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The Unique Shinshu-Oriented Education Program

Taking Full Advantage of Shinshu

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.
In accordance with the measures adopted by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology to promote the development of a regionally-oriented education system, we have taken the initiative to establish the University as a "Center of Community" (University COC Programs) (2013-2017).
We organize and categorize all classes into "themes", from regionally-specific issues to global challenges, in order to provide a continuous learning environment that enables students to study a certain social issue which they are interested in from their freshman year through to senior level in an interdisciplinary manner, while acquiring the latest knowledge in the subject they are specializing in. We also continue to expand the involvement of local lecturers and the range of study fields which lend themselves to problem-based learning.
Furthermore, we are utilizing the 2015 Program for Promoting Regional Revitalization by Universities as Centers of Community (COC+ Program, 2015-2019) to cultivate human resources with considerable experience and a deep understanding of the ties between academic study, society and the local region. We hope to cultivate such human resources in close cooperation with the local region and give back to the local community.

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 the Faculty of Engineering. Students learn how the device powers a fence designed to prevent animals damaging crops, and think about the benefits of locally generated power.

Participation in a River Environment Survey

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.

Business project proposals via field experience and study

PBL (Project-Based Learning) classes take part in joint studies with local communities; the students not only gain an understanding of the issues in the community but also use what they have learnt to propose solutions and then put their ideas into practice. The above photo depicts students learning about the history, utilization and so forth of local regional resources at a winery vineyard in Shiojiri City.

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 the role the aquatic ecosystem plays in people's lives.

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.

Developing key personnel for the future of Shinshu with the local community

Shinshu Academia (COC) has produced a new educational program that integrates locally-developed "practical wisdom" with the university's "theoretical wisdom". The photo shows a class focusing on "the activities in a mountainous village" in the semi-mountainous area course.