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Shining a Light from Hokkaido Upon the World

Nitobe College is a cross-departmental educational program that encourages students to develop a deep sense of humanity and international sensibilities. Even among Hokkaido University’s educational programs, Nitobe College stands out brilliantly and receives high praise.

In 2013, the undergraduate Nitobe College program was created and in 2015, the Nitobe School program for graduate students was established, and then in 2019, the two programs were unified into the new 6-year Nitobe College 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”and 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 a 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. Individuality based on integrity and ethics, 2.an international spirit free from prejudice, 3. International education where all nationalities are treated as equals.

Nitobe College emphasizes the importance of specialization in each academic field based on the fundamental philosophical pillars of the university and the spirit of Nitobe Inazo, and additionally aims to help students acquire English skills as a global communication tool, leadership and teamwork skills, and problem-solving skills in multicultural situations, as well as to establish identities rooted in their own cultural and social backgrounds. Beyond that, this university’s alumni have become Mentors and Fellows in order to share their expertise with our students so that they can develop their global careers and become bridges between cultures and societies.

From the beginning of 2020, our daily lives have been greatly disrupted. The coronavirus pandemic has put internationalization and our connections that transcend national borders under great duress, and the end is not yet in sight. Of this, however, I am sure. It is precisely due to this darkness that we are clearly able to see a light. Even in this pandemic, we will continue to reach for the connections that go beyond our borders, and through online activities, we will be able to build our new lives, the “new normal” and our shining“light” will deepen those connections.

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

Houkin Kiyohiro