Message from President
At the Crossroad of Possibilities
Akita International University (AIU) was founded in Akita prefecture in 2004, initiating a new type of global education that had not existed in Japan before. Today AIU welcomes students from around the nation and has been recognized globally, as illustrated by its position in the Times Higher Education Japan University Rankings. We can humbly say that this is a miracle made possible by the AIU Community comprising the diverse and vibrant student, faculty, and staff population, the local Akita community, and our partner universities across the globe.
AIU offers a liberal arts education with the goal of fostering global leaders. At the core of our education, we empower students to learn a wide-range of knowledge on relevant topics and cultivate character. Classes are designed to incrementally enhance students’ abilities to logically explore, write and communicate their thoughts on the relationship between various subjects, other fields of education, and on the empirical examination of the divergence between theory and real-life issues. Furthermore, students are also encouraged to engage in self-reflection and learn through real life experiences outside the university and in Japan. We encourage students to grow by enhancing their Integrated Knowledge, so they are able to fuse together different bodies of knowledge, analyze matters from multiple angles, and solve problems. Also, learning to refine their Interpersonal Skills, such as sincerity, perseverance, courtesy, and social responsibility.
Although the worldwide spread of the COVID-19 pandemic prevented students from physically traveling overseas for the One Year Study Abroad program, we collaborated with our international partner universities to offer the Virtual Study Abroad program online. Furthermore, we introduced an alternative program for study abroad accreditation called Independent Study, in which each student freely designed and took part in a combination of long-term internships and online courses offered by world-leading universities, such as Coursera and edX. Being able to flexibly mix various forms of learning during such extraordinary times, and building a new educational structure reflects our university’s Applied International Liberal Arts (AILA) goal.
Digital transformation (DX), which has become a symbol of society’s rapid changes, will be the perfect stage to demonstrate the achievements of liberal arts education. While technologies have been developed by engineers, only those with perspectives that transcend individual disciplines can find ways to apply the technologies in ways that enrich people’s lifestyles. Furthermore, in the field of green transformation (GX), various proposals for reform are being made to achieve a decarbonized society. In order to achieve this global goal, we need leaders who can cooperate with other countries and lead the world.
Studies at AIU take place not only on-campus, which functions as a hub for learning, but also across the entire Akita Prefecture and in various parts of the world where international partner universities are located. In addition to offering a wide range of curriculum courses to match students’ interests, AIU creates an optimal learning environment for students to acquire practical interdisciplinary application skills and interpersonal skills by working with diverse corporations and municipal organizations to gain and apply knowledge and skills.
Even if the world becomes increasingly uncertain, and even if we enter an advanced digital society, we will still need global leaders who can connect with others across borders to solve problems. We look forward to meeting those of you with the will to pioneer the unlimited possibility of AILA.
President, Akita International University
(Former President of Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Former President of Shizenkan University)