To Parents or Guardians of Students of Waseda University

To Parents or Guardians of Students of Waseda University

Thu, Apr 16, 2020
To Parents or Guardians of Students of Waseda University

※The campus closure period and remote work/research of faculty and staff have been reextended to May 31.

April 14, 2020

On behalf of Waseda University, I would like to explain what we faculty and staff of Waseda University are doing to ensure that your children receive the highest-quality education this spring in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

We have decided to postpone the beginning of classes, and also to move all courses online.  The reason for these changes is twofold.  Firstly, needless to say, it is vitally important to protect the life and health of our students.  Secondly, the Japanese Government declared on April 7 a State of Emergency for 7 prefectures, including Tokyo, Saitama, and Fukuoka, in which Waseda University has campuses; in addition, on April 10 the Governor of Tokyo requested that universities as well as many other organizations close from April 11. Waseda University is determined, nevertheless, to provide our students with an effective education in these straitened circumstances.

Please know that Waseda University has three important missions.  Firstly, we will protect the life and health of our students as well as those of our faculty members and staff to the extent possible.  Secondly, we are committed to providing students with an excellent education.  Thirdly, we will continue to conduct our research and scholarly work even under difficult conditions.  The fruit of our research is reflected in our teaching, so that students receive the best education from active scholars.  In order to fulfill these missions, unusually concerned with that of student health and safety in these extraordinary times, we have decided on the basis of intensive deliberation, and weighing all the options, to proceed as follows:

  1. Waseda University will move all courses online in the spring semester or the spring-summer quarters in 2020.
  2. Waseda University will start classes from May 11, 2020, in every case possible.
  3. Waseda University’s campuses will remain closed from April 8 to May 6.

Because of these policies, our students who are now outside Japan or outside campus areas will be able to attend online classes via internet and take courses for credit in that way.  While the period of a semester or two quarters this spring will be shorter than in a normal year, we will make sure to cover necessary materials and to achieve the planned goals for each course.  Even under these difficult circumstances, our students can earn credit hours no less than in other semesters or two quarters.

We are fortunate that Waseda University for the past several years has been developing new teaching methods with interactive communications based on advanced internet technology, alongside pedagogical advances in face-to-face teaching.  Given our investments in online teaching, we are capable of conducting real-time lectures and virtual seminars with remote audiences, and can deliver videos of lectures to students who are unable to join the class remotely at the prescribed time.  We have invested in a new Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology (CTLT), which provides faculty and students technical and pedagogical support for the online teaching process. Following a year of investment and preparation, the CTLT is now fully staffed and operational, and we are proud to be able to offer students the very best experience possible with remote learning.

University education is far richer when students and faculty meet and discuss intellectual issues face to face, and when various new facilities, new educational systems, information systems and management systems work in concert.  The coronavirus pandemic robs us of the opportunity of in-person contact for the time being.  However, we are confident that the investments we have made in online technology will allow our skilled and committed faculty to carry out our teaching mission at the highest level.

We hope that you understand our determination, our policies, and our effort to educate our students, and we greatly appreciate your cooperation and support.

In addition to continuing our teaching mission, we are ready to support students who are facing financial difficulties to pay tuition or to sustain their lives.  Waseda University has many scholarships and other systems to support those students.  Please do not hesitate to contact her/his school/graduate school if she/he needs to consult or has questions.

Best regards,

Aiji Tanaka, President, Waseda University

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