Towards Fully Integrated Education Freed from the Course System
For the reasons mentioned in the previous section, the School of Art and Design at the University of Toyama has long been experimenting with integrated education to cross various educational fields related to art and culture by designing a system that facilitates the participation of students with different backgrounds, enriching core subjects commonly required for specialized fields, and a system in which students can choose a supervisor from all the faculty members for graduation research and production. However, it could not be denied that the course system, which is a typical (i.e., normal) university education system, and the sense of mutual non-interference in other specialized fields that the system inevitably creates, were major barriers to essentially integrated education. We believe that a complete freedom from this course system will lead to the realization of an ideal integrated education (the new normal, so to speak), and we will implement a new curriculum with the “open course system” starting in 2022. The main points of the curriculum are as follows:
1. The course system will be abolished, and students will belong to the department from admission to graduation.
2. The courses will be broken up and restructured to indicate the “field of study” to which each specialized subject belongs.
3. The course required subjects and elective subjects will be abolished, which allows students to take any specialized subjects regardless of their field of study. (Restrictions may apply due to classroom facilities, etc.).
4. When students’ aptitudes and career paths change as the school year progresses, students will be able to choose the subjects according to their preferences.
5. Students who have clear career paths from the time they enter the school will be able to take the subjects necessary to achieve their goals.
6. Students whose career paths are unclear will be able to take specialized subjects in the major fields of study to find their career paths carefully during the period from admission to Year 3.
In the time young people, known as Digital Natives or Generation Z, enter university, students’ needs for education will also be continuously diversified. To build new relationships with these next-generation students, we will continue taking on the challenge in this new education system.