“A school is not a place for teaching. It is an instrument for supporting individual growth without hindering the flowering of innate talents.” (Bunmei Kyoiku-ron, Yukichi Fukuzawa). In an age of transformation, not only do we need to acquire knowledge, but also the ability to break through and rise above unexpected challenges. To become a global leader with the spirit of independence and self-respect in a century marked by dramatic changes, one needs to have the insight to discern the true nature of an unrecognized problem; creativity to generate solutions; communication skills to understand different cultures, correctly convey the history and culture of your own country, and overcome differences; and universal moral values that transcend ethnicity and religion.
To foster such individuals, a knowledge acquisition approach to learning is insufficient. There is a need to unlock and maximize the potential of each student by providing a diverse learning environment and education within and outside Japan. In recent years, Keio University’s undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as its affiliated schools, have undertaken various initiatives to develop distinctive international programs, such as expanding the study abroad system, promoting double degree programs, and implementing Japan’s first double diploma program at the high school level. Furthermore, with the goal of attracting a wide range of talented students from within Japan, the university has established the Keio University Gakumon no Susume Scholarship for students living outside the greater Tokyo area and has also implemented new test-optional admissions policies which evaluate communication skills and the ability to think. At the same time, the university has built a framework consisting of the three initiatives of Longevity, Security, and Creativity in which the wide-ranging distinctive research carried out at the university is integrated and into which capital and human resources are injected; and a new hospital building is under construction at Shinanomachi Campus—a facility befitting a global hub for world-class, cutting-edge medicine and research.
Diverse students pursuing a diverse range of learning in a free and uninhibited atmosphere—this is how global leaders with the spirit of independence and self-respect are fostered. One person alone cannot implement successful university reform. The entire community of Keio must think independently, while the headquarters supports the autonomous efforts of the individual departments and acts as a powerful facilitator to solve university-wide issues. I believe the spirt of “national independence through personal independence” also applies to university reform.
Professor Akira Haseyama
President, Keio University