1. YNU
  2. Education
  3. Educational Policy
  4. Educational Philosophy and Goals

Educational Philosophy and Goals

Educational Philosophy

Yokohama National University (YNU) is an urban institution of higher education deeply rooted in the city of Yokohama, the birthplace of Japan’s Westernization during the Meiji era (1868 to 1912) and home to a cluster of advanced industries. With a steadfast academic tradition of upholding freedom and autonomy, the university undertakes education and research guided by four fundamental principles: Be Active, Be Innovative, Be Open, and Be Global. It has contributed to society by cultivating a large number of human resources who play pivotal societal roles and by disseminating research findings helpful to society at large.

The advent of the 21st century has heralded a “new global age” in which the focal point of economic development is shifting to Asia. Social systems, cultures, religions, and customs are becoming ever more complex in their diversity and a range of issues standing in the way of sustainable global development have become apparent. In such circumstances, it is necessary to cultivate innovative human resources who contribute to solving the issues faced by Japanese society from an international perspective in order to generate new knowledge and disseminate such knowledge to the rest of the world.

Moreover, the challenges of the new global age are simultaneously local challenges. Like elsewhere, the area of Yokohama in Kanagawa Prefecture where YNU is located faces structural changes in industry and the problems associated with large cities. It is also beset by other local issues such as dilapidation of suburban homes and apartment complexes resulting from demographic aging, as well as a declining population, deterioration in water sources and nearby forested areas, and increasing risk of natural disaster such as volcanic eruption or earthquake.

In light of these circumstances, YNU is drawing on its traditional strengths and distinctive institutional character to further enhance and reinforce its education and research capabilities. This will enable it to better meet its obligations as a national university that can contribute globally on behalf of the international city of Yokohama.

Educational and Research Goals

Educational Goals

In its undergraduate colleges YNU cultivates the individuals with practical talents required in the new global age—people with broad specialist expertise capable of seeing things from a range of perspectives. Meanwhile, in its graduate schools, the university cultivates advanced professionals highly proficient in applying knowledge and coming up with new ideas. To that end, it draws on its traditional strengths in offering practical education within small classes to deliver a rich and varied liberal arts education that nurtures independence and a sense of ethics via an educational structure that is grounded in specialization, but is at the same time well-balanced.

YNU intends to further distinguish itself as a university that hosts a high proportion of international students, many of whom come from elsewhere in Asia. In so doing it aims to be a cosmopolitan educational hub that contributes to creating an inclusive society.

  1. YNU will seek to generate innovation by improving the way its graduate schools in particular operate. The university will cultivate internationally competent advanced professionals at the graduate level who possess multiple capabilities including strong technical skills, the ability to come up with new ideas, and practical skills.
  2. YNU’s Curriculum Policy is aimed at producing individuals with practical talents (at the undergraduate level) and advanced professionals (at the graduate level). In response to the increased sophistication and diversification of university education in the new global age, the university, as a location for lifelong acquisition of advanced knowledge, will review its Curriculum Policy, putting a system in place to provide quality-assured education covering the entire spectrum from the fundamentals through advanced applied research.
  3. YNU will utilize the advantages it derives from its location in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, and the fact that its humanities and social science graduate schools share the same campus with its science and engineering graduate schools, while also making the most of its distinctive character as a university that hosts a large number of international students. This will enable it to pursue interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary scholarship, and to provide an educational system that cultivates human resources who can deal with local problems from a global viewpoint.
  4. YNU will offer effective learning support that acknowledges students’ diverse needs and the obstacles that affect them. Such support will include provision of learning tools, economic support, improved accessibility for people with physical disabilities, and mental health consultation. The university will also offer effective career formation support based on full understanding of the business sector’s needs.

Research Goals

YNU’s fundamental mission is to contribute to human welfare and the ongoing development of society. Research in various specialist fields underpins the university’s efforts to further extend its accomplishments, and it maintains a world-leading position, particularly in fields where it commands advantages. YNU has, moreover, assigned a large number of academic staff to “faculties” (research organizations) transcending the limits of conventional colleges and graduate schools to develop an organizational structure that facilitates flexible, agile, interdisciplinary research responsive to society’s shifting needs. This research structure, combined with the advantages of accommodating humanities, social sciences, and science and engineering all on the same campus, enable the university to actively pursue interdisciplinary research. Through such research it aims to forge links spanning different fields to elucidate the issues of the “new global age” in all its complexity and diversity, and to propose a vision for the society of the future. Its overarching aim is to become an international hub for practical academic endeavors based in the diverse, cosmopolitan city of Yokohama.

  • YNU aims to tackle the issues of the new global age, such as globalization, innovation, and the problems associated with large cities by pursuing advanced research in priority fields, practical foundational research, and multidisciplinary research. Thus it can fulfill its social responsibility as a national university, cultivate internationally competent human resources, and produce outstanding research findings, as well as conduct joint research with partners in Japan and overseas, eventually developing into a world-class research hub.
  • YNU aims to take advantage of having humanities, social sciences, and science and engineering all on the same campus, while supporting research strategically in line with a range of assessment indicators tailored to different fields of specialization. These approaches will enable it to build a system that bolsters research leveraging the university’s strengths and distinguishing characteristics.
  • YNU aims to constantly assess research capabilities and use the results of such assessments to effectively allocate research resources across multiple fields, thereby enhancing research quality while extending and improving its system to encourage cooperation among faculty members and staff.

(Educational Affairs Division)