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    About Nitobe School

    What is Nitobe School?

    The program encourages students to foster competencies through intensive team learning, so that they can play active roles globally.

    The Nitobe Program for Graduate Students is a special graduate program at Hokkaido University. The program aims to foster globally competent human resources. Hokkaido University initiated Nitobe College as a special education program for undergraduate students in AY 2013. To bolster the system for educating globally competent human resources by enlisting the efforts of every department at our university, the Nitobe Program for Graduate Students opened in AY 2015. Students at our university will have the opportunity to be educated as professionals who will contribute to the creation of new social value in a rapidly changing society that is characterized by rapid globalization. Not only will students learn advanced specialized knowledge and skills, but they will also learn the additional competency of effectively utilizing the expertise they obtain. Together with students of diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and expertises, each student will pursue learning in the courses of the Nitobe Program for Graduate Students, which is structured to provide opportunities for steady improvement through intensive team learning.


    The basic style of the Nitobe Program for Graduate Students is team learning. Students are supposed to experience the whole process starting from acquiring skills to developing effective and constructive debates, identifying the problems in discussion with teammates, and compiling the proposed solutions in discussions exercising expertise of their own areas; finally, they are to come up with the presentation of outcomes.

    The Nitobe Program for Graduate Students encourages students to acquire the competencies demanded in the global society of today by accumulating the experiences of implementation of projects for the purpose of making significant advances by applying their expertise.

    The four goals of the Nitobe Program for Graduate Students

    • Learn to understand the diverse values in this “microcosm of international society”.
      The Nitobe Program for Graduate Students, in which students of different languages and cultures get together and learn from each other, is “a microcosm of international society” consisting of different values.
    • Come into contact with each other’s “different fields” to enhance everyone’s field.
      The program is offered at all 51 departments or divisions of graduate schools of Hokkaido University. The students of the Nitobe Program for Graduate Students can deepen their own fields of specialized by making use of the expertise of different fields.
    • Move toward problem solving through “team” discussions.
      On the basis of team learning, students acquire techniques and senses for achieving outcomes in collaborating with others through intensive active learning.
    • Gain a network for utilization in real society.
      The new network that is to be established by the students of the program together with the teaching staff and mentors will play an effective role in society when the students start to work.

    The Program’s ideals for the human resources it educates

    The purpose of the Nitobe Program for Graduate Students is to educate “human resources equipped with highly professional competencies and frontier spirit, who are able to work on teams of people from diverse social and cultural backgrounds and to contribute to the creation of new social value through the prediction, discovery and resolution of various problems facing our globalized society. In addition to a high level of professional skills and knowledge obtained through studies in the specialized courses, the following are required of such human resources.

    (1) The competency to develop and expand the already acquired professional competency in response to problems. (2) The competency to consolidate individual competency into team competency and lead the team in problem-solving. (3) The competency to create social value and change society.

    Competencies as professionals must be supported with ethical sense as professionals. Without such ethical sense, society will not trust the professionals. The Nitobe Program for Graduate Students has defined universally important competencies, including “+α competency”, that should be obtained by all students who have studied in our graduate courses as “3+1″ Competencies. The “3+1″ Competencies will be cultivated in the Nitobe Program for Graduate Students. The human resources educated in this program will be capable of taking full advantage of their professional abilities in resolving problems through mutual understanding cultivated in good communication as members of teams of students with diverse knowledge, skills, experiences and sense of value.

    “3+1” Competencies

    The “3+1” Competencies, which will be cultivated in the Nitobe Program for Graduate Students, are defined as competencies in “Continuous Personal Development”, “Team Organization and Management”, and “Giving Back to Society” and a strong sense of “Professional Ethics”.

    Competency in Continuous Personal Development:  
    The competency to improve one’s abilities in response to a specific problem through accurate analysis of one’s own abilities. This is the ability to define, plan and complete a mission based on an accurate understanding of what one is able to do, by employing one’s curiosity, desire for self-improvement and self-motivation in tough situations. It is the ability to flexibly control oneself, to structurally understand the obtained knowledge and to explicitly express that knowledge. It is, so to speak, competence in self-governance.
    Competency in Team Organization and Management:
    This is a competency in organizing professionals with diverse backgrounds as a team and leading them to achieve a set objective. This is also a competency for collaboration based on a foundation made by creating a common vision, building a network, procuring whatever is necessary, negotiating and organizing. It is competency in project design and management. It is, so to speak, a competency in dealing with others.
    Giving Back to Society:
    This is a competency to bring creative value to society through innovative solutions. It is also a competency in contributing to society by recognizing one’s role in society, finding out what society requires, proposing a better direction and working in that direction. It is, so to speak, a competency in dealing with society.
    Professional Ethics:
    Professional Ethics is an indispensable foundation in utilizing the above-mentioned three competencies. It is a competency to make impartial and fair decisions as a professional when working with people who have diverse values.