12 Signs of ICU's International Focus
Opening hearts by encountering students from around the world
Increasing the number of classes taught in foreign languages
More than 50% of ICU students expand their potential through study abroad.
Improving ratio of English-language senior theses to 45% of total
Offering more flexible and carefully designed language programs to better respond to student needs and weaknesses
Taking our Japanese-English bilingual education policy even further
Making syllabi accessible to everyone
Putting in place a system that allows for easier implementation of study abroad programs for students coming to and from Japan.
Cultivating the ability to understand other values through living with students from around the world
Faculty diversity produces new ideas
Bilingual staff assigned to all departments
Achievement by 2023
Classes taught in Foreign Languages
Classes taught in foreign languages currently make up 33.2% (in 2019) of the courses offered at ICU, but that number is scheduled to increase to 40.6% by 2023. The new curriculum will be based on a bilingual, Japanese-English educational philosophy, with courses such as Japanese literature taught in Japanese and courses for which English would be more appropriate taught in English in order to increase the quality of an ICU education as a whole.
What makes ICU special
No "English only" path to graduation
When Japanese students study overseas they are given a chance to experience new cultures from within, and in the same way, universities here serve as a place for students from overseas to encounter the real "Japan." This is why ICU ICU does not offer "English-only" programs that allow students to graduate without taking classes Japanese. Instead, students are given a thoroughly bilingual education in both Japanese and English.
Writing Senior Theses in English
All ICU students are required to write a senior thesis before graduation. ICU will enhance the support it offers to increase the percentage of students writing their thesis in English. First, the English for Liberal Arts program (ELA) now has a course that is dedicated to scientific writing. As part of its writing support services, the Center for Teaching and Learning has begun offering proofreading support for senior theses written in English. These initiatives will be further expanded with the aim of increasing the number of senior theses written in English to 45%.
Earning Credits for Courses Taught in English
ICU has pursued a policy of bilingual education in Japanese and English since it was first founded, and we are now taking this policy even further. Students will receive about half of their credits in courses taught in Japanese and half in courses taught in English.
The society of the future will require people who have an open sense of values and the independence to keep learning for their entire lives. Working together with others as trustworthy global citizens internationally and regionally, in Japan and in other countries, in a variety of industries and professions and in their personal lives, they will contribute to the peace and co-existence of the human race.
ICU is constantly striving to realize its philosophies so it may continue on its quest to produce individuals of this caliber.
*Example for student in English for Liberal Arts Program Stream 3 The number of credits earned in the ELA will differ depending on degree of language proficiency.
Current level (As of May 1, 2020)
Faculty gathers from around the world here at ICU, which is exactly why an ICU education is a world-class education. The percentage of International faculty at ICU is more than 90.3% (according to the MEXT Top Global University Project Statement, in addition to foreign nationals, the term "international faculty" includes Japanese faculty who have earned academic credentials at overseas universities). ICU is able to offer a quality education that is on a par with the world's best institutions.
Even people from the same culture can have different perspectives, and those differences can become even greater with people who raised in different cultures. ICU's student body is made up of people who have been educated in some 50 countries and regions around the world. These students come from a wealth of educational backgrounds to learn together on ICU's truly diverse campus, helping cultivate trustworthy, open-hearted people for the international community - the global citizens of tomorrow.
In order to become trustworthy global citizens, students need to engage in dialogue with people from a variety of backgrounds. One feature of ICU's study abroad program is that students studying at overseas universities can earn credits for the courses they take alongside local students, allowing them to tailor their individual experience to match their goals and length of stay in a variety of ways. This serves as proof of the international applicability of an ICU education.
Percentages of students who study abroad before graduation: 56.0% (in 2019)
What makes ICU special
ICU not aiming for 100% to study abroad
ICU's student body includes Japanese students returning from abroad and international students looking to study in Japan, but there are also many Japanese students deeply devoted to doing something here in Japan. If ICU were to oblige such students to take part in a study abroad program, we believe those student would lose both motivation and independence. While our mission is to provide students with study abroad programs that meet their needs, the decision on whether or not to take part is ultimately up to the students themselves. Students should continually ask themselves what path they should take from the many choices available.
Language education at ICU is not limited to the study of language - the goal is to cultivate within students the thinking abilities and other academic skills they need to succeed at university. The ELA is fortifying the foundation of ICU's introductory program to the liberal arts education. This is being achieved by increasing the number of previously rare science-based topics and by offering thesis writing guidance through specialized scientific writing courses to bridge the gap between the humanities and sciences. The ELA will also enhance its more advanced English classes, which are aimed at improving TOEFL scores and presentation skills, by surveying and responding to the needs of students. The aim is to create courses that will help students who have good English but whose academic writing abilities are not yet up to standard.
Meanwhile, the Japanese Language Program (JLP) provides introductory courses in April and September to coincide with university entrance periods, and, for students looking to gain a stronger grasp of Japanese, such as April returnees, the JLP has launched a new "Special Japanese Program." Other specialized courses designed to improve reading comprehension and conversational skills will also be developed to cater to intermediate and advanced students as well.
For some ICU courses, the syllabus is available in English, even if the course is taught in Japanese.
This assists students whose Japanese language abilities are still not sufficient, such as non-Japanese students and returnees, to formulate their future study plans.
Grade Point Average (GPA) is used to attach a numerical value to student's academic achievements. This system is used worldwide to aid educators in providing more detailed academic advice to students, and to judge candidates applying for scholarships or study abroad programs.
Course numbering is a tool that assigns numbers to courses based on the level of their content. It allows different education systems around the world to understand the level of class content based upon the number assigned to a course. ICU has used these systems since its doors first opened. It helps students planning on studying abroad to confirm the connections between the content of ICU classes and the courses offered at their destination university, making it easier to formulate study plans and to transfer credits earned overseas. The converse is also true - students abroad considering studying at ICU can confirm what specialized courses are available here and can research the content and level of courses before arriving in Japan, making it easier to formulate study plans for their time at ICU.
Two new student dormitories, Mom House and Maple House, opened in April, 2017, bringing the number of ICU's dormitories to ten. With these two additions, 30% of the ICU student body can now live and study together on campus.
A feature of ICU's dormitories is that they are basically managed by the students themselves, with an emphasis on dialogue. Meetings are generally held once a month at each dormitory, where students decide on rosters for cleaning and other duties that are essential to communal living and discuss events at the dormitory and any other issues related to dormitory management. Dormitory rules are not unilaterally imposed by the university; instead, the students decide the rules after debating them among themselves, followed by discussion with the university. This is a unique feature of ICU, where value is placed on dialogue.
It is said that diversity produces ideas that can transform the world. The diverse range of faculty at ICU improves the quality of an ICU education.
All departments have assigned to them staff who are able to communicate in English or who have experience studying abroad. These bilingual staff will be able to perform all necessary duties in both Japanese and English and support our foreign-national faculty and international students.
61.5% of ICU staff have a TOEIC score of 800 or above. Staff may also elect to access off-campus language training and overseas training programs. ICU staff participate in such programs every year. In this way, ICU strives to cultivate staff who are able to transcend differences in nationalities and cultural backgrounds to communicate with students and faculty and negotiate with overseas universities.