It has been more than 60 years since Saitama University was established. Although it started out back in May 1949 as a small university comprising only two schools—of education and of humanities and sciences—this institution has grown over the past 60 years into a midsize university with five undergraduate schools (of liberal arts, education, economics, science, and of engineering) and four graduate schools (of cultural science, education, economic science, and of science and engineering).
The university is distinctive in that all of its undergraduate and graduate schools are located together on the Okubo campus (in the Okubo neighborhood of Saitama City). This is advantageous in many respects, offering an environment that is conducive to education and research, extracurricular activities, and student life. The lush green Okubo campus still enjoys vestiges of the Musashino Plain (which covers an expanse north of Tokyo) from the Kamakura period (a 150-year period from the late 12th c. to the early 14th c.). To the west, one can see Mt. Fuji (3,776 m) far off in the distance or the nearer Chichibu mountain range of about 2,000 meters high. To the northeast, the skyscrapers of Saitama’s new city center rise up into the sky. From here, central Tokyo is only about one hour away. There are approximately 7,400 undergraduate and 1,000 graduate students studying at this campus. In addition, there are about 460 faculty and 220 staff.
Saitama University adopts a variety of educational strategies to ensure that its students gain a high level of specialized knowledge while getting a broad-based general education and developing their international sensibilities, thus allowing them to become fresh and dynamic citizens and workers who will make important contributions to society. In addition to the specialized educational programs offered by each faculty, Saitama University has several types of programs that make it unique among Japanese universities, such as its liberal arts educational program, which is open to all students and its interdisciplinary thematic educational programs.
In addition, our university has developed a special educational program, called Global Youth, which was launched last year. This is an elite program aimed at cultivating individuals who will be equipped to play roles in the international arena. It includes a yearlong study abroad program and internship opportunities with international development organizations. Also, the university has been making efforts for a long time to accept international students from overseas and to provide educational programs for working adults. Today, the university has around 500 international students from countries in Southeast Asia, including Bangladesh, Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam, as well as students from China, South Korea, Australia, the United States, Egypt, Poland, and Germany.
The current generation faces many global challenges related to the creation of a sustainable 21st-century society. Saitama University is facing this challenge head on by creating knowledge that can be disseminated around the world and striving to serve as a national center of advanced education and research and of human resource cultivation.
I look forward to welcoming large numbers of students from overseas to Saitama University and to promoting greater levels of research exchange activities with international universities and research institutions.
Yoshihiko Kamii, President, Saitama University