Message from the Director
I have been involved in this international graduate programme since it was launched in 2009. As of the 2021 enrolment, we will have received about 125 students in the master programme and more than 60 students in the doctoral programme from all over the world (26 countries) in total. The programme has been open to Japanese students since 2013, though a limited number of Japanese students have actually joined in the programme. Hopefully, we will have many Japanese students to study together with international students who study here with passion and commitment to contribute to sustainable development of the region and the world.
Our students have a diverse academic background and some of them have working experiences, expected to enrich class discussion, inspire one another, and generate new insights, largely successful so far. This is important as one of the key concepts in the programme is “sustainable development” that requires multidimensional and multidisciplinary perspectives as mentioned in our mission statement. Sustainability is becoming a buzz word. Each person, each researcher, each student might have his or her own idea and definition. In a sense, our programme encourages students to seek out their own way of understanding and their own style of contributions to sustainable development locally as well as globally. At least for us it is not just an environment-related concept. Its definition should also include well-balanced development among different regions, different industry sectors, different socio-economic classes, different generations, and so on. It is about justice and equity; it is about diversity and mutual respect and understanding. Take the idea of SDGs as an example. It includes 17 goals with 169 targets; none of them can/should be pursued and fulfilled at the expense of others. Sustainability is intrinsically a holistic idea.
Therefore, you are strongly encouraged to develop multidimensional, multidisciplinary, multicultural perspectives, and also a critical sense of reality, which is sometimes missing in economics. Whatever topics you are going to study under the disciplines of economics and other social sciences, you should start with a reality on the ground. I hope you would share this idea, not fully but somehow at this moment. You can learn that here with us.
I am looking forward to seeing you in this programme!!
Prof. dr. Shuji HISANO
International Political Economy of Agriculture, Food and Biotechnology