Founding philosophy and basic educational goals
The Three Founding Principles
- To cultivate individuals capable of implementing the national ideal of fusion between Eastern and Western cultures
- To cultivate individuals capable of excelling on the world stage
- To cultivate individuals capable of independent thought and research
Rooted in the first seven-year high school in Japan
The roots of Musashi University can be traced back to Musashi High School, the first seven-year high school in Japan under the nation’s prewar educational system, founded in 1922 by the early 20th-century financier Kaichiro Nezu I.
Following subsequent reforms to the educational system, in 1949 Musashi High School—with its philosophy of “fostering, through the building of character, the exceptional graduates who will take up the reins of tomorrow’s Japan”—became Musashi University. Even amid the dramatically changing social conditions of the time, the three founding principles of the former High School became the starting points for the University’s education.
Musashi University's basic educational goals (objectives for graduates' personal and professional development)
- Independence: Investigating independently and thinking for themselves
- Dialogue: Open and honest dialogue
- Practice: Thinking globally and acting locally
⇒The fusion of knowledge and practice
Based on the spirit expressed in the Musashi Academy’s three founding principles, Musashi University aims to train students in accordance with the three basic educational goals of Independence, Dialogue, and Practice, through comprehensive education based on both specialized and general education in its undergraduate faculties and the individual educational programs of each of its graduate schools. More specifically, these three basic educational goals call for the University to nurture global citizens who are able to investigate on their own and to think for themselves; who respect others and engage with them in open and honest dialogue; and who possess the independence and vitality needed to maintain a global outlook while taking action in their own immediate surroundings, to effect cultural exchange and to further practical cooperation around the world. The University’s philosophy thus stresses the importance of applying acquired knowledge to social activities as well as reinforcing that knowledge through the experiences and awareness gained by putting it into practice—that is, the fusion of knowledge and practice.
Background of the University’s philosophy, and its vision for the future
At the University’s first entrance ceremony for new students, the first President of Musashi University, Wakichi Miyamoto, proposed an educational philosophy built on small class sizes based on seminars and stressing foreign-language education, as a means of taking ownership of the three founding principles, personalism, and liberal-arts focus of the former Musashi High School. He stated that the University would “train Japanese students with broad-ranging worldviews, able to investigate independently and think for themselves as members of the world community while never losing their critical spirit.”
Later, the Musashi Academy Future Vision formulated in 2006 amid dramatically changing social conditions would describe the University’s vision at that time as follows:
“Based on the fundamental philosophy of knowledge creation, transmission, and implementation demanded of the University in the new era and society of the 21st century, and on contributing to these goals through related educational and research activities (fusion of knowledge and practice), Musashi University will aim to fulfill its mission to society in a sustained manner by focusing on education that stresses the liberal arts, which provide the foundations of a knowledge-based practice.”
The University will work to develop the basic educational goals to implement this philosophy and vision, taking into account the contemporary meaning and relevance of its three founding principles and its culture of a free and broad-minded exchange of views. That is, it will aim to train students able to support and effect progress in the society of the 21st century—those who possess the temperaments and abilities to (1) investigate independently and think for themselves (Independence), (2) engage in open and honest dialogue (Dialogue), and (3) to think globally while turning knowledge into practice in their own immediate surroundings (Practice).
Amid progress toward globalization and a borderless society, the Board of Directors meeting held in March 2014 adopted as the management strategy of the Musashi Academy as it marks the centennial of its establishment the following Chairperson’s Doctrine: “Directing our gaze outward toward the world, we aim to be a school that fosters internationally-oriented graduates able to take on the challenges of the 21st century.” Then, in October of that year the Board established an Academy President’s Plan entitled “Becoming a Liberal Arts Academy Open to the World.” In response, Musashi University established in its Third Medium-term Plan (2016–2021) a new vision for the run-up to the centennial of the Academy’s founding in 2022: “Training global citizens with the educational grounding to understand different cultures and build a new future: Revisiting the Academy’s three founding principles on our centennial anniversary, we aim to pass these on to the next generation as we implement reforms for the future.”
