Waseda University

Waseda University

Waseda University Details

  • Country : Japan
  • City : Shinjuku-ku
  • Acronym : WU
  • Founded : 1882
  • Students (approx.) : 55000
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Waseda University holds as its founding principles the preservation of the independence of scholarship, the promotion of the practical application of scholarship, and the fostering of good citizens.

Holding the independence of scholarship as a central principle, Waseda University pledges to contribute to the scholarship of the world by regarding freedom of research as essential and devoting itself constantly to original research.

Holding the practical application of scholarship as a central principle, Waseda University pledges to contribute to the progress of the times by establishing a path for the practical use of scholarship as well as pursuing theoretical research for its own sake.

Holding the fostering of good citizens as a central principle, Waseda University pledges to cultivate people of character who can respect individuality, develop themselves and their families, benefit the nation and society, and be active in the world at large.

The transformation to a global and borderless world is gaining momentum every year, touching every sector of society, and universities are no exception. Labels such as domestic and foreign lose their meaning, as universities throughout the world face increasingly fierce competition in their pursuit of the highest-quality education and research.

Since its foundation, Waseda University has been sensitive to changes in society while maintaining its core principles. We have fearlessly taken on a variety of challenges and tirelessly pursued innovation. Waseda has been built by our many predecessors and their bold endeavors embodying the founding spirit. However, as we face this era of massive change, I see it as the mission and duty of today’s Waseda to go further building on this tradition.

Our vision is to lead in global education and research. The motto Best Education, Best Research, Best Community, represents our collective aim to achieve world-class results in all our pursuits. I believe that now is the time to press forward with Waseda’s traditional enterprising spirit to address the many challenges the world now faces.

Of course, taking on global challenges requires thorough preparations, and we must build our strength before making a huge leap.

Waseda founder Shigenobu Okuma understood this, saying “If you want to fly high, you must study deeply,” and I felt this pointedly in the early days of my first term as president. The last four years have truly been about studying in preparation to fly. The first stage comprised three main goals:

1. Formulate a clear vision and plan for a huge leap

2. Build a systematic framework based on global standards

3. Solidify the financial foundations necessary to compete with other world-class institutions

The blueprint for this program is the Waseda Vision 150 strategic plan, which sets up goals and initiatives for the period up to Waseda’s 150th anniversary in 2032. In the education sphere, we have already implemented the Quarter system and established the Global Education Center and the Center for Higher Education Studies; in the research sphere we have established the URA (University Research Administrator) position at the Center for Research Strategy; in finance, we have stimulated higher levels of donations and yielded healthier financial results overall.

These efforts have been recognized and boosted by Waseda’s selection as a top class institution in the national Super Global University program. Amid an international trend of opening up universities to the world and emphasizing dynamic thinking, the program provides grants and other support for our goal to break into the top 100 of the world university rankings and produce 100,000 global leaders over a ten-year period.

The entire university worked as a team to achieve these results in the first stage of our undertaking. Now, looking ahead, I have set out the following policies for stage two, aiming for Waseda, the Best.

Pursuing reforms from the student’s perspective

The main actors of a university are its students, and its value is judged by the quality of the students it cultivates and sends out into the world. Over the last four years, we listened to our students and determined the needs for educating the human resources for the coming age. We took pains to implement reforms from the student’s perspective, including the development of facilities for discussion-based and problem-solving classes, the expansion of external learning opportunities such as exchange programs and internships, and the overhaul of our scholarship system. Our students and graduates, including international students, are the yardstick by which we measure achievement of “the Best,” and so the giant leap we make in the coming years will be driven by projects for our students.

Breaking with convention, taking on new challenges

The progressive attitude embraced by Waseda means not settling for the status quo but going beyond convention to greater heights. That attitude will be the most crucial impetus for achieving the world-class Waseda which we envision.

