The current era is often referred to as the VUCA era. VUCA is a coined word taking the first letters of Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity. Originally a military term, it has been adopted in the business world and has further evolved to describe the unpredictable nature of modern society. Certainly, if we look at what has happened in the world and in Japan over the past decade, there have been many things that were unexpected or far surpassed what could have been expected. As an educational research institution, universities have a role to play in pursuing specialized fields, exploring new knowledge, and cultivating individuals capable of solving the various issues faced by contemporary society. In this VUCA era, it is believed that diversity in academic disciplines is crucial for flexible adaptation.

The Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Saitama University has eleven specialized education programs in five majors in Master’s Degree Program, and six courses in one major in Doctoral Degree Program. It covers a wide range of educational and research fields from truly academic fundamental research to applied research that leads to societal implementation. The Master’s Degree Program includes the “Interdisciplinary Education Program for Applied Science and Technology in Global Environment” from the 2022 academic year. In addition, three special education sub-programs have started aiming at further improving the quality of education with the participation of practitioner-teachers; “Program for the Development of Innovative Human Resources” and “Program for Development of Professional Scientists and Engineers with Data Science Skills,”Program for the Development of High-Grade Scientists (HiSEP-6)” for cultivating doctoral talent who can contribute to the development of academic fundamental research. These sub-programs are designed as a 6-year integrated program that includes undergraduate and master’s degree programs.

In the Graduate School of Science and Engineering, ca. 250 of full-time faculty members and collaborative professors from institutions, such as RIKEN, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), National Institutes for Quantum Science and Technology (QST), National Center for Child Health and Development (NCCHD), Saitama Prefectural Cancer Center, Center for Environmental Science in Saitama (CESS), Saitama Industrial Technology Center (SAITEC), Graduate School of Medicine, Jichi Medical University, and Graduate School of Science, Rikkyo University, are engaged in education and research, where students can study a wide range of subjects from academic fundamental research to applied research according to their own inquiring minds. Let’s strive to acquire and refine the solid core to thrive in the VUCA era in the Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Saitama University.

Dean of Graduate School of Science and Engineering Akihiko Ishii