the Business and Information Academy

● Fund Management Class
● Investment Banking Class
● Special Class in Trusts & Finance
*Sponsored by the Trust Sixty Foundation (public interest incorporated foundation)
● IT Economic Innovation Class, Class in Practical Corporate Revival, etc.

For further details, please visit http://www.waseda.jp/wnfs/seminar/

Research Institute of the Faculty of Commerce
Business classes at the WBS Research Center

● Executive Program
● MBA Essentials Class
● Customized programs, etc.

For further details, please visit  http://www.waseda.jp/wbs/wbsrc/

Student’s Voice
Life-long learning for acquiring new skills while studying together with fellow students

Shigekazu Takigawa

Class Name:
Fund Management Class

No. of Years at Academy: 1 year

Three year ago, I completed my studies at the Waseda University Graduate School of Finance, Accounting and Law. However, my desire to learn and intellectual curiosity towards management was sparked by the many prominent instructors and variety of appealing classes offered by the academy. I have been able to acquire new business skills while learning together with many fellow students.

Currently, I work as an officer at a company (Prudent Japan Corporation; Chuo Ward, Tokyo) involved in financial education. Even after completing my graduate school studies, my intellectual curiosity as a manager led me to enroll in the Fund Management. Classes at the academy are taught by instructors who possess deep knowledge and are active on the front line of their fields. No matter how many questions these instructors are asked, they continue to provide hints in order to guide students to an answer.

Waseda University is my origin. Even more, it is a place for never-ending life-long learning that satisfies student’s desire for knowledge.

Open classes & seminars

Our university actively holds open classes and seminars for the general public. Please refer to page 23 of this newsletter (issued 5 times annually) for event information.

Also, the latest information on academic lectures and open events is available on our website and in the email magazine (issued bimonthly).

Please register at the “Academic Lectures & Open Events” page on our university’s website. http://waseda-events.jp/

Example information for open classes and seminars
School of Law


●Commemorative Toshio Yokokawa Open Class (scheduled to held from June to July, 2012)

Institute for Advanced Studies in Education


●Front-Line Education Lecture Series (Biannual: July, December)

Research Institute of Business Administration


●Business Research Forum (Once per year: October)

●Business Research Academic Forum (Once per year: June)

●Business Research Lecture (several times annually)

Center for Finance Research


●Yukio Noguchi—Special Lecture Series

●Forum: Understanding Chinese Business Series

Other methods of learning
School of Letters, Arts and Sciences
Curator Certification Program: Intensive Summer Course

Lecture being held in front of the painting Rouma Shisetsu (Envoy to Rome)

This course supports the acquisition of curator certification and is an official credit-based program. The course is composed of lectures and practical exercises in fields surrounding museums and cultural assets. The exhibition room of the Waseda University Aizu Museum is used to conduct practical exercises with real art. From official involved in designated management business to museum managers, retired individuals and parents who have finished raising children, students from a wide variety of age groups and backgrounds study together.

For further details, please visit  http://www.waseda.jp/curator/

Faculty of Letters, Arts and Sciences
Archaeological Surveyor Program

Studying in the class for working professionals

In this short-term intensive program, students study the most recent surveying/preservation techniques, laws and regulations related to cultural assets, archaeological theory and compliance. Students in the class include working professionals involved in projects for buried cultural assets and undergraduate student enrolled in archaeological courses. Certification as an archaeological surveyor is issued to students who complete the program. The program also contributes to academic development such as promoting employment of excavation technicians and reforming of surveying environments.

For further details, please visit  http://www.waseda.jp/prj-maibun/

Art and Architecture School

Lecture meeting for 3rd year students

From 2010, the school was restructured to include an Architecture Course and an Architecture and Urban Design Course which specialize in architectural design. A feature of the school is small-group studio-type education conducted by Waseda university professors, as well as architects and businesspeople active on the frontline of their fields. Classes are held 5 days per week from 18:15 to 21:25. Due to this schedule, there are many students who study at the school in addition to their other university classes, as well as many working professionals. After graduating, students can sit for examinations to acquire Class I or Class II Architect Certification.

For further details, please visit http://waseda-aaschool.jp/2011/

School of Education, Department of Education: Major in Education Specializing in Life-Long Learning
Studying life-long learning as an academic subject
Researching the mechanism of life-long learning which enables empowerment

Internship in agriculture and community building

Professor Natsuko Sakauchi, Director of Major in Life-Long Learning
(Faculty of Education and Integrated Arts and Sciences)

Based on the former Higher Normal School and started in 1949, the Waseda University School of Education was the first such school at a private university in Japan. Our school has sought to produce outstanding educators and skilled professionals capable of performing in various fields throughout society. The major in life-long education uses a broad perspective which does not limit education to school education. The main goal of the major is to conduct practical and specific study of theory and practical application related to subjects such as juvenile development, ensuring and supporting learning by adults, the ideal form of community centers, libraries and museums, and roles in regional society. Another feature of the major is acceptance of many foreign students based on a curriculum formed from a global perspective.

Graduates enter and perform in a variety of fields such as directors of community education, employees at social welfare facilities such as community education institutions and children’s centers, government employees, investigators in family court, educational staff within corporations, journalists and graduate students.

“Life-Long Learning Theory” is a compulsory course taken during student’s 1st year in the major. This course seeks to instill students with fundamental understanding towards the mechanism of life-long learning that enables empowerment while fostering a sense of self-affirmation and self-respect among all citizens. A feature of this course is the combination of lectures and discussions which ensures that students take an active role in the class instead of listening passively. The course also focuses on observing and surveying various forms of onsite education. For example, students are required to participate in an internship for agriculture and community building. Through such activities, I hope that students learn the value of onsite experience instead of simply relying on information taken from the internet.

Courses within the life-long learning major
● Practical Exercises in Social Education
● Research Social Education Issues
● Social Education Facility/Employee Theory
● School Extension Theory
● Adult Education Theory
● Corporate Education
● Museum General Theory
● Library Studies, etc.