Asian Kyoto University
College Description (College Ranking near bottom of listing)
Since its foundation in 1897, Kyoto University has worked to cultivate academic freedom under a spirit of self-reliance and self-respect, and to open up new horizons in creative scholarly endeavor. The university has also sought to contribute to peaceful coexistence across the global community.
Our world is currently experiencing a number of rapid changes that would have been unimaginable in the 20th century. The global conflict structure, which was expected to be resolved with the end of the Cold War, is actually growing in both complexity and intensity as a result of ethnic and religious tensions. At the same time, the pace of global environmental degradation accelerates, unprecedented major disasters and deadly infectious diseases wreak havoc across the world, and financial crises shake both national economies and individual lives to the very core. Universities need to think seriously about what they stand for in these turbulent times. Meanwhile, the Japanese government is working with universities and industry to promote the cultivation of global human capital, and calling on universities to implement reforms designed to raise their competitiveness internationally. Kyoto University now needs to identify how best to respond to the demands of government and wider society while remaining true to its founding spirit.
The three core missions of a university are education, research, and social contribution. Two of these, research and social contribution, are apt to change in response to global trends. Education, however, has an essential nature that is unchangeable. In line with its commitment to independent learning, Kyoto University must maintain its position as a bastion of academic freedom, slightly detached from general society and unconstrained by convention. In order to do so, the university must be a place where academic endeavor can proceed undisturbed, while also providing windows into the world and society. These windows can be opened by faculty members equipped with cutting-edge knowledge of the world and society that lies beyond, but the most important role in our university is played by students who venture outside the windows. We must work carefully with partners in industry and government to provide windows that allow students to make the best practical use of abilities they have developed at the university.
Yoshida-honmachi, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8501 Japan