Japanese society has been aging. In such a society, it is natural that citizens have higher expectations than ever before for maintaining their health and vitality at a satisfactory level and keeping their well-being. The term “Health Systems” contained in the name of this graduate school indicates a wide range of factors including human beings, things and institutions that are indispensable for realizing good health enabling people to be vital and happy, as mentioned above, as well as relations (i.e. systems) connecting those factors.
Our main educational objective is to cultivate human resources which can make contributions to the establishment of better health systems. You may wonder what competencies such students can acquire in our graduate school. We think these competencies are as follows:
- To understand issues related to people and structures observed in actual healthcare settings (health systems)
- To know about relevant research and technological developments and comprehend material aspects and the human mind
- As a consequence, to be able to grasp other fields of specialization based on their own areas of expertise (i.e. Interdisciplinary science)
- and to create artifacts and ideas that can be put into practice use in society in collaboration with other stakeholders
- and thereby to contribute to the solution of those issues and support the basis of innovation.
When cultivating graduate students who are capable of contemplating these issues and leading ideas to the creation of novel things in cooperation with others, it seems difficult to do it in a conventional educational style in which each scientific field of specialization is separated from the other. In this graduate school, therefore, we decided to adopt an interdisciplinary scientific approach by merging various fields of natural sciences, engineering, humanities and social sciences in the following cycle: First, students find and learn about issues (challenges) in actual settings,
- → analyzing them,
- → creating things and systems based on the results,
- → and putting them into practical use,
- → so that they can solve or improve on the issues.
For that purpose, we have adopted a degree name (Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering) unprecedented in Japan, in both our master’s degree and our doctoral degree.
The major fields of specialization of faculties which are teaching students at our graduate school are engineering, medical science, pharmaceutical science, health science, literature (philosophy, ethics, religious studies, history, and cultural anthropology), sociology and social welfare (medical jurisprudence and social innovation).
Above all, this graduate school aims to cultivate personnel who are capable of contemplating issues in an integrative manner taking advantage of such a broad range of fields of specialization, understanding the cycle that is necessary for solving these issues and supporting the intercommunication and linkage between each step of the cycle (in the Master’s Course), and who are eventually able to move ahead with this cycle by themselves with a higher perspective (with a bird’s-eye view) in an ideal fashion (in the Doctor’s Course).