A Graduate School for the 21st Century
NAIST was established in 1991 as a national postgraduate university specializing in science and technology field. The founding preparatory committee at that time pointed out that since education and research at universities with undergraduate programs often follow existing academic systems, there were concerns that the attached graduate schools of these institutions would also face constraints when pursuing organizational restructuring or reformation. NAIST was designed and established as an independent graduate school without faculties, so that it can maintain a flexible education and research system that responds to the rapid developments in advanced scientific and technological fields.
Thus, NAIST was born with the gene of "transformation" embedded within it, and since its establishment, has been constantly pursuing the cutting edge and changing its structure. Pioneering new science and technology, NAIST has continuously established new laboratories by recruiting a diverse group of researchers who explore innovative fusion fields. In 2018, NAIST underwent a major reorganization, merging the three original Graduate Schools of Information Science, Biological Sciences, and Materials Science, and reorganizing the entire university into the Graduate School of Science and Technology. In addition, by establishing the Data Science Center and the Center for Digital Green-innovation, which are engaged in the fusion of advanced disciplines, we are pursuing the creation of new research fields and graduate school curricula that are not bound by the traditional framework of established fields.
Although the history of graduate schools dates back to the mid-19th century, there are several reasons why Nara Institute of Science and Technology continues to pursue a "graduate school for the 21st century" through unrelenting renewal. One is that in order to solve complex issues such as the SDGs, global warming, and new infectious diseases, researchers are not only required to take an integrated approach that reunites previously highly fragmented academic fields, but also to collaborate with industry, national and local governments, and citizens. In this context, the second reason is that graduate schools are also required to nurture the next generation of human resources who can play an active role in various sectors of society. More than 10,000 of our graduates are now active not only as researchers and faculty members, but also in many companies and diverse industries.
The third reason is the need for globalization that spans both research and education. NAIST not only welcomes faculty and researchers from all over the world, but currently about one in four of our students is an international student. One characteristic of NAIST is an international education and research environment with a diverse faculty and student body working together on research, sharing and discussing ideas and results, and honing practical English and communication skills.
Aiming to further evolve, we formulated and announced the "President's Vision 2030" on the 30th anniversary of NAIST's foundation, in which NAIST aims to become "a university that co-creates the future through advanced science and technology." Through its mission of pursuing the cutting edge of science and technology research and fostering the next generation of leaders in the process, Nara Institute of Science and Technology will continue to move forward to contribute to the future.