Each school and research organization has developed innovative responses to the trends of globalization and interdisciplinary study. Our faculty and staff also have produced revolutionary research concepts, groundbreaking educational content and methods, and innovative ideas for institutional management. A willingness and enthusiasm for tackling challenges is crucial to achieving our goal of “Waseda, the Best.” We all must create opportunities and work together to achieve our goals during the second stage.

Contributing to the world through Waseda’s research, culture and spirit

In 1913, as part of its Mission declared by Shigenobu Okuma, Waseda University committed to “contribute to the advancement of knowledge… and extend its influence and activity to the world at large.” A century later, the current age requires a new declaration to the world. As we tackle the challenges ahead, we must re-commit ourselves to realizing the University’s original mission.

Fortunately, Waseda University is supported by many talented teachers, alumni and students. We are also blessed with a legacy and tradition cultivated since 1882. The second stage will be propelled by tireless effort to expand Waseda’s strengths, to lead the world in innovation, with a resolute drive to contribute to the world.

Following the roadmap of the Vision 150 plan, with faculty, alumni and students working in close cooperation towards Waseda, the Best, I am certain that it will become a university which we can all take even more pride in.

President Kaoru KAMATA

Schools / Colleges / Departments / Courses / Faculties

Undergraduate Schools :

  • School of Political Science and Economics
  • School of Law
  • School of Culture, Media and Society
  • School of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • School of Education
  • School of Commerce
  • School of Fundamental Science and Engineering
  • School of Creative Science and Engineering
  • School of Advanced Science and Engineering
  • School of Social Sciences
  • School of Human Sciences
  • School of Sports Sciences
  • School of International Liberal Studies

Graduate Schools:

  • Graduate School of Political Science
  • Graduate School of Economics
  • Graduate School of Law
  • Graduate School of Letters, Arts and Sciences
  • Graduate School of Commerce
  • Graduate School of Fundamental Science and Engineering
  • Graduate School of Creative Science and Engineering
  • Graduate School of Advanced Science and Engineering
  • Graduate School of Education
  • Graduate School of Human Sciences
  • Graduate School of Social Sciences
  • Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies
  • Graduate School of Global Information and Telecommunication Studies
  • Graduate School of Japanese Applied Linguistics
  • Graduate School of Information, Production and Systems
  • Graduate School of Sports Sciences
  • Business School
  • The Okuma School of Public Management
  • Law School
  • Graduate School of Finance, Accounting and Law
  • Graduate School of Accountancy
  • Graduate School of Environment and Energy Engineering
  • Graduate School of Journalism


The university was founded by samurai scholar and Meiji-era politician and former prime minister Ōkuma Shigenobu in 1882, and adopted the title university in 1902. It started as a college with three departments under the old Japanese system of higher education.

In 1882, the university had the department of political science and economics, law, and physical science. Along with these departments, an English language course was established, where the students of all the departments could learn English.[5]

Three years later, the department of physical science was closed because it had too few applicants. The department of science and engineering was established in 1908.

The department of literature was established in 1890.

Although Waseda formally adopted the term university in its title in 1902 it was not until 1920 that, in common with other Japanese schools and colleges, it received formal Government recognition as a university under the terms of the University Establishment Ordinance.

The department of education was established in 1903, and the department of commerce, in 1904.

Much of the campus was destroyed in the fire bombings of Tokyo during World War II, but the university was rebuilt and reopened by 1949. It has grown to become a comprehensive university with two senior high schools and school of art and architecture.

In June 12, 1950, Sixty police raided Waseda University and seized copies of a Communist-inspired open letter to General MacArthur. The open letter to MacArthur was one read at a Communist-sponsored rally a week earlier. The letter demanded a peace treaty for Japan that would include Russia and Communist China, withdrawal of occupation forces, and the release of 8 Japanese sent to prison for assaulting 5 U.S soldiers at a Communist rally. A police official said most meetings at Waseda would be banned in the future because “political elements” might try to utilize them. Yuichi Eshima, Vice-Chairman of the Students Autonomy Society, said the police action “stupified” students and professors, and that “This is worse than the prewar peace preservation measures.”

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