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Message from the Dean

Life in Komaba Campus

Kunihiro Ohta
The Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
The Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

img_2019.JPGOur Komaba Campus of the University of Tokyo is not far from Shibuya, which is crowded and full of the bustle of the big city, but it is filled with nature, moods, and colors that change with the four seasons, including cherry blossoms, hydrangea, rain showers, cluster amaryllis, golden ginkgo trees, and snowy landscapes.

Komaba is home to a total of approximately 9,000 people. Freshmen and sophomores in the College in six streams (three streams in the humanities and social sciences and three streams in the natural sciences) form a substantial part of this community (about 6,600 in total). In addition, juniors and seniors in the College (about 400) and graduate students and research students in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the Graduate School of Mathematical Sciences (about 1,700) are also parts of the core of this community. Furthermore, around 400 full-time academic staff members (professors, associate professors, lecturers, and assistant professors) teach classes in both the College and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Finally, around 100 hard-working administrative staff members form the backbone of all the activities on this campus. These various people share an eventful year on the campus, including the happy orientation week for newly enrolled students under blossoming cherry trees in April, the lively school festival in the scenic fall foliage (Komaba Festival), the tensely quiet entrance examinations in January and February, and the commencement ceremony filled with a true sense of achievement in March.

This year, the College celebrates its 70th anniversary with the publication of a commemorative magazine and the 70th anniversary celebration. The College and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences have four key features: liberal arts, interdisciplinarity, international perspective, and innovation. Taking advantage of these features, Komaba has been sending out talented people to the world for the last 70 years. One example is Professor Yoshinori Ohsumi, who received the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 2016. Komaba Campus is where Professor Ohsumi started his research on autophagy, the subject of his Nobel Prize award.

The College has launched many new teaching programs. These include the First-year Seminars with small discussion groups, ALESS / ALESA / FLOW for practical English education, Programs in English at Komaba (PEAK), the Advanced Science and Research Organization for stimulating well-motivated students to grow further, the Trilingual Program (TLP) for top achievers, international training for sending students abroad, and the Go Global Gateway, which offers students a chance to obtain a university certificate that attests to their global competence. I hope that students will fully utilize this learning environment and follow in the footsteps of their precursors who have changed the world.

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