Dean’s Message

Dean of SGHSS
Prof. Yuji Morikawa

The School of Global Humanities and Social Sciences at Nagasaki University was established in 2014 to train individuals to acquire the skills, judgment, sensitivity and ability to take action as independent people who can survive globalization in the world of today.

Below I would like to touch on the following:
1. Educational content of Global Humanities and Social Sciences
2. Time to be a college student
3. A message from me about the significance of studying

1. Educational content of Global Humanities and Social Sciences
I consider the educational mission of the School is to develop persons with an all-embracing human strength through the following four areas of education:
1) Liberal arts in the true sense;
2) Communication skills in English as the universal language;
3) The expertise of each faculty member in Global Humanities and Social Sciences; and
4) The education of business skills for today’s society and the future.

1-1. Liberal arts is from the Latin “Liberalis Ars / Artes technology / academic suitable for free people”. It comprised of three areas of study for the free citizens of Greek and Roman times when participating in civic activities. This “trivium” is education consisting of grammar, logic, and rhetoric; and the “quadrivium”, which is related to numbers, consists of arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy. If it is put in present day terms, it can be said to be the intelligence that underlies the humanity of modern society.
Unlike the vertically divided academic disciplines that teach specialized knowledge by the transfer type system, liberal arts education aims to develop the ability to see things from various angles and the skills to think and make decisions independently and comprehensively by acquiring knowledge and techniques commonly required across disciplines (National Institution for Academic Degrees and Quality Enhancement of Higher Education). A feature of liberal arts education is that professors, staff and students have a close working relationship, and the professors give detailed guidance on students’ courses, internships, study abroad, and employment. The School of Global Humanities and Social Sciences at Nagasaki University also wants to be a department where its faculty, staff, and students have a sense of unity.

1-2. In a globalized society, the ability to communicate in English as the universal language is also important. Our school provides students with many opportunities and an excellent environment in which to develop English communication skills in relation to the liberal arts.

1-3. On the matter of how to learn about the liberal arts and communication skills, there are many faculty members in our department who specialize in humanities and social sciences. By selecting one of the disciplines and the related issues and tackling them, you can see the relationship with other disciplines and other issues. Through a process of constructively analyzing and discussing, you will gain knowledge of the liberal arts and develop your communication skills. For those students who wish to deepen their specialization, there is the graduate school path (Master’s Program / Doctoral Program).

1-4. After graduating, you will be expected to contribute to society with this knowledge. In order to do this, you will need the skills and wisdom to survive in modern society. At the School of Global Humanities and Social Sciences, we will consolidate this knowledge not only with business skills, but also with IT technology, the ability to research and analyze and make presentations, motivation, and toughness. I also consider that these skills and the Liberal Arts are two sides of the same coin.
I firmly believe that acquiring knowledge and skills in the above four areas while attending the school will empower you even when you are out in society.

2. Your time as a university student
The time as a university student is about four years at the most in your life. Yet it is extremely valuable time free from the restraints of the working world. But freedom is not doing something because somebody told you to, but means thinking and acting for yourself. I imagine you all learned from a teacher while following a textbook when you were in high school and solved problems that had answers, and then took your university entrance exam. When you go out into society, you will have to carry out your role in a company to receive a salary. For most people, this means that in their lives only the four years at university will be the time to study, think, and act freely without constraints. Of course, I myself have had free time up until now and I also had free time after joining a company; however, in despite of the curriculum, it is only at university that you can freely study what you like. It is also at university that you have the best chance to realize your true self. And that will shape your personality. Because you have never had such an experience, it is rather a difficult thing not to depend on society but to be responsible and free. I was also confused when I was at university. But please rise to the challenge that this free self poses.

3. The meaning of study
Finally, I would like you to think about why we study. Firstly, it is simply because it is interesting. It’s simply interesting to understand how things work, why, and to understand relationships. I think human beings are made this way. Ridiculous things are also interesting, and simultaneously intellectual excitement is also interesting. Just as it is interesting once you get the hang of a sport, it is interesting to learn in academics. And if you understand one thing, you may find you understand the following thing. Questions arise one after another, and answers also arise one after another.
Secondly, the meaning of studying is to solve real problems and be of help. Infectious organs such as bacteria and virus were found in the 19th Century and early 20th Century. Then, we now understand that COVID-19 is caused by infection of the virus SARS-CoV-2. This knowledge is essential for us to fight with the COVID-19 pandemic, though it is not easy to contain the disease worldwide.

To conclude, the best thing about studying is that you learn to be humble. You realize that there are many people in the world who are smarter than yourself and many people who have interesting thoughts. How wise scientists and philosophers that raised questions that you have not thought of. The more you study, the more mysterious nature, human beings, and society are, and we are overwhelmed by the fact that there are people who have worked on all sorts of things. It makes we want to understand more. Becoming humble is also the reward for studying.

I think the liberal arts is a discipline that makes us become humble. And I think free people should be humble. By studying in earnest, you can be free yet also be a member of a harmonious and prosperous society and contribute to it.

It is my wish that the School of Global Humanities and Social Sciences will be such a place for its faculty and students. I hope your student life will be fruitful.

Professor Yuji Morikawa
Dean of the School of Global Humanities and Social Sciences

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