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Campus Now

Early Spring Issue (Apr. 2015)

SPECIAL REPORT

University reform continues.
Toward a global university which is diverse, open and fluid

Upon our selection to the MEXT’s Top Global University Project Type A (Top Type), we would like to once again introduce reform being enforced by Waseda University. Two years have passed since the formulation of Waseda Vision 150. How is reform progressing? What is the goal of the newly created Waseda Ocean Initiative? This article answers these questions and more.

“Waseda Vision 150”

Four Visions
Vision 1
Students of the highest caliber and character who show promise in being able to contribute to the world
Vision 2
Research that will ultimately contribute to real world peace and happiness in human society
Vision 3
Graduates (alumni) who will contribute to the public good as global leaders
Vision 4
Asia’s premier model university adaptable to a changing world
Example of Activities
Establishment of the Entrance Examination Development Office
Develop new entrance examination methods and reform the existing entrance examination system in order to acquire diverse and outstanding students.
Opening of the Waseda International Student House WISH
One of the largest dormitories in east Japan, WISH houses about 900 Japanese and international students. WISH provides an environment for mutual growth by overcoming differences in nationalities and culture.
Establishment of the new research organizations the Advanced Collaborative Research Organization for Smart Society:ACROSS and the Research Organization for Next Generation Vehicles
As organizations representing the “Waseda of Research,” these organizations contribute to the formation of a rich future and prosperous society through research which fuses fields utilizing the strength of a comprehensive university.
Creation of the most diverse campus in Japan
Waseda has partners with more than 700 affiliated schools, one of the highest numbers in Japan. For five consecutive years, Waseda has accepted the highest number of international students in Japan. For two consecutive years, Waseda has sent the highest number of Japanese students overseas (according to a JASSO survey).
Completion of construction of a New Building No. 3
This building actively incorporates the most advanced and newest forms of education. Examples include small-group seminar classrooms, distance learning with overseas schools, and tutorials for report writing, mathematics and statistics.
Interview

Instilling the concept of reform throughout the university and continuing to evolve

In 2012, Waseda University formulated “Waseda Vision 150,” a mid-to-long-term plan focusing on our school’s 150th anniversary in 2032.
We discussed the progress and future prospects of Waseda Vision 150 with Vice-President Hashimoto.

Progress of Waseda Vision 150
Shuji Hashimoto

Shuji Hashimoto Professor, Faculty of Science and Engineering
Vice-President (Academic Affairs), Waseda University
Click here for profile

Globalization, a declining birthrate and other changes in social structure have caused a paradigm shift in the education, research and management of universities. Even in Japan, dynamic movement of personnel is expected in the future. For example, many Japanese students will enroll at overseas universities directly after graduating from high school. In order to exist as a university which is selected by the world’s outstanding students and researchers, we must develop education and research to enable competition in an increasingly global arena. At the same time, we must consider management to support such education and research.

In autumn 2012, Waseda University formulated Waseda Vision 150 as a roadmap leading to our 150th anniversary in 2032. In order to be recognized throughout the world as Asia’s leading university both in name and deed, and to become a university capable of contributing to the world, we must dramatically improve the quality of our education and research. Waseda University 150 proposes four visions, thirteen core strategies and sixty-nine specific projects* aimed at enforcing broad reform which includes selection of enrolling students, education, research, international expansion and university management.

In order to ensure that reform at Waseda is more than just talk, and to accurately reflect social changes after we sensitively observe it, President Kamata, the other members of Board of Directors, and supervisors of core strategies gather for meetings about once every two weeks. During these meetings, we discuss the progress of projects and debate issues which have been encountered. Once every half-term, we evaluate and improve contents of implementation, utilize the results for next plan. The Waseda Vision 150 Promotion Office works to optimize the project based on evaluation and verification of overall progress.

We are currently in the second year of reform and overall progress is proceeding more or less according to plan. As an example of projects completed in 2013, the initial year of the plan, we established the Entrance Examination Development Office to consider selection of enrolling students, founded the Global Education Center (GEC) to develop new and multifaceted education, and established the Center for Higher Education Studies (CHES), which support the planning, development and practical implementation of class methods and research related to higher education based on our university philosophy. An example of how the Entrance Examination Development Office is enforcing fundamental reform for the entrance examination system is the construction of a system which makes it easier for international students to take examinations. A graduate school AO (Admissions Office) entrance examination with scholarship funding has already been conducted for Myanmar, and three outstanding students from Myanmar have entered Waseda and are currently studying at our university. The GEC is reconstructing the educational system for cultivating global leaders by providing diverse University-Wide Open Courses such as Fundamental Education, Liberal Arts Education and Language Education.

Aiming at Waseda University as a hub for global movement

The Waseda Ocean Initiative was recently selected for the MEXT’s Top Global University Project Type A (Top Type). This initiative seeks to dramatically improve the quality of education and research at Waseda through international movement of dynamic minds, thus becoming a driving force which will accelerate Waseda Vision 150.

Waseda seeks to become an appealing university which is highly recognized throughout the world. To achieve this goal, we will further instill the concept of reform across our entire university, and will work to construct a system to ensure autonomous and continued reform even when there are changes in university management.

*Seventy five projects existed at the time that the plan was formulated.

Shuji Hashimoto
Professor, Faculty of Science and Engineering
Vice-President (Academic Affairs), Waseda University

Shuji Hashimoto graduated from the Department of Applied Physics at the Waseda University School of Science and Engineering in 1970. He obtained his PhD in engineering from the Waseda University Graduate School of Science and Engineering in 1977. He appointed as Assistant Professor at the Waseda University School of Science and Engineering in 1991 and as Professor in 1993. He has held positions including Senior Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering, Dean of the School of Science and Engineering, and Dean of the Graduate School of Science and Engineering. He appointed as Vice-President in 2011. He assumed his current position in November 2014.