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The Policy Declaration of the President of the University of Tokyo

April 17, 2015

Take the lead in collaborative efforts driven by diversity through global viewpoints

In the midst of rapid globalization, the presence of problems that should be tackled by humankind as a whole, including the depletion of natural resources, damage to the environment, energy security, world financial insecurity, poverty, the declining birthrate and aging society, and pandemics emerging from infectious diseases, is becoming ever more apparent. To handle such global-scale issues, it is imperative that we transcend a variety of boundaries, have a wide range of people share their knowledge, and subsequently have them utilize their shared knowledge to cooperate and take action. In other words, collaborative efforts driven by diversity are vital.

Since its foundation, the University of Tokyo has contributed in making the knowledge of humankind more diverse. The University has conveyed to the world its unique style of learning that fuses Western with Eastern cultures, earnestly importing Western academic culture while steadfastly adhering to its traditional Eastern roots. We will continue to firmly uphold this tradition as we discover trailblazing ways to utilize the new knowledge we create. Moreover, we will continue to answer the perpetual challenge of contributing to human society by educating talented people who will be able to succeed in a global environment.

In order to clarify these goals for which the University should aim and share these goals with a wide range of people, I will lay out my plans as president in a document titled The University of Tokyo: Vision 2020 (tentative).

Create a world-class learning environment which stimulates students’ individuality

In accordance with the rapid advancement of globalization, the University of Tokyo will provide an educational environment that effectively cultivates people’s ability to succeed on the world stage. While utilizing the outstanding research capabilities that the University possesses in every field, students will experience the excitement and joy of knowledge at the forefront of research. The University will promote individual learning styles through which students will use that experience as a source of intellectual nourishment that enables them to develop themselves significantly. To support individual learning, we will strengthen and institutionalize programs and systems that have already been implemented through our undergraduate educational reforms. These programs and systems include the four-term system, the FLY (Freshers’ Leave Year) Program, small-class education, internationalized education, the Hands-on Activity Programs, and University admission by recommendation. We will also further reinforce the liberal arts education we provide from the Faculty to the Graduate School level , as well as our student support network.

 

Cultivate three basic abilities within students and develop within them the open-mindedness to understand others and examine themselves objectively

Through the individual learning promoted by the University, we will train students in the three following basic abilities: the ability to willingly retrace one’s steps and go back to the basic principles of one’s field, the patience to continue thinking, and the ability to think up new ideas and concepts by oneself. Furthermore, in order to foster these abilities and have students make effective use of them, we will have students acquire the open-mindedness to examine themselves objectively through their understanding of others. We will also develop within them the ability to act while collaborating with a multitude of other people.

Establish the Graduate School of International Excellence Program to develop knowledge professionals

In addition to having the University’s Institutes and Centers promote world-class research and act as leading entities in their respective fields, we will establish a Graduate School of International Excellence that embodies the three key terms of “excellence,” “internationality” and a “blending of the sciences and the humanities.” To be specific, we will establish a Master’s and Doctoral combination degree program-based Graduate School  that features an educational and research environment on par with the best in the world. Studies in this Graduate School will center on the University’s globally-competitive academic disciplines and new interdisciplinary fields. This Graduate School will train people to become knowledge professionals who are brimming with the desire to think for themselves, create new knowledge, and take action with the aim of applying this knowledge to human society. While attracting outstanding people from all over the world and utilizing the networks the University possesses within industry, academia and government, we will also make this Graduate School a place where non-students, including alumni, can develop themselves in order to work towards restoring vitality to Japanese society. Moreover, this Program will serve as the core to my “global base for knowledge collaboration” concept as explained in the next section.

Become a global base for knowledge collaboration

The University of Tokyo will aim to be a central location for worldwide knowledge collaboration. By transcending the barriers of national borders, cultures and generations, along with the walls between industry, academia and government, we will engage with a variety of people and increase the number of people taking part in value creation. Furthermore, we will establish a global base for knowledge collaboration featuring an environment that links the pursuit of knowledge with the application of that knowledge. In particular, we will be quick to promote pioneering endeavors for developing new academic disciplines that go beyond the borders of the existing academic categories of the humanities and the sciences. Moreover, in order to effectively encourage the dissemination throughout society of knowledge created at the University, we will promote joint research, the creation of venture companies, and the advancement and reform of our systems for intellectual property management.

