Kyushu University Graduate School of Social and Cultural Studie

Kyushu University Graduate School of Social and Cultural Studie

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The Message from the Dean to the New Student
Open Date2021-10-01 00:00:00

October 1, 2021

Yasuhiro Matsui, Dean of the ISGS

 

We would like to congratulate all of you who have joined our graduate school of Integrated Sciences for Global Society (ISGS).

Our school was established seven years ago, in April 2014. This means that we have a short history. However, during this limited time, we have successfully produced graduates who have obtained their degrees in both master’s and doctoral courses, respectively. As of March 2021, the former amounts to 309 and the latter to 62.

The ISGS has raised the educational ideal of “integrated interdisciplinarity from the perspective of a global society.” Rather than focus on one specialty as extending perspectives from local to global issues, we aim to educate and facilitate academic researchers—and highly specialized professionals—who can explore those issues on the basis of integrated interdisciplinarity, combining both the humanities and sciences. Infectious diseases, such as the novel coronavirus, are included in these global issues.

The ISGS has also embraced a diploma policy that specifies 11 core competencies, including “attitude of interest in global problems and all sorts of contemporary problems,” and “skills for broadly combining knowledge, data, and information relating to the research theme.” These 11 core competencies closely relate to our educational ethos and are skills and abilities that are generally acquired in graduate schools. Therefore, we believe that they are indispensable in an individual’s evolution toward being “a producer of knowledge.”

The phrase “from consumers to producers of knowledge” is frequently used, however, what attitudes and skills have producers of knowledge learned and acquired? Using the act of reading a book as an example, book reading by producers of knowledge is distinguished from that of consumers, for whom it is only necessary to enjoy the book and absorb information. We can say that producers would approach the book in order to discern the authors’ unique argument, the information and data they have gathered (and depend on to construct this argument), and how it differs from precedented literature. Comprehending the authors’ strategy is crucial. Aside from their reading skills, producers of knowledge are those who can strategically complete tasks and have learned and developed skills and abilities to construct arguments strategically. Therefore, we believe that academic essays—especially dissertations—must be written based on a skillful strategy that the authors have produced.

Learning and developing this strategic approach, all of you who have enrolled in our graduate school are required to write a master’s dissertation for two years, or a doctoral dissertation for three years. We hope that all of you will obtain your degrees in two or three years respectively.