In recent years, advances in artificial intelligence, robotics, biotechnology, and information and communication technology have been made at an increasingly rapid rate. Developments in these fields make us question the very meaning of our existence and can have a profound effect on modern society at the global level. In an ever-more-borderless world, we are entering an age of unforeseen risks and facing an unpredictable future. At such a pivotal time in our society, we need people to pursue independent learning, respect others, overcome cultural barriers through communication, and discover and resolve global issues. Asia, covering the wide region from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Ocean, is now a center of globalization. As such, it is important for students to understand the specific dynamics of Asia, not only from a Japanese viewpoint, but from a broader, multifaceted perspective.
The College of Global Liberal Arts (GLA), which is due to open in April 2019, aims to nurture students by going beyond the boundaries of a traditional, European-style liberal arts education. By reframing the lens through which the world is examined and by understanding history within the context of Asian culture, the college aims to transform students’ educational experiences. Integrating practical problem-solving techniques into the program will enable the new college to encourage students to develop their own perspectives and bring about significant change.
Furthermore, GLA has partnered with Australian National University (ANU) to establish a dual degree program. In this program, students who have successfully completed four years of study, conducted entirely in English, will be granted degrees from both Ritsumeikan University and ANU. In doing so, GLA is providing a world-class intellectual training ground that offers a multidimensional, internationally recognized learning experience.
The College of Global Liberal Arts aims to nurture innovative world-class leaders who have a diverse and multidimensional body of knowledge, as well as problem-solving skills that exercise this knowledge in flexible and practical ways.
With drastic advancements in technology, knowledge and skills gained through the conventional disciplinary education are becoming quickly outdated and commoditized. These dynamics exert demands on our society to be equipped with an innovative education of liberal arts which embraces the critical transdisciplinary field of knowledge sought after in our age, such as subculture studies; Asia-Pacific studies; and science and technology studies, especially with a focus on digital technology. The College of Global Liberal Arts at Ritsumeikan offers the opportunity to learn these "common languages of the future," which have evolved in a pluralistic manner.
In this age of globalization, GLA will ground its liberal arts education in practical terms, continually nurturing students by providing opportunities to learn about new perspectives in various domains so that they can grow to bridge different countries, societies, and cultures. Their studies will take place in Japan, a key location in the Asia-Pacific region, and specifically in the cities of Osaka and Kyoto of the Kansai region, especially renowned for its rich cultural history. By providing a high-quality pluralistic education in a safe and international environment, GLA offers an education in Japan for students to learn about the world and the future, a unique liberal arts education that can only be attained here and provides bright prospects. At GLA, students can experience a challenging education and help bring about innovations in the world.