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Our Vision

Faculty’s Vision (Basic Philosophy and Mission)

◯The Institution for Excellence in Higher Education is engaged in integrated efforts including research projects aimed at advancing liberal arts education and student support, making proposals and  recommendations, and developing and implementing methodologies in partnership with related Departments. In doing so, we are able to enhance the educational capability of Tohoku University and pursue our mission of training future world-class leaders who can succeed in the era of globalization.

Organizational Policies for Reinforcing Functions (-2017)

◯We promote R&D and its implementation according to the principle of reinforcing cooperation and partnership between faculty members. In addition, we provide comprehensive support for student learning, self-development, and career support from the high school to university level.

◯In response to the needs of our modern knowledge-based society, we have established a vision for world-class liberal arts education. Implementation of this vision requires a commitment to systematic education that advances from foundational liberal arts to specialized education and advanced liberal arts education. We pursue this vision in cooperation with the faculty, graduate schools, research institutions, and academic support organizations.

◯In order to play an important role in developing and enhancing Tohoku University’s global learning environment, we strategically recruit international students and reinforce our overseas training programs.

◯The concept of university education is shifting from ‘teacher-centered’ to ‘learner-centered’. In response, we are developing various teaching and learning tools, including high-school/university partnerships, first-year seminars, and a learning support program. In addition, in order to provide comprehensive support, we also promote R&D on teaching and learning management at the individual faculty, subject, and institutional levels. Thus, we contribute to the reinforcement of educational management at Tohoku University by enhancing the capabilities of individual faculty members and functioning as an educational center within Tohoku University, a comprehensive global research institution.

Strategic Focus and Major Policies

1. Ideal characteristics for the globalized era and promotion of comprehensive studies on advanced liberal arts education systems

Future leaders face a wide range of challenges, including environmental issues, security issues, energy problems, and ethnic conflicts. Preparing them to address these issues requires a clear definition of the characteristics that they will need, expertise, the ability  to see the big picture, and a life-long willingness to learn. To support these individuals, systemic changes involving reform of educational content and methodology are required. In addition to providing regular instruction, we are developing a campus-wide learning environment with systems for supporting learning and students. We also promote research, development, trials, and implementation of new higher-education approaches and methodologies, such as project-based learning, which are attracting attention from higher-education institutions from around the world.

2. Developing and promoting a systematic English education program to enhance practical English capabilities

The Institution for Excellence in Higher Education has developed an “extensive reading” English program in conjunction with the library and an e-learning method; both are yielding successful results. We will continue to develop these methodologies and curriculum in order to further develop four skills: reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

3. Developing and promoting advanced liberal arts education that incorporates diverse forms of knowledge

In addition to university-wide education as a basis for extensive liberal arts and specialized education, we foster an interdisciplinary mindset and promote science education in order to cultivate multi-dimensional perspectives while reinforcing and developing “integrated natural science experiments for STEM majors” and “integrated natural science experiments for humanities majors.” We also introduce interdisciplinary education that tackles issues of human importance that transcend the boundaries of specific subjects or majors. In addition, we have incorporated various forms of practical knowledge from people such as athletes, artists, and artisans who have supported and contributed to the development of our society. By introducing such diverse forms of knowledge into the university education scene, we can further develop and promote a new kind of advanced liberal arts education that will help our students achieve a more profound understanding of the world.

4. Developing and promoting cultural understanding through cultural exchange programs and international joint courses

In the learning environment provided by Tohoku University, students encounter diverse ethnicities, religions, customs and cultures; rethink their own culture; and learn how to coexist in the international community while cultivating the universal values that form the backbone of human societies. In an effort to cultivate cultural understanding and foreign language skills, we will launch liberal arts classes in foreign languages by utilizing the expertise of foreign teachers within the university. These efforts will target subjects and courses that are open to the entire student body. Based on these efforts, we are creating best practices to be shared among universities in Japan.

5. Promoting strategic systems to attract international students, and reinforcing overseas training programs

We are developing diverse and attractive international programs aimed at increasing the number of international students, as well as reinforcing our support for these students by designing international exchange strategies in the field of education. We are also developing a number of high-quality overseas training programs in coordination with our educational curriculum for the modern globalized era, and dramatically expanding opportunities for students to have international experiences.

6. Promoting comprehensive student support to foster motivation and personal development

The late stage of adolescence is a time when individuals seek their roles in society, form their moral values, prepare for their careers, and establish their identity. To support students at this stage, we have established comprehensive university-wide support systems that address the following areas: 1) Mental and physical development and identity (career education, mental health care, lifestyle advice, extracurricular/volunteer activities), 2) Basic healthcare (regular checkups, special medical checkups), 3) Infection control from a global perspective (tuberculosis, bird flu), 4) Crisis intervention and support (counseling), 5) Special needs assistance (developmental and physical disorders, assistance for international students), and 6) Career assistance (career support).

7. Initiative for advancing and expanding Tohoku University’s Admission Office entrance exam

In our admission process, we pursue the following goals in order to evaluate prospective students and their capabilities, ensure the equity and equality of the exam systems, and demonstrate effectiveness through a follow-up survey: 1) Developing rational selection criteria, 2) Reducing the cost of the system, 3) Guaranteeing a systematic progression from high school education to university major and career after graduation. We also grasp the intangible characteristics of the early stage of adolescence, including personality, nature, capacity, and future potential; with these concepts in mind, we pursue research and trials based on theoretical and practical considerations. Studies and reviews of various methodologies from abroad, the application of cutting-edge psychological measurements, longitudinal studies of human integrity (including deeper-level evaluation), joint research with high schools and other universities, and collaboration with the individuals who comprise the core identity of Tohoku University will also be promoted in partnership with other organizations and faculty (e.g., the undergraduate department and graduate school).

8. Professional development of individual faculty members and supporting development of advanced educational institute management

As a center with faculty from diverse disciplines, we have established a range of assistance and support programs for faculty development, aimed at developing the general skills required of university faculty. These skills include research, education, social services, and administration at each career stage: graduate student, new faculty, mid-career and senior faculty. We are also working to prepare Japanese higher education for globalization by reinforcing teaching and learning management at Tohoku University and other universities in Japan. We are also developing and testing programs that enhance the expertise of academic leaders in order to provide a world-class university education.