ABOUT GLAPGlobal Liberal Arts Program (GLAP)

Message from Director of Center for Global Liberal Arts Program

Founded in 2017, Rikkyo University’s Global Liberal Arts Program (GLAP) is an advanced program designed to train people who will take the lead in the global society of the 21st century. As borders between countries and regions increasingly blur, in order to solve the various issues that an increasingly complex society presents, we need a free spirit that is not bound by a single, narrow knowledge; the preparedness to live among diverse people using of the English language as a global lingua franca, and the flexible attitude that judges issues based on multi-faceted perspectives.

“Liberal arts” is an idea that formed in Europe centuries ago, and refers to the academic studies necessary to understand our world. The liberal arts are traditionally the seven areas of grammar, rhetoric, and logic (the trivium), and arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music (the quadrivium). Naturally, to understand the complex world of today, these seven liberal arts are no longer enough: we need to redefine the field to include areas like philosophy, history, sociology, economics, and management studies. In addition, to deepen understanding, it is important to study not just the “what,” but the “how.” In GLAP, students will carry out far-ranging debates with small class sizes, honing their own ideas with an emphasis on being able to put things into their own words.

As we engage in this work of reconstruction, we think about your abilities. That is to say, how can you develop your understanding of the world? How can you acquire the ability to give meaning to the world? And how can you learn to make a difference to the world? It’s quite obvious that an education designed to foster these abilities of students does not in any way depart from the liberal arts tradition of antiquity.

When we think of liberal arts education in this way, the global dimension – learning English and learning IN English – is indispensable. Today English is a universal language, and using English as the medium of learning opens the door to a world that is not accessible when the only medium of learning is Japanese. The Global Liberal Arts Program was created to empower you to have an impact on this world.

We are confident that the skills students will gain from this program are genuine ones that will remain useful ten, twenty years from now. As you pursue your studies in GLAP, we look forward to your discovering your own path to follow and entering society one day as excellent graduates.

Hideyuki Matsui
Director, Center for Global Liberal Arts Program

Highlights of the Global Liberal Arts Program (GLAP) ~Nurturing Future Global Leaders~

English Medium Education

Studying Liberal Arts in English with Global Focus

GLAP has been designed as a four-year undergraduate program, in which the students may earn a bachelor's degree taught entirely in English. Liberal arts education is a part of Rikkyo University's distinctive educational strength, which encourages students to pursue their own academic interest, expand academic horizons, and better understand a variety of theories and philosophies. GLAP allows students to put themselves in the environments where they may experience the world, while physically staying in Japan and studying liberal arts in English. As the students learn multiple academic subjects via interdisciplinary approaches, without being confined to any particular major field, they learn to understand diverse and multi-faceted perspectives of global issues. These may be deemed as the most critical skills in today's society, and will lead student to develop the ability to work with people from all over the world, and better understand each other. As they go through a variety of learning experiences through GLAP, they gain English proficiency as well as communication skills, logical thinking capacity, and the critical thinking ability all of which are highly needed for students to be competitive in global settings after graduation.
Small Class Education

Nurturing a Sense of Spontaneity in Every Student

As the admission into GLAP is highly selective and limited to only twenty students per year, the program offer an ideal educational environment where students can be in very close contact with their instructors to receive personalized guidance. During the first year, a small-group class “Tutorial” is offered with a maximum size of five students. Each student acquires basic competencies for logical and critical thinking, through a variety of activities such as text reading, essay writing, discussion, and presentation. In addition, students also learn from one another through Rikkyo University's unique leadership education program that fosters leadership skills through group work and project-based learning. At the same time, they develop the ability for problem-solving by working with other group members, which encourages each student to develop a strong interest in taking initiative for solving global issues. Through working on their assignments with their cohort and international students, every student becomes motivated to continue their self-improvement, and grow to be global leaders who can live along side others with diverse backgrounds.
Year Abroad

A Meaningful Opportunity to Experience the Essence of Liberal Arts Education Overseas

All GLAP students are required to study abroad, for one academic year, at a partner institution, beginning from the fall semester of their second year to the spring semester of their third year. GLAP's partner institutions are carefully selected for this program because of their strong focus on liberal arts education. Under the support and guidance of their Academic Advisors, who monitor the students' academic progress, student decide on where to study and which courses to take at their host institution. Through encounters with diverse cultures and customs, as well as learning experiences in a foreign environment out of Japan, students discover their potential, enhance their ability to communicate in English, and build a wide range of networks with people from all over the world.
Specialization Track

Enhancing Student Knowledge with a Specialized Perspective

When students return from their study abroad experience, GLAP students continue to broaden their perspective by taking courses from multiple academic disciplines. In addition, after students complete the general education phase and study abroad experience, they select one area of specialization: “Humanities,” “Citizenship,” or “Business.” In each area, students engage in specialized studies to deepen their understanding. In the final year, as the capstone project of the four-year undergraduate program, students are required to be take “ Final Year Seminar” class and complete the Graduation Thesis.
Living with International Students

Enhancing Global Awareness through Dormitory Life

GLAP students are given the option of living in an international dormitory, so that they may prepare for living in campus accommodation while they study abroad. Living independently in the dormitory helps students to motivate themselves to study abroad and clarify the objective of their studies. Students have a meaningful experience of spending campus life with others from diverse backgrounds, many of whom have different nationalities, cultures, and worldviews. Life in the dormitory helps the students to develop their international mindset and enhance their global awareness. This is a valuable experience for students to enrich their study abroad experience, which starts in fall semester of their second year.

Easy access to academic advisors!

GLAP offers small class education, the academic advisors provide individualized and meticulous support for students, including counselling on studies and interim interviews. Students can take educational counseling and discuss any problems they have which include course consultation for study abroad, speak with academic advisors daily in a relaxed environment. Even while studying overseas, students are able to remain in constant communication with their academic advisors through monthly reports. GLAP's academic advisors are teachers who are easily accessible and students can talk freely about anything in university life. After students select their area of specialization, they can also consult sub-academic advisors in each area on specialized learning.
A comment from GLAP student
An academic advisor is someone whom I can easily reach out to and rely on. In GLAP, we can consult with academic advisors whenever we have any worries or concerns about our studies, such as what classes to take, how many credits to earn, or which colleges to choose for studying abroad. Since the academic advisors also teach GLAP classes, they know us well and can give us advice based on what they know about us in the classes. For example, while I was unsure of what classes to take, my academic advisor gave me advice on selecting and planning courses in view of what I wanted to pursue in the future and the fields and subjects I am interested in. The advice from the advisor helped me to learn a lot from the classes I decided to choose, leading a fulfilling student life. The GLAP students will receive close attention and support that suit the needs of each of them, especially from academic advisors. This is one of the best advantages of GLAP, which you never expect at a university!
Ota Chiharu (Enrolled in 2022)
*as of the time of this interview

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