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Campus Now

Spring Verdure Issue (May. 2014)


Internationalization at Waseda

Waseda University was the first Japanese university to promote internationalization and produce outstanding talents who will perform well globally.
Promotion of internationalization at Waseda was spurred by selection to the MEXT's Program for Development of Internationalization Bases (Global 30) from the 2008 to 2013 academic years. Our university has greatly increased the number of courses in which a degree can be obtained through English classes only. We have also developed our system for accepting foreign students and promoted strategic international partnerships. This article discusses the results of internationalization at Waseda University, as well as the future outlook.

English-based Degree Program

The English-based Degree Program was established as part of Global 30. This article introduces projects and results at the School of Political Science and Economics, the School of Fundamental Science and Engineering, the School of Creative Science and Engineering, the School of Advanced Science and Engineering, and the School of Social Sciences.

School of Political Science and Economics

English-based Degree Program
(English-based Degree Studies September Admission:EDESSA)

Seishi Sato

Dean, Faculty of Political Science and Economics

Striving to become an undergraduate school with international competitive ability in the fields of politics and economics

Spurred by the founding of the Department of International Political Science and Economics in our undergraduate school in 2004, the Faculty of Political Science and Economics, has taken innovative steps for internationalization of education and research. Our goal is to form a global educational environment for cultivating talents with an international perspective. The establishment of EDESSA gives our undergraduate school and graduate school the ability to compete internationally in the fields of political science, economics, and international political science and economics. It has also further promoted our innovative efforts to establish high-level education and research institutes which set global standards.

We faced two difficult issues when founding EDESSA: How can we attract outstanding students from throughout the world? How can we establish a system of faculty members with outstanding teaching skills and English communication ability? Fortunately, the number of applications for the program continues to increase, and we have hired 6 full-time instructors. The first graduating class will leave Waseda this autumn and have the results of their education tested in the real world. At the same time, EDESSA has the benefit of internationalization for the existing Japanese-based degree program. Enrolling in EDESSA courses and studying together with foreign students is a great stimulus for Japanese students. In the future, we will create a hybrid curriculum in both Japanese and English which is a fully compatible for both programs. This will enable us to simultaneously promote internationalization from both inside and outside the university.

Enrollment capacity will be expanded to 100 students in the 2015 academic year. EDESSA will serve as the core for promoting the Double Degree Program and foreign exchange programs. The new Building No. 3 (scheduled to be completed this autumn) will mainly be used by School of Political Science and Economics and will serve as an educational base where multiple cultures coexist. Furthermore, we strive to construct a global education/research network which is utilized by students who will become future global leaders.

Message from Faculty: The joy of debating with students from related countries

Professor Naoyuki Umemori
Faculty of Political Science and Economics

3 years have passed since we first offered the class History of Japanese Political Thought as an English program. In this class, students discuss Japanese politics from the Meiji Restoration. When studying Japanese history in the Japanese language, it is perceived as national history. However, when studying the same subject in English, it becomes the objective subject of regional research. Issues of historical perception in East Asia tend to be complicated. My class values the joy of holding impartial discussions for such issues among Japanese students and foreign students from Asia.

Pick Up 01

Double Degree Program
Peking University (1-year program from September 2012)
In-depth classes and interaction with serious schoolmates

Megumi Yoshinaga
4th-Year Student at the School of Political Science and Economics

I lived in China when I was a small child, an experience which led me to study abroad in Beijing. 3-hours classes cover material in great detail. Indeed, I had to review material immediately after class in order to keep up with the pace. When making notes of my professor's lectures and summarizing class material, my notebook for a single class reached 70 pages. China has a great disparity of wealth and students from farming villages entered Peking University every year on academic scholarships. I was touched by my friend's passionate dream of repaying the opportunity to study at university by reforming all aspects of her village, from infrastructure to education. This thin young woman held the aspirations of her family and her entire village. In China, I learned that great things can only be achieved through great effort . In my opinion, internationalization is more than simply increasing the number of non-Japanese students. I hope that Japan's top private schools such as Waseda University and Keio University will focus more on providing even higher-quality education and heightening their prominence in the world.

In terms of interpersonal communication, I believe that the spirit of mutual understanding is more important than language. My dream is to contribute to friendly Japan-China relations by using the Chinese sign language which I learned while studying abroad to serve as a bridge between the two countries.

School of Fundamental Science and Engineering / School of Creative Science and Engineering / School of Advanced Science and Engineering

English-based Program (International Course)

Hiroshi Yamakawa

Senior Dean, Faculty of Science and Engineering

Cultivating researchers and engineers who will perform well overseas

Today, university and corporate research is not conducted solely in Japan. Science and technology is a shared global asset. Therefore, it is necessary for scientific researchers and engineers to go overseas. Spurred by our selection to the Global 30 program in 2009, we took action to further promote internationalization by establishing an International Course which enables students to obtain degrees by taking classes in English only. From autumn 2010, this course is available at School of Fundamental Science and Engineering, School of Creative Science and Engineering, School of Advanced Science and Engineering, and associated graduate schools. Currently, 686 non-Japanese students are enrolled in the course. Students come from a total of 45 countries and regions including China, Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, India and Brazil.

