Keio University sees its mission for the 21st century to produce trained personnel, especially international students capable of leading society in various fields. Hence, the University aims to be an open and global place of learning.
The Graduate School of Media and Governance launched the International Course in 2007 in which students can obtain a Master’s degree entirely through study and project work in English. As part of its cooperation with intergovernmental human resource development projects, the International Course accepts students on foreign government scholarships from countries such as Indonesia, Laos, and Myanmar, and provides them with education and research mentoring in English. In the autumn semester of 2009, the Course accepted 15 new foreign students through international human resource development projects and international exchange programs.
In 2009, a total of 76 students (including eight international students) were enrolled in the Master’s program of the Environmental Design and Governance (EG), and thirteen students were enrolled in the Doctoral program (including one foreign student each from China, Thailand, Mongolia, and Tunisia). These students are actively engaged in studies of measures to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change that are faced by their respective countries; for example, the monitoring of Himalayan glaciers, a flood-warning system for the Mekong River and the measures to prevent desertification in Mongolia and Africa.
While accepting international students, the Graduate School of Media and Governance has also been actively sending its students abroad for international exchange. Under the leadership of the EG program, a network of major Asian universities has been formed to organize the annual Inter-University Seminar on Asian Megacities, at which Master’s and Doctoral students from member universities gather and present their research once a year. A total of 14 universities from various eastern Asian countries participate in the network, including the National Pacific University of Russia, Tsinghua University, Peking University, Tongji University, Seoul National University, Hanyang University, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the University of the Philippines, and the National Taiwan University.
With regard to climate change, Keio University has developed an early-warning network and technology for environmental resource integration and management. These were the outcomes of projects assigned by the Ministry of the Environment in constructing the Asia Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Network and preparing databases in collaboration with UNEP, the Ministry of the Environment, and IGES. These projects have entailed the holding of biannual international conferences at the University. Students also participate in these conferences to brainstorm ideas for the mitigation of and adaptation to climate change, present their research, learn about international negotiations on the front line, and exchange ideas with the world’s leading researchers. Through this type of first-hand experience, students can cultivate their leadership skills for the future.
Since 2001, Keio University has collaborated with Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in joint environmental designs and studies and in organizing environmental design workshops in various regions and cities. These activities are part of the effort to foster the development of environmental leaders able to apply various techniques across various disciplines to achieve comprehensive spatial designs capable of adapting to the effects of climate change. This is with a view to developing new, sustainable living environments in cities and regional areas.
Measures for the mitigation of and adaptation to climate change are not merely a matter of technology, as they entail complicated questions of sociology. These demand a multidisciplinary approach involving aspects such as policy-making, business, civic activities, and spatial design. The International Program for Environmental Innovators combines various research and educational activities that have conventionally been pursued within a small framework of individual fields of study in order to tackle the challenges for the design of future society.