On August 25, 2020, The Ritsumeikan Trust under the umbrella of which Ritsumeikan University operates announced that College of Image Arts and Sciences, Graduate School of Image Arts located on the Kinugasa Campus and the College and Graduate School of Information Science and Engineering located on the Biwako-Kusatsu Campus (“BKC”) will relocate to the Osaka Ibaraki Campus (“OIC”) in April 2024.
Under the banner of the R2030 Ritsumeikan Academy Vision, with its motto of “Challenge your mind. Change our Future,” Ritsumeikan has declared the need to rise to the challenge precisely because we live in an age where it is difficult to develop a clear outlook for the future. To face head-on and find solutions to the issues occurring on a global scale, Ritsumeikan believes it must become a next-generation research university that creates new value for a diverse society by pursuing a wide range of advanced research at the international level. As Ritsumeikan was discussing how to shape this vision, the COVID-19 pandemic occurred, which is forcing universities to radically transform conventional modes of teaching and administrative operations. After much deliberation, one concrete response to what society and the university of the future should look like in an age of coexisting with the coronavirus and the post-coronavirus age beyond that, we conceived the idea of a socially connected campus, that is, a platform for globally visualized education and research.
The College of Image Arts and Sciences was established in 2007 as a distinctive arts college that approached visual production from the fields of the arts, business, and technology, thereby providing learning that only a comprehensive university can. Meanwhile, the College of Information Science and Engineering was established on BKC in 2004 to provide comprehensive coverage of a wide range of fields pertaining to information and communications technology (ICT). Both colleges have garnered attention at home and abroad as places where students can learn about cutting-edge ICT, including IoT and AI. Both colleges work from a foundation in digital technology to provide education that is highly compatible with the new era of coexisting with the coronavirus and the coming post-coronavirus era, and they both are expected to contribute to the solution of a wide array of social issues for Society 5.0, that is, a human-centered society that balances economic advancement with the resolution of social problems by a system that highly integrates cyberspace and physical space.
With the relocation of these distinctive colleges and graduate schools, Ritsumeikan will promote the transformation of OIC into a “socially connected campus,” (temporary translation) that is, a dynamic platform that expands the university’s connections with the community where we can perform demonstration projects and create value in order to find solutions to the issues facing society. Furthermore, the output from OIC will be incorporated into the education and research on our other campuses as we strive to present a new vision for education and research, and we expect this to lead to the creation of a campus that not only satisfies our students and researchers, but also encourages companies and local governments to cooperate with us.
In addition to this announcement, Ritsumeikan also announced that it has concluded cooperation agreements with NTT Docomo Inc. and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone West Corporation (“NTT West” ) respectively. Under these agreements, the two companies will provide us with their cutting-edge IT technology and digital marketing know-how, and together we will help create new value for a symbiotic society.
■Comment from Tomomi Morishima, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Ritsumeikan Trust
With the relocation of these two colleges and graduate schools, I hope we can accelerate the deployment of detailed initiatives pertaining to our new campus concept and a new style of teaching and research. Almost immediately, NTT Docomo and NTT West indicated their support for our concept of a socially connected campus, and today we concluded cooperation agreements with both companies. Going forward, we will further strengthen our ties with the community, and we will continue striving to enhance our social value as a university and an educational institution.
■Comment from Yoshio Nakatani,Chancellor of the Ritsumeikan Trust and President of Ritsumeikan University
With the rapid advancement of digital technology and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are being asked to consider what shape education, research, and universities should take. Spurred by the relocation to OIC of these two colleges and graduate schools, whose common topics include AI, IoT, digital technology, sense/emotion, and creativity, we will fuse cutting-edge visual representation with information technology, and we would like to create a new kind of education and a new format for university learning to meet the demands of the times.
■ Comment from Keisuke Kitano, Dean of the College of Image Arts and Sciences and the Graduate School of Image Arts
When this college was founded in Kyoto in 2007, it was the unique college in Japan with “image arts” in its title. With the move to OIC, our horizons will be expanded, and we are planning to create a singular dynamism of image arts in the Kansai region, centering on Osaka and Kyoto. Searching for image researches and productions for the era to come, we undertake to foster highly creative creators and innovators who will lead changes in society.
