I’m very pleased to introduce Kyoto University’s great range of degree programs for international students. The programs in this brochure are taught and supported entirely in English, and are designed to open our doors to students and scholars from around the world who are seeking enroll in a top-class degree program in the heart of Japan.
Kyoto University has a long history of academic excellence, imbued with the unique cultural heritage and philosophy of Kyoto. Our academic tradition was founded on the concepts of self-reliance and self-respect (in Japanese, 自重自敬 jichō jikei). Those words were memorialized in calligraphy by Professor Hiroji Kinoshita, the first president of Kyoto University, and they continue to guide our approach to education and research today. Our campuses have been home to historically respected scholars such as Nobel laureate Professor Hideki Yukawa, who promoted the concept of innovative collaborative research initiatives merging diverse academic fields as a key to making scientific breakthroughs. To this day, we continue to emphasize dialogue and cooperation, pursuing interdisciplinary collaborative research that crosses the boundaries which have conventionally divided the natural sciences and the humanities.
The dedication and achievements of our scholars have been acknowledged by the fact that we have been selected for numerous prestigious government programs, and worldwide, in the form of numerous internationally recognized accolades. A notable recent example of the latter is the award of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to Dr. Shinya Yamanaka, director of our Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA). Dr. Yamanaka’s discoveries have opened new realms of possibility in biology and medicine, and are certain to have a profound effect on the advancement of science and technology as a whole, as well as on the humanities and social sciences.
Advances in science and technology coupled with today’s environmental issues are changing the very ways in which humanity and nature are perceived and understood. In this age of such profound change, our university is committed to its mission to pursue harmonious coexistence within the human and ecological community on this planet. I should mention that in this context, we use the term “community” to include everything from the Earth’s plants and animals, mountains and rivers, to the sea and sky, and even its lithosphere and surrounding interplanetary space. Through that ambitious mission, we aim to inspire students and researchers from around the world to not only become specialists in their chosen field, but also to help tackle the world’s most urgent problems and contribute to the global community.
You are invited to join us. The degree programs in this brochure exemplify Kyoto University’s flexible and innovative approach to education and research —both an opportunity for personal advancement and a chance to address greater issues. I am confident that students who enroll in these programs will benefit from, and enjoy, an educational experience of the highest caliber.
I also hope that Kyoto University will surprise you, and surpass your own expectations. I look forward to welcoming you to our campuses in the heart of Kyoto when you commence your academic journey.