Kyushu University established the School of Interdisciplinary Science and Innovation (capacity: 105 undergraduate students) in April 2018.
Drawing upon Kyushu University’s full strength as an institution with a history spanning more than a century, ISI will seek to nurture talented individuals capable of creating innovation through interdisciplinary cooperation between individuals from a range of backgrounds in an increasingly complex and diverse global society, based on the concept of working together to develop visions and create new things by blending differing perspectives and academic knowledge.
What Does “Interdisciplinary Science and Innovation” Mean?
The rapid advance of globalization is creating problems that transcend regions and national borders to present common challenges for the whole of humanity worldwide, including issues relating to the environment, food, human rights, and economic disparities. There are no clear answers to these problems, so they are tricky to solve immediately. So how do we go about finding a solution to them? To tackle challenges without an answer, we must first actively think for ourselves and plan solutions. As it is impossible to devise adequate solutions singlehandedly, it is necessary to collaborate with others. In solving problems, it is vital to communicate with a variety of people and build up experience. Interdisciplinary science and innovation as defined by ISI means engaging in a repeated process of planning solutions, collaborating with others, and gaining experience to cultivate the attitude and intent to learn what is required of oneself for the problem faced, creating new knowledge that combines all the knowledge required, and putting it to use in the real world. ISI classifies the attitudes and abilities required to identify problems and derive solutions into four types—active learning skills, creative task-framing skills, practical teamwork skills, and international communication skills—and, by cultivating these skills, aims to ensure that students acquire interdisciplinary problem-solving skills.
Learning Aimed at Solving Problems
All students, whether they have major in the humanities or science, are required to gain basic academic fitness by the time they graduate from high school, by repeatedly tackling questions that have defined answers.
At university, students are required to engage in active learning, formulating their own questions in the academic field that they have chosen and finding the answers, building on the foundations of this basic academic fitness. However, there are cases where the expertise is given precedence, in which what one has learned determines the approach, because students specialize in a particular field at an early stage, making it difficult to come up with ideas and thoughts that transcend the boundaries between disciplines. At ISI, you will first identify the problem that you want to address and then learn the expertise required to solve it.
Rather than “I learned this, so I’ll do that,” the approach is “I want to do this, so I’ll learn that.”
By actively learning while constantly remaining aware of the problem at hand, you will be able to grow into a person with the attitudes, focus, knowledge, and skills required to flourish in society.