Waseda University

Founded in 1882
9 Campuses
54,179 Students
3,213 Staff
Joined U21 in 2007

Founded in 1882 by Shigenobu Okuma, once prime minister and regarded as the father of Japanese national modernisation, Waseda University is one of the most prestigious universities in Japan. It comprises thirteen undergraduate, seventeen graduate, and five professional graduate schools covering most areas of social and natural sciences, liberal arts, and engineering, with over 50,000 students and 5,000 faculty members on nine campuses, five of which are located in central Tokyo. About 500,000 Waseda graduates are actively taking leading roles in various fields around the world.

In principle, the research funds of Waseda University are provided by external organisations. Over 130 research groups called Project Institutes currently exist within the university system, each institute consisting of interdisciplinary faculty researchers on specific themes and operated independently on externally-acquired funds. The Project Institutes have implementation periods of three to five years, based on a scrap-and-build rule requiring any inactive institute with no productive research within the designated period to shut down.

Under such a strict survival race in the university system itself, Waseda is acquiring an increasing number of competitive national research grants each year. Waseda University was selected in seven fields, involving a total of nine research projects, for the 21 COE Program (the 21st-Century Center of Excellence Program) which the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) has been implementing since 2003 for the purpose of creating world-class research bases in ten academic fields. In 2004, Waseda's Consolidated Research Institute for Advanced Science and Medical Care (ASMeW) was selected as the Super COE, the strategic research base development program by the MEXT for the purpose of systematic reform in science and technology to create and make use of outstanding research as well as respond strategically to potential research fields and subject areas. The ASMeW trains first-class researchers in the new interdisciplinary field combining advanced science and the health sciences. Waseda is making efforts to be actively involved in industry-government-academia collaboration, leading to the creation of a unique business integrating “the basic technology of the university,” “international wisdom with the power of technological development,” and “the commercial know-how of the enterprise” networks. The Waseda-Olympus Bioscience Research Institute established in April 2003 (http://www.waseda.jp/prj-wobri/) is one such example, conducting research to investigate and define the higher functions of the brain in Singapore, the Asian hub of biomedical R&D.

Waseda was one of the first Japanese universities to open its door to students from overseas. Currently, there are 2,368 foreign students enrolled at Waseda. The number of foreign students at Waseda is the highest among private universities in Japan (second highest among all Japanese universities). Over 200 researchers from foreign countries are accepted for short-term and mid to long-term periods every year, and approximately 480 foreign teachers employed. The university has some undergraduate and graduate programmes conducted entirely in English.

Waseda continues to develop an ideal research and educational environment to support its foreign teachers and students, having agreements with 519 organisations in 75 countries to date, concerning student and faculty exchange programs. Furthermore, the university is working on new “double degree” programs with universities including Peking University and Fudan University in China, National Taiwan University in Taiwan, National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, as well as network-type co-operative colloquiums via the internet, to support the student and faculty members involved in the exchange programs.

Waseda University is actively promoting joint research enterprises and industry-government-academia collaboration with key strategic university-level institutions among our most intimate global partners, having established ten overseas outposts in seven countries. These offices are intended to support Waseda students abroad and maintain effective networking with Waseda alumni worldwide, with bases in China, Korea, Singapore, Thailand, France, Germany and the USA.

With a collection of more than 5.15 million books, Waseda University maintains high quality libraries. Large volumes of data on Japanese books created by Waseda University are utilised worldwide for cataloguing through the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC). Waseda is the only Japanese university providing data through the OCLC. As for its computer facilities, there are over two million computers available on campus for students, including a computer room open 24 hours, available for all Waseda students which serves as the International Centre consisting of the Centre for Japanese Language, Centre for International Education, and the International Affairs Division.

Waseda is famous for its distinguished graduates dispersed not only across business and political circles in Japan but also worldwide. So far, six prime ministers of the Japanese government have been Waseda alumni. Waseda graduates are very active and influential in such fields as politics, law, journalism and mass communication, art, and sports. Among them are excellent entrepreneurs contributing to scientific breakthroughs and creating globally prestigious firms, such as Mr. Masaru Ibuka, co-founder of Sony Corporation as well as current and former presidents and CEOs of top multinational companies. The university has 400 alumni associations throughout Japan and more than 1,200 including alumni associations within companies, not to mention the 53 Waseda alumni associations overseas. A close network among alumni has successfully developed through the Internet and published alumni newsletters.

By joining Universitas 21, Waseda intends to enhance close ties with the member universities in joint education and research, based on shared information on our international efforts and achievements in internationalisation based on our previous experience in the areas of double degree programs and research endeavors overseas.

Professor Katsuichi Uchida, VP, International Affairs