Today’s world is changing dramatically. The progress of globalization has enabled many cultures and values to transcend national borders, generating new forms of conflict and leading to uncertainty over what lies ahead. Given such circumstance, it is crucial for universities to foster young people with the ability to thrive in the future world. Since its foundation, Rikkyo University has pursued higher education to cultivate true global citizens, based upon the educational principles of liberal arts and Christian values.
As Rikkyo University seeks to advance its educational principles even further, the Global Liberal Arts Program (GLAP) was inaugurated in April 2017 to educate future global leaders who think and act spontaneously as well as live in harmony with the educasional people of the world. The liberal arts spirit of free academic inquiries nurtures the students’ capabilities to conceptualize new ideas and to transform society in order to tackle a wide variety of challenges. It also nurtures students’ empathy to live together with the people holding diverse values and worldviews. What GLAP offers is precisely the kind of education that is needed in the turbulent contemporary society and into the future. Join us in the Global Liberal Arts Program to learn together and succeed on the world stage.
Nurturing Future Global Leaders
The Global Liberal Arts Program is a four-year undergraduate program that allows students to earn bachelor’s degree (in principle) entirely in English. Liberal arts education is a part of Rikkyo University’s distinctive educational feature which encourages each student to pursue own academic interest freely, to expand academic horizons and to deepen the understanding of various theories and philosophies. In GLAP, students can always place themselves in the environment that is keenly attuned to world affairs while physically staying in Japan and studying liberal arts in English. As students learn multiple academic subjects in interdisciplinary approaches and not being confined to any particular major, students come to understand diverse and multi-faceted perspectives and, deemed as the most important skill in today’s globalized society, it eventually lead them to develop the capabilities to cooperate with the people of the world through mutual understanding. As students accumulate various kinds of learning and experiences, they are able to acquire the practical English proficiency as well as the abilities needed to excel highly on the global stage after graduation, including English communication skills, logicality and expressiveness.
Since the admission is limited only to 20 students per class in the Global Liberal Arts Program, an program offers an educational environment where students are able to be in very close contact with faculty members to receive personalized guidance. During the first year, a small-group “Tutorial” is provided in the maximum size of f ive students as part of introductory education. Each student gains basic competencies for logical thinking through a variety of activities to acquire various skills, including text reading, essay writing, discussion and presentation, in addition to critical thinking and academic writing. Furthermore, students also learn from one another through Rikkyo University’s unique leadership education program that foster leadership skills through group work and project-based learning. At the same time students develop the ability for
problem-solving by cooperating with other group members and each student develops strong interest in taking initiative for solving global issues. Through the collaboration with fellow classmates and international students to work on assignments, each students become motivated to continue self-improvement and grow into global leaders who can live together with others from diverse backgrounds.
03Living with International Students
GLAP students have the option of living together in an International Dormitory in order to prepare for living in campus accommodation during their study abroad year. Living independently in the dormitory helps to boost students’ motivation to study overseas and clarify their objectives. Students can have the meaningful experience of a communal existence with others from diverse backgrounds, who have different nationalities, cultures and worldviews. Dormitory life helps students to develop an international mindset and enhance their global sensitivities. This valuable experience will enrich their study abroad which starts in the fall semester of the second year.
All GLAP students study abroad at one of the partner institutions for one year from the fall semester of second year to the spring semester ofthird year. Each of GLAP’s partner institution is carefully selected for the program and known for its strong focus on liberal arts education.Academic Advisors will work with each student to determine at which partner school to study abroad and what kind of courses to register at host institution, considering each student’s academic progress. Through the encounters with diverse cultures and customs as well as learning together with others in a different environment aside from Japan, students discover their new potentials, improve their abilities to communicate in English, and build broad networks of personal connections beyond national borders.
Upon returning from study abroad, the GLAP students continue to broaden their perspectives by taking courses from multiple academic disciplines. In addition, after the students complete their general education and study abroad phases, they select one area of specialization that they are interested in studying, chosen from “Humanities”, “Citizenship” and “Business.” In each specialization, the students conduct more specialized studies and deepen their understanding. In the fourth year, as the capstone project of the four-year undergraduate program, students must take “Final Year Seminar” and write the Graduation Paper.
Director, Center for the Global Liberal Arts Program