Globalizing Universities

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A group of students talk in front of Morris Hall, one of Rikkyo University
A group of students talks in front of Morris Hall, one of Rikkyo University’s most iconic buildings. | RIKKYO UNIVERSITY

Plan aims to boost school internationally

Noriyoshi Shiraishi, Senior Vice President of Rikkyo University
Noriyoshi Shiraishi, Senior Vice President of Rikkyo University

In May, Rikkyo University introduced its “Rikkyo Global 24” globalization strategy. Noriyoshi Shiraishi, university’s senior vice president, explained: “Rikkyo is now devising a medium- and long-term plan as a milestone for the university’s 150th anniversary in 2024. And Rikkyo Global 24 will be the core of the plan.”

Within the strategy, four specific goals for globalization promotion are outlined. Specifically: increase the number of student studying overseas (with a target of 50 percent of students studying abroad within five years, and 100 percent within 10 years); expand acceptance of international students (with a target of 2,000 students, which is 4 times as many as present, within 10 years); improve the educational and study environment by expanding our affiliate partner institutions with a target of over 200 such universities within 10 years; and reinforcement of globalization promotion governance (increase foreign faculty to 20 percent within 10 years).

“I would like to create ‘globally minded people with specific expertise,'” Shiraishi added. This is little wonder as the university has adhered to the philosophy of “education based on Christian values” since its foundation in 1874, and has comprehensively upheld the liberal arts as its educational priority.

Adding to the university’s highly vaunted “General Curriculum,” which is taken by all students in parallel with the core curricula of each college, the university is aiming to launch a more developed “Undergraduate Integrated Curriculum” by 2016. By focusing on liberal arts, students can gain the comprehensive knowledge, culture and abilities required to survive in the global society.

Creating a place where students from all around the world gather

The university’s school-wide “Global Leadership Program” is also worth mentioning. It is a systematic educational program designed to let students acquire both the leadership and English skills global companies are looking for. Through the program, students can enhance these skills through practical classes that include problem solving in small groups.

Another outstanding aspect of the university is that it offers classes in which students can learn by being active participants, as opposed to rote learning from an inflexible curriculum.

The university is planning to cooperate and complete exchange agreements with more leading overseas universities, including St. John’s College of Cambridge University in London and the University of the South, a liberal arts school in the U.S. Not only does the university want to increase international exchange students, it is striving to invite more faculty members from universities outside of Japan for both the short- and long-term. Also, like its Master of International Business (MIB) degree program which already offers English-taught classes in every subject, the university will increase such courses and will launch a program in which students can take other degrees in English.

“I would like to develop our university as a place where students from all around the world gather. I want to make our school particularly appealing to students in Asia, with features such as our educational philosophy, study and research environment, globally competitive curriculum and our location. Through a variety of initiatives, we will strive to be ‘one of the top universities in Asia,'” Shiraishi said.

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Rikkyo University
Ikebukuro Campus: 3-34-1 Nishi-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo, 171-8501
Niiza Campus: 1-2-26 Kitano, Niiza-shi, Saitama, 352-8558

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