Akita International University takes on the big challenge of a small university
Founded in 2004, AIU has established a leading position in Japan for its global-standard curriculum and multicultural campus environment
Country Business Reports interviews and articles by Discovery Reports www.discoveryreports.com
As globalisation continues to change the world, only the best academic institutions adapt their curriculums and courses to transnational exchanges and developments. Akita International University (AIU) in Akita, Japan, fulfils its mission to cultivate students into responsible global leaders by breaking cultural barriers with a standardised yet dynamic range of liberal arts programmes.
“We educate global leaders – people who can communicate, behave and lead in a global society,” says Norihiko Suzuki, president of AIU. “Leadership and responsibility go hand in hand in comprising managerial talent, and they must be built upon firm understanding of this diverse global society. These are exactly what our international liberal arts education aims to equip students with.”
Founded in 2004, AIU has established a leading position in Japan for its global-standard curriculum and multicultural campus environment. The small liberal arts university has little more than 1,000 students, of which about 25 per cent are international students. It offers four-year undergraduate courses, all in English, alongside professional graduate courses in English language teaching practices, Japanese language teaching practices and global communication practices.
“Since its establishment, the university has been promoting liberal arts in an international setting, incorporating not only humanities and social sciences, but also natural sciences, technology and mathematics in its curriculum,” Suzuki says.
Focusing largely on the importance of giving students a comprehensive and immersive learning environment, AIU requires its students to spend one year in partner universities abroad, and at the same time encourages students to engage in local traditional activities of Akita. This has produced notably high-achieving alumni, contributing to AIU’s ranking as the university with the highest employment rate of graduates in all of Japan. AIU has formed 190 partnerships with institutions from 49 countries and regions, including China, South Korea, Singapore and Britain, and is seeking additional partnerships with international universities including those in Asia. AIU also aims to help students broaden career networks, and welcomes collaborations with international businesses.