Goals & Philosophy
The Challenges Faced by Japan
After the collapse of the bubble economy and the devastation of the Great Hanshin and Great East Japan earthquakes, Japan today faces a new problem: the approach of a super aged society, unprecedented anywhere in the world. In order to regain its former dynamism, Japan needs to carve out a new strategy for next-generation growth by rejuvenating its manufacturing industry through collaboration with frontier Asian markets; it needs to re-establish itself as a formidable global leader.
The system of lifetime employment, previously entrenched in Japanese corporations, has begun to unravel, and even major companies are facing insecurity. Those with real talent and drive must take it upon themselves to move into new business fields, to launch new enterprises, and thereby encourage a new period of growth by transforming the conventional structure of industry in Japan. This requires a dual approach, investing in education and training in hard resources, such as the very latest science and technology and manufacturing, and soft resources, including the protection of intellectual property rights and marketing.
Collaboration with frontier Asian markets requires the promotion and support of human rights and democratic government in those countries, which will see economies begin to grow and stabilize. Indeed, the provision of such support is the duty of Japan, as the only developed country in Asia. Educational programs must therefore be focused not only on developing outstanding young minds in Japan, but also on welcoming international students into Japanese educational and research facilities, in order to nurture a new generation of leaders who can inspire and drive growth in Japan.
This program has been designed to meet these goals, providing an environment in which Japanese and international students can work together, eventually graduating as valuable human resources equipped with both exceptional specialist skills and the ability to apply those skills in real-life situations.
Our Ideal Graduates
Until now, doctoral programs have focused on fostering professors, men and women who will go on to achieve greatness in academic fields. This program seeks instead to nurture an entirely different type of graduates, so-called ‘Ph.D. professionals’ who apply their skills and knowledge to non-academic, real-life fields.
Ph.D. professionals are men and women equipped with the ability to make positive and constructive criticism, whose wisdom allows them to take on the responsibility for resolving the many problems our society faces. They embody the ‘courageous intellectuals’ the university seeks to cultivate, as set out in our Academic Charter.
(1) ‘Core’ and ‘Spoke’ Competencies
Nagoya University has a long-standing tradition of research excellence that allows students to obtain advanced specialization in their core competencies. At the same time, students need to develop ‘spoke’, or associated, competencies, including the ability to use their core skills in international contexts alongside people from different fields and different cultures, communication skills, management skills, and autonomous problem solving skills.
By allowing students to develop ‘spoke’ competencies, the program is able to foster graduates capable of maturing into leaders in diverse fields, including business (including entrepreneurship), government agencies, media, politics, law, international organizations, NPOs, and secondary education.
(2) Leaders for Frontier Asia
Economic and cultural growth in Japan needs to be stimulated and supported. At the same time, we must also work to collaborate with the whole of Asia, reaching far beyond close neighbors such as Korea and China, in order to fulfill the role of regional leader as the world expects. This program refers to this wider region—including many countries with the potential to record strong economic growth in the near future—as ‘frontier Asia’, and includes the following areas:
- South-east Asia, including Vietnam and Cambodia
- South Asia, including India
- Central Asia, including Uzbekistan
- North Asia, including Mongolia
This program will make use of the strong and lasting links with Asian countries already in place at Nagoya University to foster excellence in Japanese and international students alike.
Leading Programs in Doctoral Education (Leading Graduate Schools)
The Leading Programs in Doctoral Education scheme provides funding from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) to establish graduate school programs specifically designed to foster excellent students who are both highly creative and internationally attuned and who will play leading roles in the academic, industrial and government sectors across the globe.
The Leading Programs in Doctoral Education scheme works to advance the establishment of university graduate schools of the highest caliber by supporting the dramatic reform of their education programs in such a way that they will institute degree programs recognized as top quality around the world. Programs must bring top-ranking faculty and students together from both in and outside Japan and enlists participation from industrial, academic and government sectors in its planning and execution, while creating continuity between master’s and doctoral programs and implementing curricula that overarches fields of specialization. They should also work to advance the establishment of university graduate schools of the highest caliber by supporting the dramatic reform of educational systems in order to institute a degree program that will be recognized as top quality around the world.
Programs selected for funding under this scheme must meet the following criteria:
(1) establish a challenging and attractive research and education environment in which leading Japanese and international faculty from diverse sectors provide intimate research guidance to outstanding students from Japan and overseas. Within this environment, students should be encouraged to reach beyond conventional disciplinary boundaries while enhancing their skills through a spirit of friendly rivalry, and to carry out independent and creative research.
(2) provide practical research training based on real-world problems, in order to ensure that graduates are able to play a role as leaders in industry, academia and government. Research projects should involve involving industry, academia and government from the planning stage, should be strongly global in outlook, and should provide opportunities for practical learning.
To foster excellent students who are both highly creative and internationally attuned and who will play leading roles in the academic, industrial and governmental sectors across the globe, the program brings top-ranking faculty and students together from both in and outside Japan and enlists participation from other sectors in its planning and execution, while creating continuity between master’s and doctoral programs and implementing curricula that overarches fields of specialization.
This program has been selected in the ‘all around’ category, aimed at fostering top leaders who can play active roles in the governmental, nonprofit, industrial and academic sectors and can be a driving force within global society, degree programs are developed that integrate such fields as the humanities, social sciences, life sciences, physical sciences and engineering.
- Leading Programs in Doctoral Education: Japan Society for the Promotion of Science