Message from the President

Taking On Challenges for a New Era While Valuing History and Tradition

Tadayuki Hayashi

If you look eastward from the center of Kyoto city, you'll see the verdant mountains of Higashiyama. In the foothills of one of those mountains, Amidagamine, stands the Kyoto Women's University campus. Numerous sightseeing spots can be found near our campus, but the campus itself is situated in a quiet area that is conducive to learning and to making the most of student life.

Kyoto Joshi Gakuen ("Kyoto Women's Educational Institution"), the parent organization of Kyoto Women's University, celebrated its 115th year in 2014. In 1949, Kyoto Women's University was established to further pursue the mission of providing education for women— a mission that we have since been carrying out steadily. Our university education began with two faculties: the Faculty of Letters and the Faculty of Home Economics. After a subsequent reorganization, we added the Faculty of Contemporary Society and the Faculty of Human Development and Education. In 2011, we became the first women's university in Japan to have a Faculty of Law. In this way, Kyoto Women's University is taking on new challenges to meet the needs of today, while respecting history and tradition.

One of the things that characterizes education at Kyoto Women's University is our focus on humanistic education based on Buddhist principles. Here, we explore issues of personal development—an area often neglected by modern society—and we encourage our students to value all life equally. Another outstanding feature of the university is that we place special emphasis on small-group education. Starting from the first year, all faculties have small-group classes in which students learn through close dialogue with their teachers and peers. These accumulated experiences help students to find their own path in life. Attention to detail is a theme running throughout the university, from foreign language education to IT education to career development advising. We also have a system in which students seeking employment are assisted by specialized staff with expert knowledge and experience in career guidance and job placement for women.

While Kyoto boasts numerous historical and cultural assets registered as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the city has always remained at the forefront of new cultural trends. Today, Kyoto is home to a number of companies that lead the world in state-of-the-art technologies, reflecting a fusion between tradition and technological innovation. It goes without saying that Kyoto is a cosmopolitan city that attracts people from all over the world. This serves to further enhance the learning environment for students, as we see our numerous graduates go on to achieve success in their chosen fields. We will continue to provide education programs that simultaneously reflect our traditional values and meet the needs of today’s society. Most importantly, we remain committed to fostering women who can play an active role in the future.