Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Ritsumeikan University - Japan

A number of public issues have emerged from instability in the political, administrative and economic structures which have traditionally supported society. In this era, there is a need for human resources who are capable of dealing with public issues based on an accurate understanding of the issue in question, and have been trained to think, evaluate, judge and act with a sense of personal responsibility.
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Since its foundation as the Kyoto School of Law and Politics, RU has more than 100 years of tradition and a history of tailoring education in response to society’s human resource needs. The Graduate School of Public Policy was established to foster human resources who can think, evaluate, judge and act to tackle public issues in the tradition of the Kyoto School of Law and Politics.

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Since its founding in 1950, the Ritsumeikan University Graduate School of Law has produced researchers who excel in their field. In recent years the school has been putting its energy into educating high-level legal professionals. With the building of a new law school, new internship programs, and other exciting developments the Graduate School of Law is working together with society as we enter the 21st century.

Researcher Training
The Research Course trains researchers to be adaptable in the next generation, and encourages them on to doctoral studies. In the constantly changing academic atmosphere of Law and Political Science, the school aims to produce independent researchers with a wide base of research prowess who are able to carry out research tasks on an international scale. This course engages in systematic education and training to develop research capabilities, and promotes further education and branching out into other fields.

The Practical Law Course uses the basics learned in undergraduate study and examines cases objectively, exploring possible applications of legal code, in a structured approach to acquiring understanding and familiarity with legal theory, in preparation for the National Bar Examination.
The Law and Politics course trains professionals and International Law specialists well-versed in various technical functions related to industrial and civil-service fields, internationalization and computerization. Continuing education is also offered for working people.

The Graduate School of Sociology was established in 1972 to provide a varied approach to advanced studies in applied sociology for students interested in pursuing academic careers as well as those interested in careers in research institutes, business, mass media, and the public sector. Courses are divided into three major subject areas: contemporary society; humanity and culture; and human development and social services. The program is designed tp provide a theoretical understanding and analysis of contemporary social issues.

In 1991, a two-year M.A. evening program was established for working people to pursue advanced research in sociology. In 2000, enrollment was expanded to accommodate 60 students each year in the master's program and 15 in the three-year doctoral program. Study at this level is based largely on fieldwork, where students choose research themes that have a direct impact on contemporary social issues.

Note: For detailed information on the Graduate School of International Relations, please visit their English-language homepage:

The Graduate School of International Relations has developed a flexible and interdisciplinary curriculum to approach the problems facing international society from a variety of perspectives through our “3 plus 1” programs.

Global Governance Program

Globalization has generated a crisis in the governance capabilities of nation-states. This program focuses on how international society should tackle emerging challenges that a nation-state is incapable of handling by itself, including ethnic and religious conflicts, international crimes such as terrorism and human and drug trafficking, environmental degradation and the spread of infectious diseases.

International Cooperation and Development Program

The economic disparity between rich “North” and poor “South” countries is widening. There is a pressing need for solutions to problems arising from the “North-South” divide and for the establishment of a new international economic system. Students in this program study the political and social background of these problems as well as policies aimed at sustainable development and poverty reduction.

Multicultural Understanding Program

The world is becoming more unified with the rapid progress of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). This program examines the impact that the unification of the world through globalization has on cultures and identities of individual countries and societies.

Global Cooperation Program

This program enables students to participate in English-language discussions with fellow students from all over the world. It also seeks to promote networking while training young leaders who will play leading roles in the field of global cooperation. On this unique Master’s program, all subjects are taught in English, and courses have been designed to meet international graduate school education standards.

Amidst increasingly complex applications of policy issues, irregular political actors, and fading borders, the Graduate School of Policy Science aims to deepen the understanding of today’s policy problems, thereby improving practical problem-solving capabilities.

A New Type of Research Training: “Research Projects”
The Graduate School provides many opportunities to do joint research projects with several faculty members. These projects are based on such themes as corporate activities, education, welfare, environmental protection, information technology, internationalization, and urban planning, and may also involve collaboration with industry, government bodies, aid organizations, and international research organizations. The applied research instruction style of the Graduate School of Policy Science involves participating in collaborative research, gathering research materials, learning new research techniques, gaining experience and knowledge, and seeking higher standards of research.

Common Lectures to Support Research Projects
The school holds lectures to ensure the acquisition of foundational ideas, theories, and information that may not be dealt with in one’s research project. Above and beyond offering opportunities to objectively examine certain research, these lectures promote the acquisition of skills for approaching other various policy issues. Topics such as policy processes, analysis, and design are covered. Furthermore, these lectures help to develop the intuition to correctly assess social situations in real time.

With over 50 years of experience, this school has been conducting both specialized and comprehensive research in a range of humanities fields. The Graduate School of Letters aims to educate researchers who stand at the forefront of the academic world, able to competently navigate a number of different fields.

The master’s program includes majors in Philosophy, Psychology, Japanese Literature, Eastern Thought, English Literature, History (Japanese, Eastern, Western), and Geography, as well as the Institute for Human Science (language, formative culture, regional culture). Students receive individual instruction regarding their chosen theme in addition to lectures in their field of study.

