Message from the President of Hokkaido University
President of Hokkaido University
Principal of Nitobe School
In my roles as the President of Hokkaido University and the Principal of Nitobe School, I bid you a warm welcome upon the occasion of the school’s opening. Thank you for visiting the website.
In 2014, Hokkaido University (HU) developed a medium- and long-term plan titled “Future Strategy for the 150th Anniversary of Hokkaido University” up to 2026. Under the plan, one of HU’s educational objectives is set as “HU will produce graduates who will play a leading role in contributing to the development of a global society. As specialists in their fields, they will possess sound judgment and deep insight, along with the ability to understand and communicate with different cultures”.
To fulfill this mission, the NITOBE Education System, a New Initiative in Teaching Opportunities for Best Education, was established as a way of fostering the development of future global leaders. The initiative is named after Inazo Nitobe – an internationally renowned historical Japanese figure and a graduate of the second-ever class at Sapporo Agricultural College, the forerunner of HU. The characteristics of the system are (1) cultivation of high levels of English proficiency and competencies required of global leaders (i.e., strength of human capacity and the ability to earn a living), (2) development of the ability to study through active learning, (3) visualization and efficiency enhancement in portfolio-based learning and teaching, and (4) educational and career support using an alumni network. Based on this system, the Nitobe Program for Undergraduate Students, “Nitobe College”, was established in 2013. The university is now pleased to launch a special program called the Nitobe Program for Graduate Students, “Nitobe School”.
In line with the rapid social change often described as globalization, recent years have seen increasing demand for the development of people capable of resolving issues as part of a team beyond the boundaries of individual expertise to contribute to the creation of new social values. To meet these social needs, the Nitobe Program for Graduate Students produces individuals who can contribute to the development of society. To this end, students not only gain advanced specialty at their graduate schools but also develop competencies activating this specialty in this program.
Such effective utilization requires (1) the competency to improve one’s abilities based on accurate self-analysis, (2) the competency to organize professionals as a team and lead them to achieve set objectives, (3) the competency to bring creative value to society, and (4) the professional ethics, to make fair and impartial professional decisions. The Nitobe Program for Graduate Students supports the development of these competencies through intensive team learning in classes of people characterized by diverse nationalities, languages, cultures and disciplines, representing a microcosm of international society.
Alumni of HU who play active roles in society serve as mentors, supporting students in their studies and career planning efforts. Under this arrangement, personal contact with other students and diverse networks of people including mentors, alumni and faculty members will foster useful alliances for when students play leading roles in the international community.
I look forward to extensive support for the Nitobe Program for Graduate Students so that alumni might take full advantage of their professional abilities in contributing to the development of the international community.