President of Nihon University
President of Nihon University Junior College
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On September 01, 2011, I, Kichibee Otsuka, was inaugurated as the 13th President of Nihon University. Following the completion of my research at the Graduate School of Dentistry at the university, I was appointed as a member of the teaching faculty at the School of Dentistry, following which I assumed the position of Dean of the School of Dentistry and Vice President before my recent inauguration as President.
While universities across Japan are reaching a universal stage in which nearly all students who wish to pursue a university education are admitted, the social environment is witnessing unprecedented change, characterized by relentless economic globalization leading to a significant fall in the employment rate of university graduates.
Despite this, the social mission of Nihon University has remained the same. That mission is to deliver cultured and capable human resources into society. The primary issue we face today is that the required makeup of cultured and capable human resources varies from generation to generation. We are now faced with the dilemma of which policy to adopt in order to educate and send university students out into society amidst the most difficult times.
Education at universities generally follows two major themes, education in specialist subjects and education in liberal arts. With the advances in academics and increased fractionation of subjects, in recent years, more time has been allocated to education in specialist subjects, resulting in a gradual relaxation of education in liberal arts, introduced into schools as a result of reforms to the educational system in the 1940s. However, in recent years, there has been a call to reinstate the liberal arts and this is a trend that can be seen on a global scale. I believe that while education in specialist subjects is still important at the university level, it is essential to place more emphasis than ever on education in liberal arts.
I believe that a well-rounded education forms the foundation for understanding and working together with people from varied specialist backgrounds upon leaving university. This has become increasingly important in the complex society of today ,where “That’s not my field.” will never work any longer. Please acquire a magnanimous mind to grow as full-fledged members of society. Another important factor is that specialist information, knowledge and skills required by today’s society change so rapidly that the specialist knowledge students have gained at universites can soon become obsolete in a short period of time. This requires graduates to continue studying long after they have left universities in order to keep up with the advancements in their fields. A well-rounded education will also give graduates the foundation they need to stay at the top of their respective fields.
As one part of efforts to bolster education in the liberal arts, Nihon University is currently working on a curriculum, “Common General Education Program” for students attending the university regardless of which schools they belong to or which specialty fields they are engaged in. This program will include subjects to give students practical skills enabling them to read and speak the international language of English, and more importantly, proficiency in Japanese to write logically structured sentences. The ultimate objective of the program will focus on creating independence.
Nihon University has 14 colleges with 86 departments, 22 graduate schools, 11 attached and affiliated high schools, 6 attached and affiliated junior high schools and a kindergarten. Nihon University offers its students a wide variety of courses in specialty fields. Students can also benefit from the size of the school by making use of the intradepartmental credit system to experience a larger range of specialist and liberal arts subjects.
Nihon University offers full support in the difficult times for young students with an ambition to learn to equip themselves with the abilities to pursue their chosen career. I truly hope that we will establish Nihon University as an institute of learning which will always attract many leaders of the future.
September 1, 2011
President of Nihon University