The doctoral program includes the Institute for Human Science, and such majors as Western Philosophy, Psychology, Japanese Literature, Eastern Thought and Literature, English Literature, History, and Geography.

Since its founding, the Graduate School of Letters has been accepting students from different universities and the workforce, and welcomes those with inquiring minds and a sense of social awareness.

In the 21st century, human support services will become even more important in fields including medical services, welfare, health, child raising, child care, family relations, education, and psychology. In both public and private sectors, NPOs and NGOs have begun to cooperate with each other to offer support services, and new qualifications are being introduced for official recognition by specialists. Due to this, there is a growing demand for research on the organizational processes of human service providers at large in terms of management, consultation, and assessment. The Graduate School of Science for Human Services offers a curriculum that emphasizes case studies and wisdom gained through clinical work to teach not only the theories and methodologies of support service but also the issue of "support to the supporters," and the processes of constructing a support system. In this way, the school trains professionals who have the capacity to play a leading role in various fields of human support.

The curriculum of the Graduate School of Science for Human Services is designed to produce professionals who can contribute to the development of human support activities, and is based on the following concepts:

First, the curriculum is aimed at establishing and pursuing the principle of applied human science, a discipline that will become increasingly important in the 21st century as the need for human support services grows. More specifically, the curriculum makes it possible for students, through the social sciences, to understand the macroscopic development of human support services. At the same time, it sheds light on the microscopic nature of direct and indirect human support services through practical work (personal fulfillment) in association with quality of life (QOL) and a human science approach.

Second, the development of professionals who have an outstanding ability to sympathize with and understand others is emphasized. Therefore, the curriculum focuses on the effective integration of a macroscopic, social-science viewpoint with the techniques of human support services.

The Graduate School of Language Education & Information Science is a professional school that combines the study of language instruction, linguistics and communications studies. The school was established in April of 2003 and provides high level training for future Japanese and English language instructors who plan to teach at home or abroad.

Language Education Course
The English Education Program gives students practical training and develops their communication skills. Teaming up with the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, the program offers students the chance to receive TESOL qualification.

For working professionals, the program offers evening and weekend classes in a special two-year program. Furthermore, the Distance Education system allows you to take classes in realtime at our locations in Osaka (Yodoyabashi), Kyoto, and Shiga.

The Japanese Education Program trains future Japanese language teachers through both lecture and practicum the skills they need to be prepared in both a Japanese and international classroom.

Language Information Course
Building on theoretical linguistic skills and emphasizing sociolinguistic fieldwork and computer-aided corpus linguistics, this course trains researchers to investigate current topics in language learning and Information Technology and Communication (ITC).

The twentieth century was a time of vast scientific advancement and progress, and simultaneously a time of conflict and starvation. As the segmentation of scholarship progressed we began to lose sight of the big picture. Ritsumeikan University has developed the Graduate School of CoreEthics and Frontier Sciences to conduct integrated research, to work with researchers and planners on the frontlines across a number of disciplines in seeking solutions to universal problems. CoreEthics is based on four central themes: Publicness, Life, Socio-cultural Symbiosis, and Representation.

Diverse projects interwoven into a new graduate education
12 full-time faculty members use project-based research to help students step beyond conventional academic disciplines.

During their first and second years students take part in project seminars as sub-members, while developing the basic skills needed for research work. At the end of year two students focus on a preparatory doctoral thesis from which the student then advances becoming a formal joint researcher. The student then assumes a central role in project management, and can participate in symposiums and give presentations outside of the classroom.

Support courses for practical research skills
These are seminars developed to give the next generation the practical skills they need to conduct research and present results. The courses develop skills in using IT equipment, academic writing in Japanese and English, and management skills for organizing research activities.

The Graduate School of Economics offers a cutting-edge multimedia environment to educate and train future business leaders and economists for the new century. The "Cyber Dealing Room," a facility that opened in 1999 with computers that simulate investment action and financial markets, offers students valuable preparatory experience. Students in the two-year master's degree program can choose from five research programs including public finance and tax programs. Graduates of other programs gain employment in various professions, whether as public servants, teachers, researchers for private institutes, licensed tax accountants or certified public accountants. The completion of three additional years of theoretical and practical studies leads to a doctorate and the opportunity to teach at the university level, or alternatively, take on other high-level responsibilities in our global society. In September 2002, the Master's Program in Economic Development (MPED) was established to give international students the chance to earn their MA in Economics in an English-language environment.

The Graduate School of Business Administration challenges the new generation of business leaders, merging economics, science and engineering while being attentive to industrial-governmental-academic relations. The School is training 21st century entrepreneurs through the newly founded Professional Course.

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Acquiring Skills through Simulation and Case Study
The master's Professional Course curriculum is designed to foster basic skills through core courses (marketing, finance, management, etc.), continuing on to the Career Intensive Program (entrepreneur , marketing, international business administration, personnel affairs, accounting). Classes are held using practical educational strategies such as case studies, simulations, and group projects.

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Individuality and Network-building
Networking is integral to business, and a sense of identity is essential for networking. The Graduate School of Business Administration puts an emphasis on individuality, and career development. Out of 60 graduates in the year 2002, over half were over the age of 25, 40 percent were women, 30 percent just began their Business Administration studies, and 20 percent were international exchange students.

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