The University of Tokyo’s Mission and Educational Philosophy
Founded in 1877, the University of Tokyo is Japan’s first and oldest national university. As such, we believe we have been entrusted by society with the mission to educate “intellectual citizens with a futuristic global outlook” (as stated in the Charter of the University of Tokyo) who will take on leadership roles in a variety of fields both within Japan and around the world. With this mission in mind, we aim to instill within talented people the desire and ability to discover and solve issues while utilizing a high level of specialized knowledge, possessing wide-ranging international viewpoints, and displaying a deep understanding of Japanese history and culture. We also aim to educate these people so that they may undertake their public responsibilities as citizens while thinking and acting for themselves and exercising a resilient and pioneering spirit.
Therefore, students gaining admission into the University of Tokyo are expected to have sound ethics, a well-grounded sense of responsibility, an independent nature, and the ability to take action. They are required to gain as much knowledge as they possibly can through their first two years studying in a liberal arts educational curriculum, while cultivating within themselves a deep understanding of a broad range of knowledge along with a richer sense of personhood. This liberal arts education will allow students to acquire the basic knowledge and academic research methods necessary for any specialized field while also fostering their ability to discover for themselves the field in which they believe they should go on to specialize. The curriculum of the University has a firm foundation in this liberal arts education characterized by its width and depth. This foundation is further developed into a diverse and broad range of specialized educational fields through the Faculties and their departments with which the foundation is organically linked. These areas of specialization, in turn, are connected to the globally leading-edge research conducted at the University’s Graduate Schools, Institutes and other facilities.
What We Expect of Our Students
The University of Tokyo would like to proactively accept students from not only Japan but also every corner of the world. The University expects these students to share our abovementioned educational philosophy and have a strong enthusiasm and high aspirations for learning. The University desires students who will fully and actively take advantage of the University’s educational and research environment to independently take the initiative to learn, possessing the will to mature into people who will take on leadership roles in a variety of fields. Above all, students are expected to agree with the University’s mission and educational philosophy as mentioned above, demonstrate vigorous enthusiasm and interest in studying at the University, and display a strong willingness to achieve personal growth through the studies they will engage in at the University. In this regard, the University does not seek to admit students who focus solely on entrance examination scores and pour all of their narrow-minded efforts into studying for the test. Rather, the University of Tokyo welcomes students who draw upon their own interests and concerns to learn about a wide range of topics both inside and outside of the classroom. These students are also expected to be sincerely eager to acquire wider outlooks, which enable them to link together the various issues that will undoubtedly be found during the learning process, as well as deeper insights, which allow them to delve into and pursue their own awareness of these issues.
Basic Entrance Examination Policies
In accordance with our aforementioned mission and philosophy, the problems on the University of Tokyo entrance examination are not necessarily difficult. Those who studied well in high school will be able to tackle any question on the entrance exam with their existing knowledge and skills. In order to select the most ideal students, the University’s undergraduate entrance exam is backed by the three basic policies as explained below.
First, the content of the questions on the entrance examination is specifically designed to be at a level that can be managed by those who have received a high school education.
Second, students are expected to be well-prepared for the University’s liberal arts education upon enrollment. Accordingly, the University places a high value on students who have studied a wide range of topics spanning across both the humanities and the sciences, and who possess global perspectives and communication skills in foreign languages. To meet these expectations, students in the humanities are required to have basic knowledge and competency in the sciences. In turn, students in the sciences are expected to have basic knowledge and competency in the humanities. Furthermore, all students regardless of their affiliations with the humanities or the sciences are required to have fundamental proficiency in (a) foreign language(s).
Third, the University emphasizes the importance of the ability to solve problems by associating facts that one already knows rather than simply cramming facts into one’s head.
The University expects all potential applicants to keep the abovementioned points in mind and learn as much as they can during their primary and secondary school years at the deepest level as possible.