Based in the City of Yokohama, Faculty / Graduate School of Urban Innovation (IUI) is Japan’s first groundbreaking interdisciplinary Graduate School that integrates the humanities and sciences with city as its theme.
Appealing about “Graduate School / Faculty of Urban Innovation (IUI)”
In April 2011, Yokohama National University, which aims to be an international focal point of practical scholarship, established a new Graduate School “Graduate School / Faculty of Urban Innovation (IUI)” with “City” as its theme. This is Japan’s first Graduate School, where graduate school students specializing in architecture, art, civil engineering, international community, etc. eventually cooperate in the area of “City” while deepening the quest for their respective specializations.
IUI was established because “city” is the major challenge that mankind must address in the 21st century, such as: the worsening problems of environment and energy, due to the enormous growth of urban area; turmoil in the political, economic, and cultural values in cities around the world; problems posed by aging population, declining birth rate, and excessive computerization; exodus of population and activities from small and medium-sized cities, and resultant reduction of the city itself; and the problems of quantitative and qualitative fulfilment of livelihood and social infrastructure posed by rapid economic growth and changes in industrial structure of emerging and developing countries. We face the various challenges concerning the city, and are consequently required to achieve innovation of a city that meets these challenges.
Against this backdrop, IUI fosters growth of advanced professionals having practical skills in both, the fields such as architecture and building science and civil engineering that form the structural side (or the hardware) of the city, and fields such as humanities, social sciences, International community and culture / art that comprise the non-structural side (or the software) of the city. To that end, we provide a multifaceted research environment that facilitates cross-sectorial study of both the fields (mainly in Master’s Program). And finally, we want to be an incubator for the globally competitive next generation of leaders having the ability to take a variety of approaches in regard to the theme of urban innovation (mainly in Doctoral Program).
Program for practical education
IUI trains practitioner type human resources by making practice, exercises and training in small classes the pillar of education, and by introducing educational programs emphasizing on case studies and coursework (systematic advancement of study by taking up courses that suit one’s own learning theme, from various courses provided by IUI). This is in line with the Central Council for Education’s report “New Era Graduate School Education”, which aims at “systematic curriculum that imparts the ability to apply it in practice, while being based on the theoretical knowledge”.
Keeping in mind the diverse backgrounds of enrolled students, in research guidance, we offer detailed academic advice based on interest and area of expertise of individual student. In addition, we provide a number of practical programs leading to career development after entering the workforce. We attach great importance to ensure that steps from enrolment to graduation are clear. Further, year 2009 onwards, we introduced GPA (Grade Point Average) system across all the Graduate Schools of IUI. For the purpose of improved quality of the Graduate School education and performance evaluation that meets the international standards, we have a graduation requirement of GPA2.0.
※GPA system…It is known as the performance evaluation system that is common in western universities, and universities in Japan are increasingly adopting it. In the evaluation method of GPA system, a grade point (GP) of High Distinction = 4.5, in Distinction = 4, Credit = 3, Pass = 2, Fail = 0 is allocated to the subject score that is evaluated in 5 stages, and further, GP for that subject is multiplied by number of credits of each subject, and that total is divided by registered courses total number of credits. If that number falls below the standard, then the graduation result is fail.
Appeal of studio education
IUI actively incorporates not only the “classroom lectures” such as lectures and exercises, but also “studio education” where research and creative work is done jointly using hands while interacting with others. Though familiar to people from architecture, here, studio education holds familiarity even for people studying art / culture and people specializing in international community and civil engineering. While enriching the contents of lectures and exercises subjects, we also place greater emphasis on practice oriented studio subjects. For example, 24 credits in Specialization in Architecture, and 8 credits in Specialization in Culture and International Graduate School of Infrastructure (IGSI) are compulsory as studio subjects. As activities that contribute to practical experience and research of their own, for example, activities such as planning / managing / recording of events and symposiums, or jointly creating magazines / booklets, etc., can be developed. In addition, for Specialization in Architecture and Specialization in Culture, master’s degree is obtained by submitting portfolio rather than a master’s thesis, and we would like the students to take full advantage of the results of studio education.