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Campus Now

Midsummer Issue (Jul.)


International Student Dormitory: Cultivating global leaders

Recently, the educational function of student dormitories is being reevaluated. In conjunction with the completion of the Tanashi Student Dormitory in 2008, Waseda University has renewed the management of student dormitories. As part of student support services provided by our university, we have focused on programs which promote student growth and which encourage interaction between Japanese and foreign students. Moreover, a student dormitory which will house approximately 900 Japanese and foreign students is currently being constructed in Nakano Ward. This article explores the future of student dormitories.

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Schematics! Waseda University Nakano International Community Plaza

The Waseda University Nakano International Community Plaza is scheduled to open in the 2014 academic year.
The plaza contains student dormitory facilities (known as WISH) and life-long learning facilities. It seeks to cultivate global professionals and to form connections with the local region.

Creating a global campus
Waseda University Nakano International Community Plaza

Continuing from our mid-/long-term plan "Waseda Next 125," Waseda University has established a growth strategy known as "Waseda Vision 150." This vision calls for the "reconstruction of an educational system for cultivating global leaders." Through international education programs, the vision promotes the cultivation of students that possess a broad perspective and diverse ways of thinking. As part of efforts to achieve these goals, our university is currently preparing to open the Waseda University Nakano International Community Plaza in the 2014 academic year. The plaza is composed of student dormitory facilities (known as WISH) which will house approximately 900 Japanese and foreign students, as well as educational facilities which will provide life-long learning that is open to regional society.

The acronym WISH stands for "Waseda International Student House." Students with diverse qualities and talents will gather from throughout Japan and the world to study and live together. This will promote mutual understanding, form life-long relationships of trust and personal connections outside of affiliated undergraduate schools, and cultivate the global professionals of the future. For this reason, students living in WISH are required to participate in a Social Intelligence (SI) Program which will refine abilities required for the future.

Dormitory students will be supported by a married couple who live in the dormitory and are known as "House Master" (dormitory administrators). Moreover, daily life in the dormitory, studies and extracurricular activities will be supported by RAs (Resident Assistants), who are older students living in the dormitory. Preparations are being made to ensure a comfortable and safe dormitory life, as well as to provide a warm, family-style welcome to new students who feel uneasy about living alone for the first time.

Additionally, the 1st floor educational facilities of the plaza are scheduled to provide life-long learning which is opening to local society. These life-long learning facilities will utilize the education and research functions of Waseda University. Currently, life-long learning programs are being developed mainly by the Extension Center, our university's life-long learning institution.

Creating a rich community through an industrial-academia-government partnership

Mr. Daisuke Tanaka Mayor of Nakano Ward

In 2002, the same year that I became Mayor of Nakano Ward, the National Police Academy which had been located to the northwest of Nakano Station finished its relocation. Utilization of the vacant lot became a major issue for our ward. After much discussion, we formulated a plan known as "Nakano: A City of Four Seasons." This plan sought we vitalize our ward through hospitals, office buildings and university facilities. We expected a partnership between the community, universities and corporations to provide new business chances for corporations, to provide universities with a place to utilize education and research, and to plant new business seeds in our community. In this way, we promoted redevelopment through an industry-academia-government partnership. One such facility is the Waseda University Nakano International Community Plaza.

Nakano Ward is a community overflowing with unique culture. Since long ago, many students have lived in the ward. I believe that students will easily adjust to life in the Nakano neighborhood, and that the community will warmly welcome students. Furthermore, a large number of foreign students will live in Nakano in the future. This will be a new stimulus for our community. I hope that foreign students will try a variety of new things here in Nakano Ward. For example, in addition to their university classes, I hope that foreign students will broaden their experience and knowledge by making friends at the dormitory and participating in local events and volunteer activities. In the future, foreign students could even start businesses here in Nakano Ward. Additionally, the availability of life-long learning classes will allow a broad range of age groups to enjoy the rich intellectual assets of Waseda University. I expect this to contribute to even further growth for our community.