In response to both internal and external requests expressing a need for educational philosophies to be communicated in an easily understood way, the School of Social Sciences announced the following three policies in accordance with the decision made at the Committee of Senior Deans in 2007.
Based on a systematic curriculum, whole-school educational and student environments, making use of the diversity and creativity of Waseda University, we will foster exchanges of diverse scholarship, culture, language and values, and nurture individuals who can actively contribute to a global society.
Possessing a broad range of specialist academic staff ranging from social science to humanities and the natural sciences, the School of Social Sciences will foster specialists versed in various fields such as lawyers who understand economics, welfare specialists who also possess management skills, accountants who promote arts and culture, and local government employees who understand local history. At the same time, we will cultivate pluralistic and multiple insights into social phenomena as well as an understanding of various values by training generalists who will use these things to help with making discoveries with social problems and how to deal with them.
Students of the School of Social Sciences will learn the specialist essence of social science and determine their own direction and specialist field during the first two years. From the end of their second year, centering on over sixty different seminars, students will conduct clinical and practical research, and acquire well-rounded and broad specialist knowledge.
Waseda University is based on the educational philosophy of “Independence of Learning”. At Waseda, students who constantly possess high fundamental academic skills, have a hearty intellectual curiosity, are rich in our school’s philosophy of “enterprising spirit”, and have a strong desire to pursue knowledge will be welcomed by not only our country, but also the world.
Based on this policy, the School of Social Sciences uses the general entrance examination to evaluate applicants’ attitudes to further deepen their knowledge and interest obtained from textbooks, the center examination to test the extensive fundamental knowledge learned in high school. Also, ahead of any other Universities in the country we have introduced a nationwide self-nominating exam that places an importance in evaluating activities conducted while at high school rather than one’s skills at studying for exams. We try to accept at least one applicant from each prefecture in Japan. Furthermore, while further advancing our cooperation with affiliated high schools and universities, in recent years the number of international students at our university has increased due to our implementation of international student entrance exams, recommendations from designated overseas schools, and the Transnational and Interdisciplinary Studies in Social Innovation Program, aka TAISI. At the same time, we strive to be the most Waseda-like School with a diverse range of students motivating and influencing one another.
The aim of the Transnational and Interdisciplinary Studies in Social Innovation (TAISI) program is to create “Social Innovators” and to train students to become leaders for social change. As the world continues to globalize and advance, it has become increasingly important that as citizens of the world, students need to not only approach global issues from an international perspective, but also discover and implement more effective, sustainable, and fair solutions to these issues.
In order to create such “Social Innovators,” students in the TAISI program will not only gain general knowledge in the social sciences, but also practical and specialized knowledge through fieldwork and theoretical courses in the following four fields: Peace Building and International Cooperation, Community and Social Development, Social Organizations and Working, and Economic and Environmental Sustainability. After completing their studies with us, we believe that our students will be equipped with the tools to make contributions to society.
The current challenges facing human societies and the global environment are unknown to us; to respond to these global issues we must gather together the wisdom of mankind. The enormous growth achieved by postwar Japan has long been known as the “Japan Model”, but this success did not come out easily. The practical knowledge that contemporary Japan has accumulated is the result of repeated failures and successes. If the culmination of this knowledge can be called the “Japan Model”, let us say it is the mission of our generation to research this model in a multidisciplinary way and summarize it as common heritage for mankind.
Moreover, one of the important pillars of this program is to use a multicultural creative approach for the device of solutions by studying about human issues that contemporary Japan has been at the forefront in facing.
This program differs from the conventional approaches utilized in the humanities. Based on Asia, it emphasizes the new element of social sciences in the research of Japanese Studies by constructing a methodology that allows us to cope with complex global problems.
In building this original learning system, we foster young professionals well-versed in the Japanese society, with a broad cultural formation much needed in the age of internationalization and excellent communication skills that enable them to succeed globally.
Emphasis on a practical approach to the Social Sciences via Practicum courses
Students will gain hands-on, practical experience in the field of their choosing through our Program’s Practicum course. By allowing students to engage with the local community and its social issues first hand, students will have the opportunity to apply the theory and solutions that they studied and developed in the classroom. Having close contact with society and its problems is an important asset for future Social Innovators.
Students build general competence in Social Innovation as well as specialize in one of the four fields
Through our curriculum, students will gain fundamental (“Foundations in Social Sciences”) and interdisciplinary (“Interdisciplinary Studies in Social Innovation”) knowledge in the Social Sciences and Social Innovation. In “Foundations in Social Sciences,” students take introductory courses in Economics, Politics, Humanities, History, Marketing, and Law. While in “Interdisciplinary Studies in Social Innovation,” students choose one of the four fields to specialize in: Peace Building and International Cooperation, Community and Social Development, Social Organization and Working, and Economic and Environmental Sustainability.
Investigating Social Issues through the Japanese perspective
In this program, students will learn about contemporary Japanese society and look at domestic and international events from the Japanese perspective. Using this knowledge and the practical experiences gained through fieldwork, we hope to create graduates who can take the comprehensive and interdisciplinary knowledge they gained and redefine it in the international context.