Pursuing a true 'centre of excellence': facing the world through an integrated approach to education and research throughout undergraduate and graduate levels
At the University of Tokyo, we regard a liberal arts education as an essential foundation for undergraduate level study. Upon matriculation, all students spend the first two years at the College of Arts and Sciences. Following these two years - known as the 'Junior Division' - students are admitted into specialised departments in the Senior Division for their final two years. The College of Arts and Sciences is responsible for all education in the Junior Division, and also has its own Senior Division for specialised teaching.
The vision in the Senior Division at the College of Arts and Sciences is one that places interdisciplinary and global thinking at its core. By providing cutting-edge education and research that transcend traditional disciplinary barriers, the College has continued to meet the increasingly complex and diversifying demands of modern society, and has been nurturing a wide range of professionals who become leaders in their respective fields. 2011 marked the start of a fundamental reform of the existing programs in the arts and the sciences, in order to further interdisciplinary and global thinking, and to respond to the growing complexity of scholarship and our rapidly changing society. With new developments including the establishment of the Department of Interdisciplinary Sciences, which integrates the arts and the sciences, the College is currently undergoing an innovative transition into a tri-departmental structure.
Furthermore, in October 2012 the College of Arts and Sciences instituted a new program known as PEAK (Programs in English at Komaba), which allows students to obtain all necessary credits solely from classes taught in English. PEAK embodies one of the university's main priority areas as outlined in 'Action Scenario: FOREST 2015' (drafted in March 2010) - namely, to 'broaden student horizons by building a truly global campus with a diverse community of faculty and students from around the world' ('Building a Global Campus').
The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, also based at Komaba, is an integrated graduate school that builds on the in-depth specialist education in the Senior Division, and paves an innovative path in graduate level research. The School nurtures diverse individuals who possess not only a high level of specialist expertise, but also the cross-disciplinary knowledge and foresight to identify and solve a variety of problems. It produces many researchers with an interdisciplinary and creative mind, who go on to play an active role at the forefront of research.
Both the College and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences have thus developed a unique approach to education, based on a coherent structure composed of the Junior Division, Senior Division, and Graduate School. In this way, we strive to become a true 'centre of excellence' that remains receptive to the diverse needs and facets of our society.