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School of Interdisciplinary Science and Innovation

Innovating Together for Today and Tomorrow

Kyushu University held a press conference to announce its plans to open the University’s 12th undergraduate school, the School of Interdisciplinary Science and Innovation, in April 2018. With a capacity of 105 undergraduate students, the new school will cultivate individuals with a global outlook, capable of playing active roles in the international community. At the press conference, the University’s President Chiharu Kubo said, “The new school builds on the outcomes of Kyushu University’s 21st Century Program and the importance of the liberal arts education provided through our KIKAN Education program. I sincerely hope that it will attract applications from students with a strong desire to achieve innovation.” Senior Vice President Shun-ichi Maruno added, “It will nurture talented individuals capable of working with others from different social backgrounds to create a new society and fresh values.”
This will be the first new undergraduate school to be opened at Kyushu University for around half a century, since the June 1967 founding of the School of Dentistry. In a complex and diverse global society, it will seek to nurture talented individuals capable of creating innovation through interdisciplinary cooperation between diverse individuals, working together to develop conceptual visions and create new objects and ideas by blending differing perspectives and academic knowledge.

(The vision for the establishment of the new school is still under development, so specifics might change in due course.)

Outline of the Vision

Since the 2001 academic year, Kyushu University’s 21st Century Program has sought to develop “highly specialized generalists,” capable of creating their own learning program to “do what they want to do and learn what they want to learn,” excelling at discovering issues, framing problems, and identifying solutions. Furthermore, in the 2014 academic year, Kyushu University launched the KIKAN Education program, which teaches "ways of looking and thinking about things, and ways of learning,” thereby fostering active learners equipped with the attitude and dynamism required to resolutely take on the challenges presented by uncharted problems and unfamiliar situations, which is essential for learning throughout one's life.
Building on the expertise cultivated through the 21st Century Program and our achievements in nurturing active learners through KIKAN Education, we will establish the new School of Interdisciplinary Science and Innovation in April 2018, blending the humanities with science to develop talented individuals with problem-solving skills.

Concept

Through [Reflective] learning focused on everything from framing social issues to devising solutions, [Collaborative] learning focused on working with others to solve problems, and a range of [Experiential] learning throughout the conceptual and collaborative elements, we will aim to achieve [Interdisciplinary] innovation.

Nurturing Talent

The complex and diverse problems and challenges arising from rapid social change are difficult to address solely by building up knowledge and improving technologies. Accordingly, we need talented individuals with an interdisciplinary mindset, capable of finding ways to solve these issues based on their own awareness of the problems concerned and informed by an understanding of the social background thereof, including language, culture, religion, values, and economy.
Cutting across the existing disciplines of the humanities, social sciences, and natural science, the School of Interdisciplinary Science and Innovation will instill in students both humanities-based and scientific thinking and methodologies, using global issues and challenges such as disputes between nations or regions, and the environment and climate change as themes for learning. Through this, the new school will cultivate individuals with a global mindset, capable of identifying issues for themselves and working with others to create solutions or innovation, ultimately sending out into society people who will, in future, have the ability to play an active role both within Japan and overseas as researchers, experts, and businesspeople.

Interdisciplinary Science – 4 Key Areas

Faculty members specializing in different disciplines will provide instruction in four key areas that encompass a variety of challenges. The school will feature a flexible curriculum that gives students complete freedom to choose class subjects in areas that interest them.

Cutting across Study Areas

In all four areas,interdisciplinary subjects form the common foundations for learning and play a part in further developing conceptual visions. The subjects will include Design Thinking, a form of thinking that draws upon creative approaches , Data Science, which encompasses data processing and analysis that help in deriving new value , Global History, which will provide global viewpoints, and so on. Every subject will instill in students the knowledge and abilities that they need to deal with challenges and solve problems.

01 Humans and Life

Students will learn about such matters as the emergence and evolution of life, and human thought, cognition, and decision mechanisms through the prism of biology, cognitive science, and brain science, among others.

02 People and Society

Students will learn about such matters as language mechanisms in communication, prehistoric societies, multicultural coexistence, welfare as a life practice in societies, and religious views through the prism of sociology, cultural anthropology, and communication studies, among others.

03 States and Regions

Students will learn about such matters as national and regional history, distinctive economic and social phenomena, and political and economic relationships through the prism of political science, economics, and history, among others.

04 Earth and Environment

Students will learn about such matters as the earth’s resources, disasters caused by changes in the global environment, and the impact of life on the environment through the prism of earth and planetary sciences, social/safety system science, and basic biology, among others.

Distinctive Features

  1. A curriculum blending the humanities with science
    Cutting across the existing disciplines of the humanities, social sciences, and natural science, the curriculum will instill in students both humanities-based and scientific thinking, along with a diverse array of methodologies, and will feature learning based on practical challenges.

  2. Collaborative learning (PBL/TBL*)
    The curriculum will incorporate collaborative learning in which students discuss themes in groups and learn by working in partnership with others, thereby cultivating a broad outlook, flexible thinking, and multifaceted insight that will enable students to look at things from a variety of angles.
    * PBL: Problem-Based Learning; TBL: Team-Based Learning

  3. Classes in English tailored to student proficiency
    Classes about global and Japanese current affairs, conducted in English and tailored to each student’s English proficiency level, will be provided from their first year at the University. These will cultivate an awareness of contemporary issues and encourage students to ensure that they always obtain the latest information from a global viewpoint.

  4. Study at overseas universities, etc.
    Students will be required to spend a certain period studying at institutions with which Kyushu University has inter-university exchange agreements, or other universities or colleges overseas. Gaining first-hand experience of other countries will help to expand students’ international understanding and knowledge, and improve their language and communication skills.

  5. Sharing Classe
    Building classroom environments in which Japanese and international students study together (Sharing Classe) and promoting active interaction between students, staff and faculty members will help to develop Kyushu University as a Global Hub Campus that generates synergistic and collaborative outcomes.

Admissions

Entrants will be selected via four different kinds of admission routes, to ensure the selection of a variety of students, equipped not solely with knowledge and skills, but also the ability to think, make judgments, and express themselves, Emphasis is also placed on initiative, diversity, and the ability to work as part of a team.

Last Updated On:2017.5.23

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