Going into the Next Half-Century
-"Education of Practical Engineering" to carry on the evolution
Nippon Institute of Technology (NIT) celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2017. Our mission was, and still is, to raise outstanding engineers who can utilize theoretical concepts of engineering in the frontline of industry. In 1967, at the height of Japan's economic boom, NIT was established and at that time was the only university where technical high school students could enroll. We developed our unique teaching method using "practical engineering", making the best use of what students had learnt in technical high school. Although today many universities also accept students from technical high schools, it is not exaggerating to say that NIT is one of the few universities where students can study unconstrained without feeling disadvantaged.
In the first year of another half-century, we have undergone a major overhaul of NIT's faculties. Our university motto, "Inheritance and development", underlies this reorganization. We found it necessary to renew NIT so as to better raise engineers who are able to adjust swiftly to changes in today's fast-moving society, while also inheriting our valuable "practical engineering education" foundation.
We have also launched a dynamic reinvention of the Liberal Arts curriculum along with the reorganization of the courses it offers and the study path for students. Every freshman student will take a placement test after their admission to gauge their academic level. They are then divided into classes according to their abilities for mathematics, physics and English, all fundamental subjects for engineering. A quarter system has been introduced for these three subjects.
The reorganization will develop and restructure our curriculums so that every student, despite their type of high school, can start at their most suitable level of classes and acquire the necessary skills step by step, while overcoming their weaknesses. It will also require students to attain a certain academic level in each subject in order to maintain academic quality, and to pass the lower level of study to continue to the next level. This will provide students a difficult, but beneficial challenge in which they can take a class repeatedly to attain the required level, in other words, it is a battlefield for their growth. At the same time, we will strengthen the students' educational safety net by increasing the number of staff at the Learning Support Center and having all the staff and teachers well prepared to help students attain their goals.
NIT's wonderful education system is not only open to students in Japan. Students from overseas are also welcome to enroll at NIT if they are eager to improve their technical skills. For instance, we offer a Japanese language course called Bekka, offered to students who are not yet fluent in Japanese. It provides various cultural programs and activities along with language lessons. Students can brush up their Japanese language skills before entering into university. It is, of course, not easy for overseas students to study in university, even after attending Bekka, but we always have staff and teachers on hand ready to support them.
We are proud to say that many of our overseas students work worldwide. Some stay in Japan, and the rest work in other countries. They contribute to today's globalized society with their skills acquired through their years at NIT. We hope that this tradition will continue to act as a bridge between their mother country and Japan, between their country and the world, and between Japan and the world.