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Features of Education

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Acquiring a genuine environmental mindset from a global perspective

Cultivating an environmental mindset

The foundation of education at Shinshu University is the development of individuals who have the capability to resolve social issues while maintaining an enriched sense of humanity and being able to serve as leaders in society. One aspect of these qualities and capabilities is the "environmental mind", which is outlined in our diploma policies for undergraduate students. In 2001, Shinshu University's Faculty of Engineering became the first national public university in Japan to obtain ISO14001 certifications. Since then, the entire university has taken up the theme of becoming an ecological campus and has produced many individuals who are well versed in a variety of basic and applied skills related to the environment. This "environmental education" is one of the unique education curriculums made possible because of Shinshu's rich natural environment. A unique aspect of our environmental activities is that students are at the center, and they continue to grow as they repeat the PDCA cycle in their lifestyles on and off campus. Students formed the environmental ISO student council to independently implement and maintain an environment management system. In addition, since 2008 we have incorporated the "Green MOT (Management of Technology) Education Program". It is mainly lead by the Graduate School of Economics (Institute of Innovation Management), and provides graduate school students with education of environmental training related to technology. Also since 2008, we have sponsored overseas environmental education internships. The internships provide students with exposure to diverse perspectives relating to environmental activities. Serving as an opportunity for learning and exchange, the circle of social innovation is extended through the globally common keyword: "environment".

Overseas Environmental Education Training Trip

Overseas Environmental Education Training Trip

An education training program is held every year. This photo was taken on a visit to Nepal in 2013. Previous trainings have been held in Austria, Germany, USA and Italy. The students gain first-hand knowledge of differences with environmental activities in Japan.

Environmental ISO Student Committee

Environmental ISO Student Committee

This committee has been formed out of students’ own initiatives on each of Shinshu University’s five campuses to conduct a variety of environmental activities.

Distribution of Reusable Bags to Freshmen

Distribution of Reusable Bags to Freshmen

Every April, when new students matriculate at Shinshu University, members of the Environmental ISO Student Committee design and distribute reusable bags to the new students. Thanks to the Environmental ISO Student Committee’s passion for the environment, they consciously use these bags instead of the less environmentally friendly disposable shopping bags.

Interchange with Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM)

Interchange with Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM)

Shinshu University signed an academic exchange agreement with UPM in 2010. Each year international exchange is enhanced through initiatives to promote an environmental mindset, including overseas training in environment education and visits by overseas delegations.

Eco-campus Cards Carried by All Students and Staff Members

Eco-campus Cards Carried by All Students and Staff Members

This card promotes environmental awareness by including aspects such as knowledge regarding environmental policies and conservation as well the record of card holder’s environmental efforts.

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Making the Most of the Shinshu Region's Natural Resources

A Unique Shinshu-Style Education Program

Shinshu University's general education program plays a key role in developing the skills that will enable our graduates to contribute to society. One of the unique features of the educational experience we offer is the opportunity for students to engage in fieldwork and learn about the natural environment. No less important are our guest speakers, both from industry and the local community, whose lectures provide students with a broad knowledge of regional culture. As part of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology's initiative to promote universities as the Center of Communities (COC), "Shinshu Academia" aims to cultivate the ability to resolve regional issues. This will be a collaborative undertaking involving various regional entities and resources, and will form a part of the curriculum not only of first-year students but also of those in higher years. Students will engage in problem-solving exercises based both on case studies, presented by lecturers from the local community and industrial liaison officers, and also on fieldwork coordinated by regional instructors. By means of these projects the University aims to meet in unique ways the goals of the current reform initiative to develop regionally-oriented education programs through which young people might come, via first-hand experience, to deepen their understanding of the links between academic institutions and local communities.

A Visit to the Nano-Waterwheel

A Visit to the Nano-Waterwheel

Students watch a nano-waterwheel at work in a village forest in Nagano. The waterwheel was developed and built by a teacher in Faculty of Engineering. Students learn how the device powers a fence designed to prevent birds and other animals damaging crops, and think about the benefits of locally generated power.

Learning from Nature at First-Hand

Learning from Nature at First-Hand

The University offers a variety of courses which give students the opportunity to learn from direct experience of the natural environment of Shinshu. In this seminar, each group of students makes their own plan to conduct research on the aquatic insects and water quality of a mountain stream, and afterwards discuss their findings together.

Research by the Social Studies Department of the Faculty of Arts

Research by the Social Studies Department of the Faculty of Arts

For the past two years, a research project conducted in the city of Omachi has been looking at settlement and welfare policies, farmers’ markets selling for agricultural products, water resources and industry, the convenience of commercial facilities, and the use of tourist sites. Attitude surveys have been conducted by interviewing local people.

Studying Environmental Protection in a Region of Mountains and Lakes

Studying Environmental Protection in a Region of Mountains and Lakes

The photo shows a research team working on Lake Suwa. Through an integrated approach combining the natural and social sciences with fieldwork, students learn about the conservation of lakes and rivers as well as about the role the aquatic ecosystem plays in people’s lives.

Kura Street Campus

Kura Street Campus

A “kura” is a traditional storehouse and the photo shows the Kura Street Campus Initiative, a collaborative project between the University and the city of Suzaka in Nagano Prefecture. The city itself becomes a campus as architectural students from the Faculty of Engineering conduct research into historical buildings and the methods used to conserve and reconstruct streets and dwellings.

Nurturing the Future Leaders of Shinshu with the Cooperation of the Regional Community

Nurturing the Future Leaders of Shinshu with the Cooperation of the Regional Community

There are many alpine valleys in Nagano, like that shown in the photo here, and some of the communities in these areas are having difficulty surviving. By drawing on the expertise of the University, “Shinshu Academia” cultivates the talents of those who wish to dedicate themselves to the conservation and development of these regional communities. The result is a unique approach to education that benefits both the University and the region at large.

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