Based on this new vision, the Third Medium-term Plan identifies the strategic theme of “training global citizens with a firm grounding in liberal arts education,” under which the University is aiming both to steadily implement new programs and courses in each faculty geared toward an age of globalization and to enrich its liberal arts education even further.
Spurred by the new vision for the University suggested by this Third Medium-term Plan for the run-up to the centennial of the Academy’s establishment, the University has reviewed the three policies of each faculty and graduate school and formulated the Musashi University Global Education Policy, while preserving its foundations in the Academy’s three founding principles and basic educational goals.
The Musashi University Global Education Policy
The Musashi University Global Education Policy has been established for the purpose of “training global citizens with the educational grounding to understand different cultures and build a new future” identified in the University’s Future Vision.
- Promoting intercultural understanding as well as the communicative competence and empathy to contribute to society in cooperation with diverse other parties
- Fostering the ability to think globally and improve practical foreign-language competence
This policy is closely related to the following two campus-wide diploma policies regarding “the capacity for dialogue and empathy to understand those from other cultures and to cooperate with diverse others in contributing to society,” and “a global mind-set and the practical foreign-language proficiency to support it.”
Measures and numerical targets based on the Musashi University Global Education Policy
Global education as promoted by Musashi University comprises extracurricular support for learning advanced by the Global Education Center on a campus-wide basis as well as courses within the curricula of each faculty and graduate school. Measures being advanced as campus-wide initiatives and numerical targets for the final fiscal year of the Third Section of intermediate-term Plan (FY2021) are outlined below. Global education in each faculty and graduate school is prescribed in the various policies of each faculty or school.
- Together with enhancing long-term (one semester or longer) study-abroad programs and short-term language training as well as opportunities to experience life overseas through international volunteer and internship programs, enhancing scholarship programs for students who want to take advantage of these opportunities
- Numerical targets: student exchange agreements concluded with at least 30 institutions, sending at least 60 students per year on long-term study-abroad programs
- Together with developing structures for acceptance of exchange students and interns from institutions with which exchange agreements have been concluded and promoting the university’s attractions as a destination for students from abroad, further expanding opportunities for interaction with students accepted from abroad
- Numerical target: accepting at least 60 students per year from overseas on long-term study-abroad programs
- Together with deepening the partnership with the Temple University Japan Campus (TUJ) and encouraging active use of the system for transfer of credit units earned, seeking out opportunities to develop new programs with overseas institutions with which exchange agreements have been concluded, including double degrees and joint degrees
- Considering the Musashi Communication Village (MCV) to be a mainstay of extracurricular learning for foreign languages and intercultural understanding at the university, striving to maintain the MCV as an environment in which students motivated to improve their own practical English-language abilities can take steps to do so on their own, while also enhancing the support structures at MCV to meet the needs of students taking special courses and programs established by each faculty (Parallel Degree Programme [PDP] of the University of London and Musashi University, Global Studies Course [GSC], Global Data Science Course [GDS]). In addition, through various events planned and implemented at MCV, providing students with extracurricular opportunities to become more familiar with foreign languages other than English and with the cultures of individual countries and regions, and using MCV as a place where international students can receive extracurricular support for learning Japanese.
- Steadily improving the practical ability of students to use the English language. As part of doing so, encouraging students to take the TOEIC exam, providing opportunities to take the TOEIC® IP exam on campus, and developing and implementing programs to provide continual support for related learning, including a program to improve TOEIC scores
- Numerical target: At least 20% of undergraduate students scoring higher than 700 points on TOEIC
One background point shared by these measures and numerical targets is the desire embodied in the fact that “Practice” has been identified as one of Musashi University’s basic educational goals (“Training global citizens who possess the independence and vitality needed to maintain a global outlook while turning knowledge into practice in their own immediate surroundings, to effect cultural exchange and to further practical cooperation around the world”), and students are expected to spend their student lives in meaningful ways as a period of preparation for succeeding in the real world after graduation.