The Challenge of Regional Creation in its nascent stages
Pioneering the Future Society:
Letʼs Grow “Kibi no Mori”
It is said, “education is for the future-” and also “a university is a place to learn about the future.” Okayama Prefectural University,established in 1993, is a multi-disciplinary university with three faculties. Each faculty works toward to be a university that gazes at future with slogans of “to gain the steady trust enabling us to confront people” –Faculty of Health and Welfare Science-, “to the future where people, things, and information are interwoven” –Faculty of Computer Science and Systems Engineering-, and “to design the society and yourself 10 years from now” –Faculty of Design.
Based on this philosophy, we reorganized a part of departments for the Academic Year 2021. “The department of Contemporary Welfare Science” and “the Department of Early Childhood Studies” were became independent from the Department of Health and Welfare Science. In addition, the Faculty of Design was reorganized into three departments: “the Department of Visual Design”,“the Department of Craft and Industrial Design”, and “the Department of Architecture”.
The future of the society is unpredictable. The world is becoming more complex, and changes drastically. The entire world has been bombarded with a COVID-19 pandemic, while the development of advanced technologies such as AI, big data, IoT, and robotics has accelerated to be incorporated into industry and social life, at all levels. In future, our society will be emphasized increasingly on human ability sensibility, and humanity. It is you that pioneer the future society as leader of next generation. You can learn the harmony of knowledge, sensibility, and technology, which are the keywords in advanced knowledge-based society.
Our university exists for the people of Okayama Prefecture under the education and research philosophy to create practical science with emphasis on the relationship among ʻhuman, society, and natureʼ and to contribute to the region. Currently, university mission is expected to emphasize “contribution to society” as the third mission in addition to research and education. We have already been deeply involved in such mission and have established a minor “Okayama Creation Studies” to contribute to develop regionally oriented human resources. We have produced a number of regional leaders with the title of “Specialist in Promoting Regional Creation,” who had earned a certain number of credits in “Okayama Creation Studies” and have been awarded.
The “Kibi no Mori ” Creation Strategy Project has been selected for the 2020 Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technologyʼs “Regional Development Human Resources Education Program Construction Project”.
Accordingly, the “Kibi no Mori ” Creation Strategy Project will be launched in April 2021 with an enhanced minor, that will allow students from undergraduate and graduate courses to take an integrated social collaboration education. The freshmen to juniors may take a course of “Okayama Creation Studies”, the juniors and seniors may take a course of “Kibi no Mori Creator”, and the graduates may take a course of “Kibi no Mori Producer”. Students learn their major subjects in undergraduate and graduate courses respectively and besides taking these minor subjects help them acquire a higher level of expertise and a broad range of human skills. Lectures and practicums are held by universities,local organizations, and companies as integrated education, where undergraduates, graduates, and members of societytake courses together and as a result, they can experience collaboration and team learning by interculture,different fields, and multi society and can grow up as tough individuals with future mind and regional potential.
To those who are dreaming about future or are going to dream about future, I would like you to look into the window of Okayama Prefectural University that leads to the future. In there, you will hear wild birds singing and see bristling with “Kai no Ki ” (Chinese Pistache), said to be a tree of learning. Our campus is a corridor leading to your future dreams, where exotic auditorium stands and is abundant in nature. We are here waiting for you.
We are looking forward to cultivating together “Kibi no Mori ” full of dreams and roman!