The world economy today has become more chaotic, with a variety of crises looming over us all, as a result of developments like the Fourth Industrial Revolution consequent on the ICT Revolution, the globalization of business through mega Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), the outbreak of the US-China Trade War triggered by the "America First" policy, and the world-wide spread of the new coronavirus (Covid-19), among many others. However, seen from a different angle, these perils may be taken as the harbingers of something new. The faculty and staff of Reitaku University hope that we can manage to carve out a bright future in this chaotic age through educating and sending out into society men and women equipped with the toughness and adaptability needed to convert and combine things of different qualities, and a mindset with which to cope effectively with change.
To implement the idea of the "unity of knowledge and virtue" (meaning that knowledge and morality should harmoniously be united into one entity), the founder of Reitaku University, Chikuro Hiroike, L.L.D., established a private school called "Moralogy College," the forerunner of our university. In so doing, he created a unique educational environment, with initiatives like the introduction of an epoch-making coeducational dormitory in which all the students lived, the establishment of an English teaching system based on morality, and the organizing of lectures by invited Japanese and foreign dignitaries, including former Prime Ministers. Such an innovative and practical learning environment has endured to the present in our university.
The Faculty of Foreign Studies, established some 60 years ago, initially had only English and German Departments. Today, however, students can not just learn English, German, and Chinese, but also enhance their intercultural understanding in a setting where those from Japan and overseas together study communication and business. The Faculty of Economics and Business Administration has created a very advanced learning program, including data science subjects, and an integrated educational structure allowing students to take AI related courses across their majors. Imbued with the idea of the unity of knowledge and virtue, it aims to produce business leaders with a sense of moral values. The Faculty of Global Studies has been established in the spirit of coexistence with diverse values. Embracing the concept of "connecting" different cultures and values, it will equip students with the ability to create new values in the world by introducing them to a new style of knowledge and learning in the field of global affairs, as well as by cultivating their English proficiency to an advanced level.
Each faculty of Reitaku University, in elaborating its distinctive method of learning, offers not just classroom-based courses but also opportunities for studying in the field, employing approaches like Active Learning about global and regional societies that elicits and respects students' spontaneous learning, Project Based Learning that combines classroom learning and social contribution, and volunteering and internship activities based on partnerships with corporations and organizations. In addition to these, the university has reorganized its curriculum to create an educational system to nurture the authentic ability of students and to provide them with a wider range of assets through offering specific programs across the three faculties.
The university has been maintaining and improving its campus facilities to educate "Global Leaders with moral character" who can contribute to society at both global and local level. The iFloor (International Floor) has been renovated to provide an enhanced English-speaking environment that encompasses eight areas, including a Presentation Terrace and a Writing Center as self-access-learning centers which allows it to support students by accommodating their various needs. In the Global Dormitory, which encapsulates the spirit of student self-discipline, Japanese and International students can acquire an international way of thinking in their daily communal life.
In a further development, the university launched the "Reitaku University SDGs Promotion Project" in October, 2019. In keeping with the foundation spirit of the university, all stakeholders, including students, faculty and staff members will think about SDGs together and collaborate to implement the results of their deliberations, seeking to create abundance in societies filled with vitality that "leave no one behind."
Through educating students and producing young men and women of promise who embody "the idea of unity of knowledge and virtue," Reitaku University, which "sticks to its small-size," and "sticks to internationality," aspires in the years to come to emerge as an institution for which the world and its regions have been waiting.
Suminori Tokunaga, Ph. D.