Implement operational reforms focusing on close dialogue with those in the workplace, including the clarification of responsibilities and jurisdictions

Opportunities for substantial growth and ideas for solving problems can be found in the University workplace, which acts as a stage for new discoveries and innovation. Therefore, conversation with those in the workplace should be a key aspect of management. Also, while utilizing the University’s large size as an advantage, we will create an environment that facilitates the free and frequent exchange of opinions within and between each section of the University community. As for organizational operation, close communication between the Administration Bureau and the fifteen individual Schools will be advanced with the clarification of their respective responsibilities and authoritative jurisdictions. In addition, we will further reinforce our information-sharing frameworks and make decision-making processes more transparent.
In order to honor the trust placed in the University of Tokyo by society and respond to societal expectations at a higher level, we will construct a system that allows for concise and substantial dialogue with society through points of contact such as the Administrative Council. Also, to strengthen society’s confidence in science and technology, we will strive to have members of the University community share a stronger degree of research ethics and ethical awareness.
With this trust we receive from society, we will make the utmost effort to increase resources under the president’s leadership in order to secure a financial foundation that allows the University to engage in challenging endeavors.

 

Demonstrate the comprehensive strength of the University of Tokyo while increasing its diversity

To encourage the employment of women and young people, we will pursue productive and effective discussion to explore problems that prevent their employment and find solutions. The results of these discussions will be put into practice. Also, we will provide a more flexible work environment and thorough support systems to attract outstanding lecturers, researchers and students from all over the world and to allow them to thrive to the fullest extent. Furthermore, to bring together the total power of all generations of the University community to the University of Tokyo, we will significantly enhance our human networks of alumni, retired academic staff and other members of the University community. Through all of these measures, the University of Tokyo will be able to demonstrate its comprehensive strength while increasing its diversity.

Introduce a personnel management system that ensures both stability and flexibility for exceptional young researchers

The presence of young academic staff and researchers is the source of a university’s vitality. Recently, however, it is becoming difficult for young researchers to devote themselves to their research because their employment environment has been rapidly deteriorating. To make fundamental improvements to this situation, we will institute a personnel management system that ensures both stability and flexibility. We will also restore the appeal that the idea of a life of research has for young researchers and facilitate their placements in positions appropriate to their skills and backgrounds. By doing so, we will enable these young staff members to sufficiently face challenges that address the truly novel and unknown.

Achieve effective cooperation between academic and administrative staff while training administrative staff into professionals who support knowledge collaboration

We will train administrative staff to be professionals who will support knowledge collaboration in close cooperation with academic staff. To enhance the abilities of our administrative staff, we will create frameworks that provide for them multiple career tracks and opportunities for skill development training tailored to their needs. We will also construct frameworks that strengthen the workplace, enabling effective cooperation between academic and administrative staff that is maintained by the coordination between a diverse range of staff members. Furthermore, we will continuously work to procure administrative staff members who are both young and motivated.

Fortify the network between the three core campuses in Komaba, Hongo and Kashiwa

In Komaba, we will strengthen our support towards young students in order to convey to them the appeal of academic studies and the joy of autonomous learning. In Hongo, we will establish a comprehensive base for value creation that promotes the integration of the humanities and sciences while utilizing the renovated library. In Kashiwa, we will treat our purchase of land to the north of campus as a favorable opportunity to formulate a University-wide vision, constructing an attractive international base of academic activities and platforms for industry-university collaboration. In addition to efforts promoting campus-specific development such as those explained above, we will reinforce cooperative relationships and interactions between people with a focus on our three core campuses in Komaba, Hongo and Kashiwa. These strengthened relationships will enable the University of Tokyo to operate at its full potential and deepen its intellectual diversity. Also, through the construction of dormitories that carry out a portion of the University’s educational functions and are fully integrated with the campuses, we will create an environment that enables Japanese and international students to live and study together.