Today’s world is changing dramatically.
The progress of globalization has enabled values to transcend national borders, generating new forms of conflict, and leading to uncertainty over what lies ahead.
Given such circumstances, it is crucial for universities to foster people with the ability to thrive in this changing 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 further, the Global Liberal Arts Program (GLAP) was introduced in April 2017 to educate future global leaders who can think and act spontaneously, as well as live in harmony with the people of the world. The liberal arts spirit of free academic inquiry nurtures 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
GLAP has been designed as a four-year undergraduate program, in which the students may earn a bachelor’s degree taught entirely in English. Liberal arts education is a part of Rikkyo University’s distinctive educational strength, which encourages students to pursue their own academic interest, expand academic horizons, and better understand a variety of theories and philosophies. GLAP allows students to put themselves in the environments where they may experience the world, while physically staying in Japan and studying liberal arts in English. As the students learn multiple academic subjects via interdisciplinary approaches, without being confined to any particular major field, they learn to understand diverse and multi-faceted perspectives of global issues. These may be deemed as the most critical skills in today’s society, and will lead student to develop the ability to work with people from all over the world, and better understand each other. As they go through a variety of learning experiences through GLAP, they gain English proficiency as well as communication skills, logical thinking capacity, and the critical thinking ability all of which are highly needed for students to be competitive in global settings after graduation.
As the admission into GLAP is highly selective and limited to only twenty students per year, the program offer an ideal educational environment where students can be in very close contact with their instructors to receive personalized guidance. During the first year, a small-group class “Tutorial” is offered with a maximum size of five students. Each student acquires basic competencies for logical and critical thinking, through a variety of activities such as text reading, essay writing, discussion, and presentation. In addition, students also learn from one another through Rikkyo University’s unique leadership education program that fosters leadership skills through group work and project-based learning. At the same time, they develop the ability for problem-solving by working with other group members, which encourages each student to develop a strong interest in taking initiative for solving global issues. Through working on their assignments with their cohort and international students, every student becomes motivated to continue their self-improvement, and grow to be global leaders who can live along side others with diverse backgrounds.
All GLAP students are required to study abroad, for one academic year, at a partner institution, beginning from the fall semester of their second year to the spring semester of their third year. GLAP’s partner institutions are carefully selected for this program because of their strong focus on liberal arts education. Under the support and guidance of their Academic Advisors, who monitor the students’ academic progress, student decide on where to study and which courses to take at their host institution. Through encounters with diverse cultures and customs, as well as learning experiences in a foreign environment out of Japan, students discover their potential, enhance their ability to communicate in English, and build a wide range of networks with people from all over the world.
When students return from their study abroad experience, GLAP students continue to broaden their perspective by taking courses from multiple academic disciplines. In addition, after students complete the general education phase and study abroad experience, they select one area of specialization: “Humanities,” “Citizenship,” or “Business.” In each area, students engage in specialized studies to deepen their understanding. In the final year, as the capstone project of the four-year undergraduate program, students are required to be take “ Final Year Seminar” class and complete the Graduation Thesis.
GLAP students are given the option of living in an international dormitory, so that they may prepare for living in campus accommodation while they study abroad. Living independently in the dormitory helps students to motivate themselves to study abroad and clarify the objective of their studies. Students have a meaningful experience of spending campus life with others from diverse backgrounds, many of whom have different nationalities, cultures, and worldviews. Life in the dormitory helps the students to develop their international mindset and enhance their global awareness. This is a valuable experience for students to enrich their study abroad experiance, which starts in fall semester of their second year.
Director, Center for the Global Liberal Arts Program