Nagoya University President Lecture: Tracing the History of Nagoya University

Hello everyone. I am Shuta Wakita, a freshman of the School of Engineering, Nagoya University (NU). President Matsuo gave a special lecture in Liberal Education Courses in Interdisciplinary Fields I am enrolled in, called "Tracing the History of NU," and I'd like to summarize the contents of that lecture for you.




What will you learn at Nagoya University? -- To become Courageous Intellectuals who will contribute to the well-being of the human society and sustainable development

(Lecture by Seiichi Matsuo, Nagoya University President)


History of the University

Nagoya University is a key comprehensive university, which will celebrate the 150th anniversary of its founding in 2021. Its origin dates back to 1871 when the Temporary Medical School/Public Hospital -- the predecessor to today's Nagoya University -- was established. In the same year, prefectures were established in place of feudal domains in Japan. Then, Nagoya University was established in 1939 as the seventh Imperial University of Japan. Soon after that, however, Japan entered into the Pacific War, which prevented the University from receiving much benefit as an Imperial University. After the War, Nagoya University established a campus in Higashiyama from the ground up, invited many young and mid-career researchers from across Japan, and continued to grow as a university. In 2000, the University's Academic Charter, which can be considered Nagoya University's Constitution, was established, and the University's goal now is to cultivate courageous intellectuals who produce results of scholastic distinction on the international stage.


Anxieties about the Future: An Aging Society

Japan is said to be an aging society now. What is this country going to be like?

Meanwhile, from a different perspective, the fact that Japan has been aging earlier than other countries could enable Japan to become a model for the world, if it can overcome this issue. In order to survive in Japan, one of the world's first countries to face the aging issue, it is important for us to imagine what kind of society we want in the future. Some examples would be "a vigorous society even after being aged; a society in which the lifetime of social involvement is close to average life expectancy; a society that respects diversity (nationality and gender); and a society where people's well-being and sustainable development will be achieved by changing views on the concept of society and research and development. With a single special field alone, such societies will never be developed; so, having a broader perspective is important. In this sense, I hope you, Nagoya University students, will get involved in people in various fields and talk with them, by taking advantage of the features of a comprehensive university.   


Advanced Research Aimed at the World's Top Level

Nagoya University has produced a number of Nobel laureates and is actively conducting research. In the Institute of Transformative Bio-Molecules (ITbM) of Nagoya University, one-third of the research members are from overseas, and one-fourth are females. Furthermore, the University has aggressively pursued the restructure of the schools, and will newly establish the School of Informatics next year. Information is essential in all fields; for instance, education is becoming more and more data-based.


Internationality and Diversity

Nagoya University is strengthening its partnerships with Asian countries, and has established branches of its alumni association in several regions of Asia. Currently, 14% (approximately one in every eight) of the 16,000 Nagoya University students (both undergraduates and graduates) are international students. Of the international students, 75% are from Asia, and half of the Asian students are from China. In addition to the promotion of such internationalization, the University is also engaged in promoting gender equality. 



There is stability amidst motion. [tentative translation] (President Matsuo's motto)



After Listening to the Lecture

It was an invaluable opportunity for me to listen to the President's lecture as part of a course. Now that I have heard the lecture, I will seriously think about in what way I would like to become involved in society, and what kind of society I would like to help build.

This is the end of my report on the special lecture by Nagoya University President Matsuo.

Thank you for reading!


Reported by Shuta Wakita (Japanese),

School of Engineering, Nagoya University

(Modified and Translated by the Public Relations Division, Nagoya University)