What is Nitobe School?

Utilize Your Expertise, Unleash Your Potential

In 2015, Hokkaido University launched Nitobe School, formally known as Nitobe Program for Graduate Students, designed to develop the students’ knowledge and abilities essential to survive and thrive in face of rapid globalization.

The Nitobe School has created a learning environment, which is truly a “microcosm of international society” where graduate students in different fields of study and with diverse values and ethnic backgrounds collaborate to create a shared knowledge and solution to urgent global issues through intensive group discussion in English. In so doing, the students develop their critical thinking, communication skills, and problem-finding and -solving skills, essential to address the problems that emerge in this era of rapid globalization.


The purpose of the Nitobe School 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 School has defined universally important competencies 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 School. 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” are defined as competencies in “The Ability to Attain Sustainable Personal Development”, “The Skills of Team Organization and Management”, “The Capability of Knowledge Sharing and Application for Social Benefit” and a strong sense of “Professional Ethics”.

The Ability to Attain Sustainable 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.

The Skills of 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.

The Capability of Knowledge Sharing and Application for Social Benefit

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 three competencies. It is a competency to make impartial and fair decisions as a professional when working with people who have diverse values.

Curriculum Unique to Hokkaido University Respecting Practical 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.

Annual schedule of Basic Program

Some classes will be offered on Saturday.

Four Features

Microcosm of International Society: Improve your communication skills with diversity

Nitobe School values and makes use of Hokkaido University’s diversity to offer a distinctive learning environment, which is really quite a “microcosm of international society,” where students gain a high level of communication skills along with a keen awareness of cultural diversity.

Cross-disciplinary Environment: Enrich your specialist knowledge

Hokkaido University is a research-oriented, comprehensive university (twenty-one Graduate Schools and fifty-five professional courses) with acclaimed scholars and motivated students of diverse national, cultural, and ethnic origins.

Active Learning Curriculum: Develop your critical thinking and problem-solving skills

On the basis of team learning, students acquire techniques and senses for achieving outcomes in collaborating with others through intensive active learning.

Global Network: Create your lifelong career building

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.