Message from the President

Ph.D.President/Makoto Gonokami
Makoto Gonokami

With the acceleration of globalization, many issues facing society are coming into sharp relief. Handling these global-scale challenges requires that a wide range of experts pool their knowledge and apply it through joint action. This window of time while we resolve these issues also offers us an excellent opportunity to create a society where all people can live more comfortably and with a sense of peace. Developing talented individuals who can design a new world and outline the path to achieving it is one of the most important duties of the University of Tokyo, and we must face this challenge with persistence, courage, wisdom, and a sense of responsibility.

The engine for developing these kinds of knowledge professionals is, needless to say, world-class scholarship. I believe that the University of Tokyo has a responsibility to do everything in its power as an institute that both leads that level of scholarly research and produces knowledge professionals who can spearhead efforts to solve issues by taking an international perspective.

Our graduate schools offer students the opportunity to master specialized and real-world knowledge that is of the highest level in the world. We teach students communication skills and initiative by giving them experience overseas and exposure to foreign cultures. Moreover, our university has a unique environment: outstanding people come to the University of Tokyo from around the world and outstanding people go out from this university to share their expertise with the larger community.

The University of Tokyo aims to develop professionals of the highest caliber worldwide by improving research support for our graduate students and further expanding their international opportunities. We have designated our Programs for Leading Graduate Schools as priority programs to reach this objective. We are creating graduate schools that are commensurate with the University of Tokyo’s status as one of the country’s most prestigious institutes of higher learning by attracting top faculty and students from Japan and around the world and further enhancing cooperation with international institutions while encouraging industry-academia-government collaboration. In addition, the framework for conducting program management and organizational support has been placed under my leadership as president.

The Global Leader Program for Social Design and Management (GSDM) was proposed by the University of Tokyo in the 2013 academic year and was selected that same year as an all-round program (a program that produces leaders with a wide range of expertise) under the Program for Leading Graduate Schools by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology . GSDM aims to develop leaders—persons with advanced doctoral degrees who can be entrusted in the near future with leadership roles nationally and internationally. Using their high sense of ethics and outstanding communication skills, these leaders are able to accurately and promptly identify the global-scale issues facing society and spearhead their resolution by integrating a wide range of specialized knowledge of science and technology, social systems, and public policy and by creating systems that optimally harness society’s resources. Offering an outstanding research environment with unparalleled faculty, GSDM has its eye on creating leaders. The program gives students a solid knowledge base in one or more specialized fields of their own selection and takes every opportunity to build students’ skills in integrating cross-cutting, interdisciplinary knowledge, designing social systems based on that integrated knowledge, and resolving issues in a global context.

Through these kinds of activities, I am determined to further develop the University of Tokyo as a “global base for knowledge collaboration” that has a unique ability to conceive of new ideas. I would like to take this opportunity to ask once again for your understanding and support of the teaching and research activities of the University of Tokyo.