■Comment from Yoichi Yamashita, Dean of the College and the Graduate School of Information Science and Engineering
April 2024 will mark exactly 20 years since the establishment of this college in 2004. With the move to OIC, we will be able to strengthen our ties more than ever with various institutions and in a variety of fields both inside and outside the university. We will pursue the research and development of new IT that can change the world, and we will continue producing information engineers who can lead the technological revolution in the global society.
Overview of the Relocation
- Colleges/ Graduate Schools Subject to Relocation and Timing of Relocation
From Kinugasa Campus to OIC: College of Image Arts and Sciences, Graduate School of Image Arts
From BKC to OIC: College and Graduate School of Information Science and Engineering
Both colleges and graduate schools and all of their students will relocate to OIC in April 2024
- Expected Initiatives after Relocation*1
１） Creating a socially connected campus
・Realize a creative campus rooted in art and technology and the fusion of the virtual and the physical
・Realize open innovation that connects us to companies, the local community, and the world
・Promote the adoption of technology in existing sectors in the implementation of cutting-edge technology in education and research
・Turn the campus into a “creative complex”(temporary translation) where art and social outreach are leveraged to create new value through the latest demonstration projects
・Develop ties with the Kansai region and Osaka, which is currently preparing to holding EXPO 2025, promoting itself as a hub for eco-friendly startups, and implementing the second phase of the Umekita development area , to accelerate the creation of value for the solution of problems facing the region, Japan, and the world
２）College of Image Arts and Sciences / Graduate School of Image Arts
・Develop and practice new models of online learning, and promote new styles of active learning, which are expected to be the foundation for creativity
・Extend the student intake capacity to enrich academics and establish a new English-based course
・Establish a doctoral program in image arts, and open new facilities for social networking, which would be called Creative Labs.
３）College and Graduate School of Information Science and Engineering
・Open the ICT Education and Research Support Center (temporary translation) to provide support for core duties and academic endeavors
・Establish the OIC Advanced Technology Research Institution (temporary translation) and strengthen ties with industry along with basic research
・Establish the Future Tech Playground (temporary translation) where high school students and local citizens can learn about technology in a hands-on fashion
・Promote continuing education and reform the curriculum to encompass six years of integrated education (3 years of basic education + 3 years of research)
４）Developments at the Ritsumeikan Academy level
・Create visual productions and disseminate research by way of an online video sharing platform (College of Image Arts and Sciences and Graduate School of Image Arts)
・Use EdTech to provide basic IT subjects on a university-wide basis (College /and Graduate School of Information Science and Engineering)
*1 Plan current at the time of announcement but subject to change.
- Overview of the Colleges and Graduate Schools Scheduled for Relocation
１） College of Image Arts and Sciences
Departments and Majors: Department of Image Arts and Sciences (Enrollment capacity: 160)
Date of Establishment: April 2007
Features: Exploring image arts from the fields of art, business, and technology
The Five Learning Zones: (1) Film Arts, (2) Game Entertainment, (3) Creative Technology, (4) Content Business Management, and (5) Society and Images
２）Graduate School of Image Arts
Departments and Majors: Major in Image Arts (master's degree; enrollment capacity: 10)
Date of Establishment: April 2011
Features: Developing visual directors with a producer's mind
３）College of Information Science and Engineering
Departments and Majors: Department of Information Science and Engineering (Enrollment capacity: 475)
Date of Establishment: April 2004
Features: Comprehensive coverage of a wide range of fields pertaining to information and communications technology (ICT)
Seven Courses:(1) Systems Architecture, (2) Security and Networks, (3) Frontier Social Design, (4) Physical Computing, (5) Audio and Visual Media Technology, (6) Artificial and Natural Intelligence, and (7) Information Systems Science and Engineering
４）Graduate School of Science and Engineering
Departments and Majors: (Master's program: enrollment capacity: 200; doctoral program: enrollment capacity: 15)
Date of Establishment: April 2012
Features: Cultivating researchers and advanced professionals who can succeed anywhere in Japan or around the world