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The university’s modern designed Sagamihara Campus which has a vast garden and the chapel. | AOYAMA GAKUIN UNIVERSITY

Major expansion of global education

Kenichi Semba, President of Aoyama Gakuin University
Kenichi Semba, President of Aoyama Gakuin University

Aoyama Gakuin, which has enjoyed a long tradition and solid achievements with its Christian-based education, will mark its 140th anniversary this year.

With the school’s motto “The Salt of the Earth, the Light of the World,” President Ken-ichi Semba said, “Aoyama Gakuin has maintained the tradition since its founding of being committed to nurture human resources with global viewpoints who can contribute to the world.”

Its global education will be further strengthened from next year when the School of Global Studies and Collaboration opens. The school will be able to accommodate 190 students and will be on the university’s Sagamihara Campus in Kanagawa Prefecture.

The university also boasts the College of Literature’s Department of English and the School of International Politics, Economics and Communication, which have produced many impressive graduates. What is the university trying to achieve with the opening of the School of Global Studies and Collaboration?

“Climate, the environment, poverty, discrimination, income disparity and conflict are among the challenges facing us today. These are diverse, extend beyond borders and are extremely complicated. We’ve tried to solve these problems with the mindset that each nation can contribute separately. But such a system is not working anymore,” Semba said. “To address the problems, I thought it was essential to educate the people who will actively tackle these global issues.”

The slogan of the School of Global Studies and Collaboration is “Sharing the pain with people in the world, studying and cultivating the world together.”

“Willpower alone is not enough to solve problems. The important thing is to acquire the necessary, specialized knowledge,” Semba said.

Building customized curriculum from four academic clusters

The School of Global Studies and Collaboration has a unique curriculum to offer specialized knowledge.

There are four specialized academic clusters. In the sociology cluster, students work to analyze and understand the world through sociology. In the media/spatial information cluster, students strive to better their understanding of the world and inform people about it by learning journalism and spatial information. In the business cluster, students aim to share values with the world by studying international economics, finance and trade. In the collaboration cluster, students aim to collaborate with the world by studying the theory of international collaboration.

Students can take any classes from the four clusters they want, in line with what they want to study. Basically, the School of Global Studies and Collaboration lets students create tailor-made curricula.

For English education, the school offers small daily classes taught by native English lecturers. The classes are divided based on the students’ English levels, so that each student can learn at an appropriate level. The English class focuses on the practical use of English.

The school also has a study-abroad program, which requires all students to spend one semester in an overseas university, mainly in Thailand, Malaysia or other Southeast Asian countries. Each student will choose a theme and perform field-work to research it, providing students with a very valuable experience.

“When students who graduated from the School of Global Studies and Collaboration and become mid-level managers of companies, there is no doubt Asia will be a very important area of the world. I would like to educate students who will be successful in the world then,” Semba said.

It is hoped that future alumni of the School of Global Studies and Collaboration will play a vital role in the world.


Aoyama Gakuin University
URL: http://www.aoyama.ac.jp/en/
Tel: 03-3409-8627
Aoyama Campus: 4-4-25 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, 150-8366
Sagamihara Campus: 5-10-1 Fuchinobe, Chuo-ku, Sagamihara-shi, Kanagawa, 252-5258

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This special feature can also be found on http://toyokeizai.net/articles/-/43872