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Shining a Light from Hokkaido Upon the World

Nitobe College, the Interdisciplinary Education Program at Hokkaido University, traverses academic specialities in order to foster well-rounded, internationally-minded students who are capable of global leadership roles. Of the education programs available at Hokkaido University, Nitobe College is distinguished by its many accolades to date.

In 2013, Nitobe College was created for undergraduates and in 2015, Nitobe School for graduate students was established, then later in 2019, the two programs were unified into the new 6-year Nitobe College program. From 2024, Nitobe College strengthened the continuity between its undergraduate and graduate curriculums by unifying them into one program.

Hokkaido University was founded in 1876 as Sapporo Agricultural College and its history has been marked by the four founding philosophical pillars of education and research: “frontier spirit,” “global perspectives,” “all-round education,” and “practical learning.” These pillars have been upheld to the current day cultivating a spirit of academic autonomy and independence. One of the students in the second class of Sapporo Agricultural College, Nitobe Inazo-with his generous spirit and earnest work, is the role model our students should set their sights on in their quest to become global citizens.

Nitobe College hopes that students can learn from Nitobe Inazo’s three principles:
1. “Cultivating an international spirit” to serve as a bridge between countries and regions
2. “Acquiring a broad general education” in addition to in-depth professional exploration
3. “Fulfilling noblesse oblige,” an obligation associated with social leaders.

Nitobe College, based on the basic philosophy of the University and the spirit of learning from Inazo Nitobe, emphasizes expertise in each academic field.
The undergraduate curriculum focuses on the five competencies (personal growth, communication, multicultural understanding, problem-solving, and social ethics).
The graduate curriculum emphasizes the “3 + 1 Competencies.” The 3 are the ability to attain sustainable personal development, the skills of team organization, and the capability of knowledge sharing and its application for social benefit and the 1 is professional ethics.
These curriculums aim to nurture global leaders who can demonstrate these abilities.
In addition, Nitobe College Fellows and Mentors, who are alumni of the University provide support and education for global career development, fostering a rich sense of humanity.

In this message, I have used the expression “Shining a Light from Hokkaido Upon the World” and I believe that Nitobe College is one educational program that is instrumental in preserving this light.

Houkin Kiyohiro