Transforming the University of Tsukuba into a 21 century showpiece for multicultural education
In September 2014, the University of Tsukuba was selected as one of 13 Type A universities in the Japanese government’s Top Global University Project, a high profile scheme designed to help the elite core of Japanese universities compete with the best institutions around the world.
The University of Tsukuba already had a very international perspective. This year, roughly 3000 international students are studying at the university, representing almost 13 per cent of its total student population ? the highest level of any Japanese comprehensive national university. During the course of the ten-year Top Global University Project, the university aims to push this global outlook even further, with plans to increase the number of overseas students to more than 5000.
The University of Tsukuba sees the Top Global University Project as an opportunity to evolve from being an institution that is already open to the world, to a truly trans-border university that has the capacity to help form the shape of a brighter future.
The wide-ranging program of cutting-edge undergraduate and postgraduate courses taught entirely in English that the University of Tsukuba has already developed, and is continuing to develop, is testament to the institution’s global ambitions.
Other significant developments are also underway to strengthen links with a range of other universities around the world. One of these is Tsukuba’s Campus-in-Campus initiative that will allow its students direct access to the facilities, staff and curricula at partner institutions throughout the world. Institutions that will be part of this program include the University of California Irvine, in the United States; the University of Bordeaux, in France; and the National Taiwan University.
The Campus-in-Campus initiative and other programs mean the University of Tsukuba now receives applications from more than 30 different countries for its English language programs.
Studying in Tsukuba is an overwhelmingly positive experience. Welcome to Tsukuba.
Global opportunity - The University of Tsukuba’s international outlook has made it a university of choice among students from all over the world.
There are multiple reasons why students come from around the world to study at the University of Tsukuba
The university’s high-ranking status is indicated by its recent inclusion on the Japanese Government’s list of Top Global Universities Type A ? a list of world-class universities the government considers have the potential to be in the top 100 in world university rankings. Then there’s the university’s broad range of strengths, exemplified by the three Nobel Prizes and many Olympic medals boasted by the faculty at this institution which includes sports science among its research strengths.
We are among one of the very few universities with Nobel Laureates and Olympic gold medallists among our alumni and faculty and that puts us in a very special position. Such recognition underpins broader campus support for a balanced life that equally values sport, intellectual pursuits and art.
The history and evolution of the University of Tsukuba add to its lustre. It has the best of both old and new. Tsukuba is Japan’s youngest comprehensive national university, having been established in 1973. But its original predecessor, Tokyo Higher Normal School, founded in 1872, was one of Japan’s first institutions of higher education. We have an old tradition but also new innovative energy.
Many international students also appreciate the university’s location in the heart of the famed Tsukuba Science City, a planned research and education community that boasts dozens of leading research institutes. The hustle and bustle of Tokyo is just over 35 miles to the south and it’s less than two hours by bus to Narita International Airport.
It’s comparable to the distance of New York to Princeton University or London to Oxford or Cambridge Universities. Another strength of the university is its reputation for a multidisciplinary approach to research and education, which encourages study and problem-solving across traditional subject area boundaries. Many international students will also benefit from new Global Entrance Examinations offered by the university, which cater specifically for students who hold an International Baccalaureate degree. A flexible semester system makes life easier for international students. In 2013, the university shifted to an approach that encompasses six modules; three per semester, each lasting about five weeks. This means international students can match their study schedules with their home institutions or partner universities.
Generous on-campus accommodation is also extremely appealing. The university has 4200 rooms available for students and these are the largest dorms in Japan. No other university in Japan provides such large-scale student housing. So international students can come here and get an affordable room with ease.
While academic excellence and home comforts are important for students at the University of Tsukuba, for many students there were also less tangible benefits that only became clear once they had arrived. They have been pleasantly surprised by the stimulating academic atmosphere and natural beauty of the campus ? not to forget the friendships forged with people from all over the world. Welcome to Tsukuba.
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