Prof. Dr. Akinori Isogai
Dean of the Faculty of
Economics differs in one significant way from the natural sciences. While the natural sciences deal with tangible materials, economics is a science that does concern not only with materials, but with the social behavior of human beings. The analysis of human social behavior, especially the identification of problems and formulation of theories, strongly reflects the values and sense of purpose of people. People’s values and sense of purpose differ greatly from one individual to another, and they change with each generation. Studying differences in human values and sense of purpose is considered the province of moral philosophy and logic, but if we retrace the sources of economics, we find that it derives from a branch of moral philosophy. Since its inception, economics has aspired to be a science, similar to the natural sciences. However, it has also been constructed on a foundation of moral philosophy that emphasizes the values and sense of purpose of individuals. Accordingly, economics is an academic field with two aspects—a scientific aspect and a moral(moral science) aspect. We want undergraduate students to keep these two aspects constantly in mind. For the first two years at the undergraduate school, it is very important to register for subjects that provide economic and management literacy, in order to properly learn mathematical and quantitative economic analysis techniques. This will enable you to think logically. However, this ability alone is certainly not sufficient for studying economics. You also need the ability to understand current economic and social mechanisms from a broader perspective, to make clear sense of these in your own way, and to express them in your own words. This ability cannot be mastered without delving into the humanities to explore ideas and philosophies and into fields that employ a narrative approach to learning. This applies equally to graduate students. When you come to write an academic paper on your particular research topic, you need the ability to clearly organize ideas that are complicated but not yet fully developed in your mind, and to express them in the appropriate language. Without this ability, your research ideas and outcome will never crystallize when conveying your research in writing, hindering your ability to produce a high-quality paper.
In 2014, we celebrated the 90th anniversary of the establishment of the Faculty of Economics. To commemorate the occasion, a series of four memorial meetings were held. The topic of the talks delivered by the invited speakers from around Japan and overseas was “Globalization”. With the rise of globalization to a new stage of development in the early 21st century, we were forced to confront a variety of challenging questions about the direction of our education. In light of this, the faculty decided to establish a “Global Diploma Program in Economics”(GproE), aimed at developing global human resources within our undergraduate program. The “global human resources” we aim to nurture through this program are professionals who are systematically equipped with a specialist knowledge of international and local economies that enables them to respond to the challenges of this new age of globalization. We also plan to provide the undergraduate students selected for this program with an even higher level of specialist expertise, as well as strong English-language communication and presentation and discussion skills based on the expertise. In AY2015, we began examining a part of this new education program on a trial basis. Looking ahead another 10 years, to the 100th anniversary of the Faculty of Economics, we are committed to working together with everyone in our undergraduate and graduate school to develop new approaches to education and research, with integrated faculty and graduate schools, to effectively address the needs of this new age of globalization.