A feature of the course is incorporation of “education through actual experiments,” a tradition of science and engineering at Waseda. Instruction in English by engineering staff is possible and English instructional materials are available. Furthermore, in the 4th year of the course (3rd year at some departments), non-Japanese students have the opportunity to learn about Japanese culture by interacting with Japanese students belonging to the laboratory. Another appealing point for foreign students is the chance to study Japan's advanced technology through partnerships with corporations. On the other hand, as the number of non-Japanese students increases, new energy is brought to the campus and Japanese students are stimulated by the serious attitudes of foreign students towards study. There are also an increasing number of faculty members whose contact with foreign students leads them to interact with new countries/regions and conduct joint research.

Moving forward, we will further advance internationalization by increasing the number of foreign students and faculty members, thus focusing on the cultivation of researchers and engineers who will tackle global issues.

Message from Faculty: Experiencing internationalization through interaction with students in the International Course

Professor Tomoya Shibayama
Faculty of Science and Engineering

English is the official language of class on hydraulics and coastal engineering at our undergraduate school and graduate school. Furthermore, English is used at laboratories during weekly research instruction, monthly research reports, and annual overnight workshops for the laboratory seminar. I experience the process of internationalization everyday when watching students in the International Course working on their graduate research. Japanese students are also extremely cooperative, actively using English to work with students in the International Course. In the future, I hope to maintain and further improve the atmosphere of cooperation using English as a common language.

Pick Up 02

Asian Business Studies(ABS)
Shanghai: Fudan University (September 2013 to December 2013)
Hong Kong: The Chinese University of Hong Kong (September 2014 to December 2014)
Preparing to compete in global business in the future

Hiroshi Yamazaki
4th-Year Student, School of Commerce

I visited Taiwan as part of a talent seminar during my 1st year at university. I was stimulated by the potential of students and the serious attitude they took toward their studies. I decided to study abroad because I want to compete on the same playing field as such students who lead the trend of globalization. During classes, I was often asked to give my opinion as a Japanese citizen. When speaking with other foreign students, I had many opportunities to discuss each other's country and culture. Since I was treated as a representative of Japan when spending time overseas, I learned the importance of understanding my own country. This enabled me to objectively reexamine Japan. Furthermore, I became more confident by making my voice heard among foreign students who strongly state their opinions. I was conscious of actively participating, even volunteering to serve as class leader. Upon returning to Japan, I was conscious of actively displaying leadership in all aspects of my life, from seminars and class to personal relationships and part-time work.

Currently, my dream is to someday meet again with acquaintances that I made while studying abroad, competing with them in global business. I believe that my future success will contribute to Japan and repay Waseda University for offering such an outstanding program.

*ABS is an 18-month study abroad program in which students spend a single term in the following countries/regions: China (Shanghai), Japan, and Hong Kong.

School of Social Sciences

Contemporary Japanese Studies Program (CJSP)

Professor Keiko Hata
Senior Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences

Developing an environment in which diverse students grow through cooperation and friendly competition

CJSP was established in 2011 as a program which instills students with a comprehensive understanding of wisdom/experience unique to Japan and allows them to consider the form of Japan and international society in the 21st century, thus cultivating talents who will solve global issues. Currently, 56 undergraduate students and 5 graduate students (Master's Program) are enrolled in CJSP. These students come from a total of 6 different countries and regions.

Features of CJSP include approaching specific issues through an academic and practical viewpoint; emphasizing Japanese language education even while using English as the official language; and fostering broad liberal education and potent communication ability through small-group classes and seminars. A portion of courses are reciprocally open to normal programs, with students enrolling in order to prepare for studying abroad, to maintain or improve English language proficiency after a period of study abroad, or to cultivate international sensitivity. For Japanese students, it is a great opportunity to interact with CJSP students that come from diverse backgrounds and possess rich international awareness. The number of students enrolled in CJSP increases every year, making the program a driving force in the internationalization of the entire undergraduate school.

In 2014, we started a Concentration Program (specific theme research) which requires students to enroll in courses from both the CJSP and normal programs. In addition to their class work, students teach each other about language and culture. Through such diverse interaction, we are beginning the practical implementation of multicultural communication and understanding.

Future issues include formation of a curriculum for an even more organic connection between the CJSP and normal programs. Also, while fully utilizing the synergistic effect of both programs, we are working to create a university-wide system for producing global talents who are truly needed by society. We must also strengthen partnerships among other undergraduate school that possess similar English-based programs.

Seeking to become Waseda leaders performing well on a global stage
Global Leadership Studies
List of Core ClassesLanguage Used
Introduction to Global Leadership Japanese
Introduction to Global Leadership English
Introduction to Comparative Culture for Global Leaders Japanese/English
Introduction to Politics, Economics and Business for Global LeadersJapanese/English
Religion and Society in Modern Japan English

Global Leadership Studies was established in 2012 as a university-wide academic minor. The minor seeks to supply the world with future global leaders who possess Waseda's founding spirit of harmony among Eastern and Western civilization. The course envisions ideal global leaders who are able to make outstanding judgments and decisions while respecting and considering Eastern and Western values.

Classes for Global Leadership Studies are held at the Global Education Center. All students can enroll in classes regardless of their academic year or their schools. The minor instills students with elements of leaders while deepening knowledge and awareness in fields of history, culture, society, politics and economics related to the East and West. For students who complete at least 4 core credits and at least 12 elective credits, a certificate for completion of an academic minor is issued at the time of their graduation. This minor is in addition to the academic major of their partner school. Depending on the course, classes are conducted in Japanese, English and Japanese, or English only.