In fiscal 2012 Musashino Art University (MAU) became the first art university to be chosen for the Project for Promotion of Global Human Resource Development (Special Type) of the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. This selection was in recognition of MAU's achievements over more than eight decades as a higher education institution specializing in art and design and the fact that both in Japan and internationally it has turned out excellent human resources not only in the domains of art and design but in various other fields as well.
As our image of students wishing to knock on our university's door, MAU's admission policy asserts our desire for "people who want to contribute to the creation and development of culture and to be active in international society." In accordance with this policy, and in order to respond to the advancing trend of globalization, while further consolidating our networks with universities and other institutions overseas, we are endeavoring to foster broad-minded human resources as demanded by the times by giving students the experience of various forms of exchange with other cultures, taking advantage of the lingua franca of art and design itself and also the nonlinguistic communication proficiency possessed by people specializing in art and design.
To trace the first time that MAU accepted international students, it is necessary to go right back to around 1929, the year when our predecessor, Teikoku Art School, was founded. Ever since that time, MAU has turned its attention to the wider world and enthusiastically engaged in international exchange activities. Today educational exchange and academic exchange are being conducted beyond national and regional boundaries, and the fields of art and design are in the midst of internationalization too. The expectations being placed on our university from overseas are also increasing more and more. In commemoration of MAU's 80th anniversary, in 2009 we hosted the World Summit of Art University Presidents to discuss, together with other art universities in Japan and overseas, the common issues facing art universities around the world. In the Tokyo Declaration adopted by this summit, the participants strongly acknowledged their social responsibility and vowed to devote themselves to playing a central role in international society.
Tokyo Declaration of the World Summit of Art University Presidents
Recognizing that art education, which is rooted in the diverse individuality and creativity of human beings, links sensibility and reason, and has existed as a movement pursuing the ideals of true freedom and affluence;
And believing that art universities have enormous potential to create new values transcending the present state of affairs in which only profit and efficiency are pursued;
We hereby reaffirm the role and mission of art universities and declare our determination to deepen ties with society and cooperate in contributing to the world.
October 31, 2009
MAU consists of undergraduate and graduate programs, including master's and doctoral courses. At present we have over 4,500 students, making us one of the largest art universities in Japan. Many of our graduates are forging outstanding careers in the fields of art and design around the world, and they have had a significant influence on society. MAU currently has almost 220 international students from around the world, especially Asian countries. The Center for International Relations provides these international students with a variety of support, including extensive systems for welcoming students, international exchange activities, and programs for the improvement of their Japanese language skills to enable them to pursue even more fulfilling activities. The Center also provides advice on studying abroad and language study for Japanese students.
MAU is engaged in international exchange activities with educational institutions worldwide and has fostered a variety of research projects and workshops through the International Exchange Project system, which sponsors joint projects involving both faculty members and students that take place at MAU or at overseas institutions. The system has sponsored a number of international educational programs resulting in quality educational and research outcomes that have been highly evaluated internationally. Every year MAU also hosts about 10 prominent artists, designers, and scholars as visiting professors and provides opportunities for students and faculty to communicate with them at workshops and extracurricular lectures.
To date, MAU has concluded exchange agreements with 21 leading educational institutions worldwide and also established exchange student programs with six affiliated institutions. Through study abroad programs lasting for one year or six months, students deepen academic and intercultural exchange and share their points of view on a variety of current social problems with students from different historical, cultural, and social backgrounds. I believe that this experience makes a vital contribution to the creation of new values in the fields of art and design. Accordingly, while maintaining the existing quality and level of programs, we think it is important for us to further develop international exchange as a university-wide effort.
In addition, MAU grants the Paris Award annually to graduates who have international perspectives and much promise for the future and supports the activities of two recipients for a year at ateliers in the Cit? Internationale des Arts, Paris. MAU also established the Scholarship for Advanced Studies Abroad as one of its 80th anniversary commemorative projects.
On the research side, MAU accepts foreign researchers. Their research, including distinctive cultural research of the Asian region and an exploration of intercultural exchange, as well as educational research, plays an important role in the international exchange component of our university. MAU also has many very attractive facilities, including Musashino Art University Museum & Library, and Folk Art Gallery, whose art materials, historical materials, collections, and so on add further substance to research.
Furthermore, MAU is affiliated with the International Council of Graphic Design Associations (ICOGRADA) and the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design Japan, both of which are highly regarded as international research institutions in the field of design. They have provided us with valuable opportunities to convey our research outcomes to a wider audience.
Henceforth, MAU will continue to actively explore how the fields of art and design should function in the global community in the future and to work with other leading international educational institutions with a broader perspective based on multilateral global networks. MAU intends to ambitiously strive to promote even more advanced international exchange.