University of Tokyo plans 'elite' linguistic education
The University of Tokyo will establish a new course for the 2013 academic year to cultivate students with advanced linguistic skills, with the aim of nurturing future Asian leaders.
After selecting students through gauges including Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), which measures the English skills needed for study abroad, the university will provide an "elite" linguistic education, including lectures in English and dispatching students to summer schools at universities overseas.
The new course, "Global Leadership Program," will select about 300 students from the annual intake of 3,000. During freshmen and sophomore years, when students are required to take liberal arts courses, the 300 selected students will take intensive courses in a foreign language in addition to English class. About 50 of them will be dispatched to summer schools in the United States, China and other countries.
In their junior year or later, about 100 students will have the opportunity to study at universities or experience internships at companies overseas.
Classes at the University of Tokyo for all departments, such as philosophy and environment, will be held in English in principle.
The university's aim is to equip students with the problem-solving ability and global mind-set required of leaders.
Besides nurturing students with linguistic skills, the university is considering utilizing TOEFL as part of its second round of entrance exams or to reform the entrance exam system to take the experience of studying abroad into consideration.