Dean, Graduate School of Social Sciences, Osamu Soda
The Graduate School of Social Sciences established its Master’s program in 1994 and then its Doctorate program in 1996. With the creation of the Graduate School of Social Sciences, it was then integrated into the School of Social Sciences which was established in 1966.
Then in March 2016, the Institute for Advanced Social Sciences was created and the Faculty of Social Sciences that exists today consists of the following three different schools and institutes: the School of Social Sciences, the Graduate School of Social Sciences and the Institute for Advanced Social Sciences. These three departments are united by the shared goal of being an institution advocates the research and learning of “comprehensive social sciences.”
As was mentioned above, the Faculty of Social Sciences aims to be a faculty of “comprehensive social sciences” through the 3 principles of “interdisciplinary,” “practical,” and “international” education. In order to address complicated contemporary societal issues, we must combine and use knowledge from multiple disciplines such as humanities, natural sciences, information sciences while using the social sciences as a focal point. This is how we emphasize an “Interdisciplinary” approach to education.
Then by keeping with the “practical” approach to education, we emphasize a learning experience where students can apply both the basic and applied sciences. Having students derive knowledge and methodology from societal issues first hand is important so in order to promote such an educational approach, students are given opportunities to go on site to collect and analyze information from actually occurring events.
The flow of knowledge and people across national borders has become the trend of our time and as such we warmly welcome students and researchers from Asia and all over the world into our University. Then in turn we send these Waseda students and researchers into the world in order to give them a multicultural and multilingual learning environment. I believe it is the mission of the university to develop and promote such educational and research activities, and in response to the demands of the current era, I aim to continue to promote the “internationalization” of education and research.
In 2018, the Graduate School of Social Science has undergone a reform which involved the integration of its majors. The Graduate School of Social Sciences now consists of 2 majors: Major in Global Society and Major in Policy Science and within each major contains various research areas. Until now we had 11 research areas and now we have integrated them into only 5. The integration of the research areas into 5 can be seen as natural as one of the principles of our School is “interdisciplinary” education. By integrating the research areas, this will make the transition from individual-based research guidance to group-based research guidance seamless and I expect will lead to an improvement in the quality of research guidance.
The Graduate School of Social Sciences currently provides day and night courses for a fixed number of students who work full-time. The School of Social Science, which can been called the Graduate School of Social Sciences’ parent institution, first started as a night school. The School of Social Sciences has a history of accepting many full-time workers as students and that history has been carried on by the Graduate School of Social Sciences and continues today. For full-time workers who have real experiences in policy making, organization development, and regional development entering the Graduate School of Social Sciences is a chance for them to further deepen their knowledge. The presence of such classmates will serve as inspiration to those young graduate students who have yet to enter society and in turn increase the effectiveness of their education.
In conclusion, the Graduate School of Social Sciences will conduct research and educational activities based on the 3 principles (“interdisciplinary,” “practical,” and “international”) while maintaining its own original style. By creating such an environment, we strive to develop professionals with a high degree of practical and specialized knowledge and rich international experience.