As globalization of our society continues to gain momentum, critical global issues such as the environment and energy, poverty, and regional conflicts continue to cast a shadow on human society’s future. In order to achieve real peace and happiness throughout the world, universities must become leading forces in rebuilding our system of values, spurring new and original advances in science and technology, and establishing new societal systems. Universities should, therefore, nurture human resources with specialized skills and leadership capability who will lead the next-generation’s society. To meet these demands of society and to firmly establish Waseda as Asia’s leading university, we have formulated and presented to society a new long-term strategic plan, the “Waseda Vision 150,” and have begun implementing the concrete activities included in the plan.
In “Waseda Vision 150,” we describe the ideal university we aspire to become by our 150th anniversary in 2032, and present 13 Core Strategies as well as specific Projects toward the realization of the vision. In the field of academic research, our goal is to become a world-class “International Research University.” One of our strengths as a university ‒ our integration of knowledge in diverse disciplines ‒ will be leveraged to pursue innovative and original research linked to solving society’s complex set of issues. Moreover, the fruits of our research will be transferred to society based on a systematic strategy. We envision, in 2032, the Waseda University that promotes “research that will contribute to real world peace and happiness in human society” and that leads the world in creating a better society and brighter future. We have already started the steps to turn this vision into reality.
“Waseda Vision 150”:mid-to-long term strategic plan to mark the 150th-year anniversary of the University’s establishment. Waseda has proclaimed its research vision for 2032 as research that will ultimately contribute to real world peace and happiness in human society. The University’s original research aims to broaden and organize the knowledge of human society and contribute to resolving global issues in relation to the environment, poverty, disasters, and conflicts. In order to realize this, Waseda will carry out specific projects mainly under three Core Strategies.
Waseda has been working on renewing the structure of its research council and promoting exchanges between researchers outside the faculty framework, as well as developing key research to be strategically implemented. Furthermore, it is also one step ahead of other universities in Japan by being the first to set up a Center for Research Strategy staffed with dedicated research management staff (URA: University Research Administrator). The Center conducts surveys and studies on the academic research activities of researchers and their relevant domestic and international research trends, using the acquired data to analyze and assess the University’s research capabilities and propose recommended research strategies and achievable research policies. Through these initiatives, the Center for Research Strategy has been actively working to enhance the research capabilities of Waseda.
So as to develop the University as an internationally acclaimed research center that can make its research vision a reality, the “Waseda Vision 150” will focus on reviewing and strengthening the research support network and system and facilitating the promotion of young researchers, as well as preparing research organizations and structures and also promoting international collaborative studies. At the same time, the University will take on the challenge of developing new research fields that can also contribute to the reform of society, and continue its efforts to be a university that can help to create an even brighter future.
Waseda University has been selected for the “Program for Promoting the Enhancement of Research Universities” run by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), as a university that conducts outstanding world-class research with promising global findings and which endeavors to enhance its internationally-supported research system and environment.
Waseda has positioned this Program as a key driving force of the “Waseda Vision 150” initiatives, and has set up the “Research Enhancement Head Office” with the president of the program promotion parent organization as the manager. The Research Enhancement Head Office has formulated three basic policies for enhancing research capabilities based on the “Waseda Vision 150,” which will help to shape Waseda as a research organization that can compete with the world, and promote real studies linked to social issues. It will strive to establish Waseda’s position as an international research university, through steadfastly implementing initiatives for strengthening the research promotion structure and accelerating the development and reform of the research environment.
As a part of strengthening its research promotion structure, Waseda will enhance the functions of the Center for Research Strategy and focus on the appropriate placement and use of URA staff, so as to achieve more sophisticated and streamlined research promotion work. The University will put in place a system for assisting in the promotion of research strategies, and carrying out tasks related to pre-awards and other collaborative programs. In this way, Waseda will build a system enabling researchers to smoothly and effectively carry out their research activities.