In “Waseda Vision 150,” we interpret the mission of Waseda University as encompassing the principles described below, making them the focal point of the development of our educational and research systems as we approach the 150th anniversary of the university’s founding.
The cornerstone of the independence of scholarship is having a critical mind that is free from all constraints and focused on the nature of reality. Waseda University aims to contribute to the creation and development of scholarship by conducting research in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences—as well as any fields that integrate these disciplines—in an environment where students and faculty members can interact independently and freely and by disseminating the outcomes to the world.
Academic research can be further developed by reaching beyond its boundaries and paving the way for its application in culture, society, and industry. In addition to conducting education and research at the undergraduate and graduate levels, Waseda University strives to enhance professional education and lifelong education and to pioneer a new era by promoting greater interaction between theoretical studies and the practical application of theories supported by such studies.
The most significant achievement of university education is the students that the universities send out into society. Waseda University aims to educate global citizens with sufficient knowledge, moral character, and courage—as well as physical strength and flexible sensitivity—to be able to overcome any challenge, no matter how difficult and no matter where they are in the world, through their own will and in cooperation with those around them.
[Column: Fostering of Good Citizens]
The following are remarks made by Shigenobu Okuma, the founder of Waseda University, who was speaking about what constitutes the mission of the university—i.e., the fostering of good citizens—at a ceremony commemorating the 30th anniversary of the university’s founding. At Waseda University today, taking to heart the intention of Okuma, who said, “…nor shall it be about one nation. You shall have the ambition to willingly contribute to the world,” we take “the nation’s people” to mean “global citizens” and strive to educate, regardless of their nationality, students who are willing to contribute to the world.
“Not a great number of people learn at university. Rather they are a few among many of the people of a nation. Those few people who have received higher education shall become the model of the people. They constitute the core of the people. Here lies the entire force of the people that enables the nation’s sound development, thereby serving at the forefront of civilized projects. Furthermore, having knowledge is not enough to be the model of the people. You must also nurture moral character. Thus, this shall not be about you and your family alone nor shall it be about one nation. You shall have the ambition to willingly contribute to the world.”
“Education has its roots in the cultivation of character. Those who fail to keep this in mind and become too obsessed with the mere acquisition of technical knowledge will grow to be self-serving. This leads to the natural and gradual decline of the spirit of sacrifice for devoting yourself willingly to the nation and the world. This is to be feared. This harms civilization. It is the responsibility of model citizens that they avoid such harms and work in the interest of the people. This is the essence that must serve as the very foundation of the mission of Waseda University. Here lies the root of the model citizen’s idea of self, to be developed for the sake of the nation and society. We must make efforts eternally in order to realize this ideal.”
Source: Waseda Gakuhou, No. 225. November 1913. Page 9
The Mission of Waseda University
Waseda University holds as its founding principles the preservation of the independence of scholarship, the promotion of the practical application of scholarship, and the fostering of good citizens.
Holding the independence of scholarship as a central principle, Waseda University pledges to contribute to the scholarship of the world by regarding freedom of research as essential and devoting itself constantly to original research.
Holding the practical application of scholarship as a central principle, Waseda University pledges to contribute to the progress of the times by establishing a path for the practical use of scholarship as well as pursuing theoretical research for its own sake.
Holding the fostering of good citizens as a central principle, Waseda University pledges to cultivate people of character who can respect individuality, develop themselves and their families, benefit the nation and society, and be active in the world at large.
Approach to Reform
- The entire faculty, staff, student body, and alumni shall agree on objectives and promote reforms actively on their own initiative, while respecting diversity and individuality and leveraging the strengths of Waseda University.
- Shifting away from the conventional idea of equality that only concerns formality, faculty, staff, and projects that are encouraged under the principles of selection, concentration, and appropriate competition shall be highly evaluated.
- Reforms shall be promoted in such a manner that does not impose a burden on the university’s fiscal situation as we implement new projects in an effort to utilize resources effectively, breaking down the barriers between departments and those dividing undergraduate and graduate schools.