Dr. Eng. Tatsuro Matsumae
President of Tokai University Educational System
Modern civilization is supported by a high level of technology. During the 20th century, mankind reached new technological goals: putting men on the moon, harnessing the power of the atom, and decoding the genetic code contained in DNA. However, if we do not use this newfound knowledge wisely, mankind will be in danger. Not only do we face a food crisis, but we must also confront the problems caused by global warming as the world's population increases to a figure of over 10 billion. These problems may result in a catastrophic collapse of the global environment. Without a doubt, these problems are caused by modern society and they must be faced and solved. Let us also note that although the advances of the information technology revolution continue to transform our lives and promote the globalization of society, we still suffer from the same global problems: regional conflicts and racial and religious tensions. In addition, while there has been progress in the field of nuclear disarmament, an uncomfortably large number of nuclear warheads still exist throughout the world.
What is our mission for this era? The era during which people drew their values solely from religion or ideology is now over. We are at a turning point in history. We are entering a chaotic new century where values worldwide are diverse and complex. We must learn to appreciate those qualities valued by others and find ways to live together without posing threats to others. With this in mind, we can form new relationships between nations, between people, and between humanity and the rest of the environment. Turning to the last point, it is now very clear from recent advances in the life sciences that all life on this planet springs from one source and that homo sapiens constitutes just one among the millions of diverse species which inhabit this planet. We must reconsider our future, always reminding ourselves of this fact, and bearing in mind the diversity of life on Earth.
Turning to the other relationships mentioned earlier, we learn from history that mankind has always been subject to cycles of conflict. We also know that this conflict can be reduced, if not eliminated, by the development of better relationships between individuals and among the nations of the world. Tokai University Educational System has a vision of a new civilization where individuals and societies can live together peacefully, and our species lives in harmony with the environment. Our mission is to turn that vision into a reality.
Tokai University Chancellor
In today's age, new knowledge, information and technology are increasingly becoming the foundations of society. As a result, globalization, paradigm shifts, and technological revolutions take place at unprecedented speeds. It goes without saying that the types of individuals that are sought out by society have changed dramatically as a result.
Universities welcome a diverse range of students, and societal expectations have heightened tremendously. We are expected to educate individuals who can give back to society. Universities are being called upon to be sensitive to transformations in society, formulate a clear vision for the type of education that is required in the present, and create and implement a curriculum that is consistent with this vision. They are also expected to regularly measure the effectiveness of their curriculum and propose measures for improvement. In order to reach this goal, universities must continuously pursue opportunities for dynamic reform, inspire paradigmatic shifts in our faculty and staff and prove our ability to implement appropriate changes.
The founder of Tokai University, Dr. Shigeyoshi Matsumae upheld an educational philosophy of "instilling in the students a firm historical view, natural view, and world view through the integration of the humanities and the natural sciences." Since its founding in 1942, Tokai has been committed to imparting the importance of cultivating a broad perspective on life to its students. To carry out this task, we have placed the "Modern Civilization" course at the core of our curriculum and offer our students a wide array of classes in the "Liberal Arts" so that they have the opportunity to confront various problems facing modern civilization and to learn how different thinkers tackled difficult questions. Our interdisciplinary approach to the sciences and humanities is aimed at creating comprehensive, multi-faceted and specialized foundations upon which our students can develop their own humanities.
Tokai University has a "Student Project Center" that exists to help our students develop the ability to tackle real problems facing society and to work collaboratively toward resolutions with people outside of their departments and disciplines. By communicating with a diverse group of their peers and presenting their ideas to each other, they not only make progress on their project, but gain the skills necessary to thrive in society. Tokai University expresses these four abilities as "the ability to think independently," "the ability to connect with others," "the ability to tackle challenges," and "the ability to accomplish goals." We emphasize the importance of not be bound by existing preconceptions and conventions to our students. Further, as part of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology's "Center of Community" project, we have been strengthening our ability to serve as a pillar of the local community. The "To-Collabo Program," which was the concrete mechanism through which this relationship was fostered, officially ended last year, but we have commenced the "Public Achievement-Style Education" from this year that is designed to implement the gains made in the "To-Collabo Program" into the university's curricular reforms. We will continue to nurture the development of personnel who can work as citizen of the world to build a better future.
With regards to research, innovative research is being conducted in fields ranging from the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, engineering, medicine, oceanography, to agriculture. Through interdisciplinary collaboration, Tokai University has succeeded in producing research findings that have provided valuable information to the international community. Further, as a "Research Summit" university that takes a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach to research, we have systematically promoted collaboration among the industry-government-academia sectors and have contributed greatly to innovation in key fields. Since Tokai University's founding, we have been committed to using the "knowledge" produced at the university to give back to our communities. This is reflected in our pursuit of research activities through Industry-Academia-Government collaboration and our efforts to build new organizational structures to facilitate these activities.
Another key feature of Tokai University is our prominent international exchange programs. We have built robust academic, cultural and athletic exchange programs through a comprehensive system that provides scholarships and academic credit approval. In particular, the University's has had long-standing exchanges with institutions of the former Soviet Union, Eastern European countries and has supported the establishment of universities in Thailand. We are now working hard to build strong relationships with institutions in the Middle East and South America. Finally, last year, Tokai University was selected as one of the participating institutions in MEXT's "Re-Inventing Japan Project: Support for the Formation of Collaborative Programs with Russian and Indian Universities." Our international exchange activities with Russia have received recognition from the international community for their originality.
Tokai University commemorated its 75th anniversary in 2017. We will continue to protect our traditions but will also endeavor to nurture the development of world-class talent that can thrive in today's globalized society. We aim to always be a forward-looking university with a strong international reputation. To this end, we established the School of Cultural and Social Studies and the School of Health Studies in April 2018 as part of our broad curricular reform. From this point onward, Tokai University is committed to devoting our resources into becoming a comprehensive university that can improve peoples' QOL(=Quality of Life) as a crucial component of our mission of "education," "research," "cooperation with society" and "international cooperation."
The founder of Tokai University, Dr. Shigeyoshi Matsumae, imparted the following message to the youth who will lead the next generation: "Aim your hopes towards the stars in your early days." The primary mission and a raison d'etre of our university is to provide to its students, an educational environment in which dreams can be defined and nurtured, and students can grow as human beings as they work towards realizing their dreams.