The aim of the Graduate School of Policy Studies is to foster people of talent with ability and qualifications capable of superb policy analysis and of understanding other cultures. Specifically, students undertake interdisciplinary, global research that renders them able to correctly perceive and analyze paradigms in Japan and around the world. This becomes the basis for formulating practical policy based on study of policy issues and theory at several levels, with the aim of equipping them to serve as mediators between Asia and the rest of the world, and enabling them to contribute to human development and harmony. The supervised areas of research offered are Law and Society, Economics and Public Policy, Enterprises and Management, International Relations and Development, Civilization and Nation States, Asian History and Cultures, Methods for Policy Studies, and Globalization and Japan. From among these research areas, students select one field and a research supervisor for their chosen field, and complete a program of the Basic Curriculum and Advanced Curriculum in incremental steps, under the individual direction of their academic advisors.
New challenges in the VUCA world:
The importance of autonomous learning
The Graduate School of Policy Studies was established in 1997 with its Master program, followed by the Doctoral program in 1999. We are relatively new compared to other Chuo graduate schools, but as of March 2021, 448 students had earned the Master’s degree and 90 students had attained the Doctor degree.
Policy Studies is a field that aims to take a comprehensive approach to problems by utilizing methodologies from different disciplines rather than being based only on a single type of academic study, such as Law or Economics. This means being inter-disciplinary rather than adhering to a single discipline. The goal is to contribute to society by finding and defining a problem based on inter-disciplinary perspectives, coming up with an appropriate methodology to solve the problem, and ultimately refining and organizing the methodology into proposals or policies.
In recent years, the term “VUCA world,” characterized by four acronyms, Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity, has been in use, during a time in which unprecedented circumstances are occurring one after another, and situations that have never been expected within conventional frameworks are appearing worldwide. In the VUCA world, the ability to judge for oneself and to decide actions to be taken based on one’s own decision is highly valued.
The current situation of the COVID-19 pandemic is a perfect example. It is precisely in a time like this that students acquiring the attitude of proactively learning and finding solutions to problems through the approach of “Policy Studies” is becoming more important than ever.
The Graduate School of Policy Studies has a wide variety of professors, all of whom are experts in their respective fields. In our School, several professors take charge of each research theme and strive to support each student in achieving their goals. What is important is to keep your awareness high, critically analyze observable social phenomena, and have the courage to step into areas beyond the conventional approaches.
Why don’t you undertake a new challenge in the age of the VUCA world? Come join us in the Graduate School of Policy Studies which aims to nurture “autonomous learners” who can contribute to global society from a perspective that transcends the traditional boundaries of specialized academic fields and diverse national and cultural backgrounds?
Tsutomu KOBAYASHI Dean, Graduate School of Policy Studies