About ILAS

Background to the establishment of
the Institute of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Liberal arts and sciences education

After eliminating the Faculty of Liberal Arts in 1994, Nagoya University launched, in April 1995, a new education program that replaced the traditional general education program with a liberal arts and sciences educational program that integrates liberal arts and sciences and basic education. This program is the same for all university schools. The goal is to foster advanced expertise and cultivate well-rounded individuals. An All University Four-Year Integrated Committee made up of members from throughout the university was established to manage the program. It was subsequently reorganized as the Liberal Arts and Sciences Committee with members selected from the various schools and other university groups. A Four-Year Integrated Education Planning Committee and a General Education Operating Committee were set up to work under this management body. (These two committees were subsequently merged into the General Education Committee.)

Nagoya University Academic Charter and Organizational Reforms

The Nagoya University Academic Plan was created with the aim of establishing the University as a core comprehensive university for the twenty-first century and to develop academic activities appropriate for a new era. The Nagoya University Academic Charter, which is based on the basic principles of the Academic Plan, was adopted in February 2000. In addition, it was decided that the organization and administration of Nagoya University would be based on a two-dimensional organizational structure consisting of a vertical detailed axis (department system) and a horizontal comprehensive axis (university-wide organization). The department system is composed of academic departments that continue to engage in and further develop education and research activities in existing academic fields. They are also expected to function as a unified body to create new academic fields as needed. The Graduate School of Environmental Studies was newly established in April 2001 as a graduate school that integrates the humanities and sciences. The Graduate School of Information Science was established, and the Graduate School of Languages and Cultures was expanded and reorganized in April 2003. In December 2001, the Institute for Advanced Research was established as a university-wide research organization suitable for a research university, and the Institute of Liberal Arts and Sciences was set up to guide liberal arts and sciences education, which is stressed at Nagoya University.

Shift from a committee system to headquarters system

To further expand and develop its liberal arts and sciences program in a manner appropriate for a university that stresses liberal arts and sciences education, the Institute of Liberal Arts and Sciences began operating as a strong headquarters organization to oversee the administration of liberal arts and sciences education. The Institute is responsible for devising plans, overall planning, and conducting, and evaluating this educational program. Although the traditional committee format worked well as a means of inspecting and ensuring proper management of the general education program, it had only functioned as a coordinating body. The Institute of Liberal Arts and Sciences was established as an independent organization to manage liberal arts and sciences education in order to improve and invigorate the program.