In today’s global society, in which we are at the center of a maelstrom of extensive and extreme globalization, our hope for the future is tempered by the wide variety of difficult challenges facing us. There are challenges which threaten our peace, safety, health, happiness, and prosperity, and are not limited to the kind of unprecedented events such as the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. All over the world there are still many people who, for reasons of poverty, ill-health, conflict, and disaster, are not only unable to reach their full potential, but whose very survival is threatened.
Unless humans can widen their gaze beyond their own communities, the earth and all of its living things will suffer from the burdens placed upon them by human development. Our human society must examine how we arrived at this place, how we are existing today, and what kind of future are we moving towards. In order to answer these complex and boundless questions, we must first acquire a “global society vision”. As we all know well, the earth is the “hometown” of all living things. We believe that it is essential to approach it through multiple disciplines, what one might call an “integrative interdisciplinary” approach.
The Graduate School of Integrated Sciences for Global Society, launched in April 2014, is Kyushu University’s newest graduate school. We aim to use this “integrative interdisciplinary approach” to analyze our earth as a planet and as the home for living organisms, and the society of humans who live upon it, by clarifying the past, facing the urgent questions of contemporary society, and dedicating ourselves to the construction of a better future.
The Graduate School of Social and Cultural Studies, the parent body of our new graduate school, has been pursuing interdisciplinary research and education for twenty years. Now we are taking the next step to further strengthen and expand our interdisciplinary vision and research fields. Our department (the Department of Integrated Sciences for Global Society) contains six courses. Each student will choose a main course and a sub-course based on his or her scholarly interests, and while acquiring a firm academic foundation, will also learn from a variety of wide perspectives. We will offer a variety of innovative lectures and seminars, like the new Common Subject Classes which teach “Integrated Sciences for Global Society”, “Research Methods in Global Society Fieldwork”, and “Foreign Language Writing”, as well as introductory classes on adjacent fields. In anticipation to welcoming as many ambitious students as possible, the capacity of the master’s degree program will be increased to 60 people.
It is time for all of us to work together to create the new Graduate School of Integrated Sciences for Global Society!
Osanai Yasuhito, Dean of the Graduate School of Integrated Sciences for Global Society