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Higher Education

Shizuoka Prefecture’s Educational Environment and Higher Education Facilities

Shizuoka Prefecture’s livability, underpinned by its pleasant climate, high-quality cuisine, and natural treasures such as UNESCO World Heritage Mount Fuji, makes it a popular choice for students pursuing postsecondary education. In total, there are twenty-six institutions of higher education located in Shizuoka, including both national and other public universities as well as private institutions. These offer instruction in a wide variety of academic subjects, including humanities, science and technology, pharmacology and nursing, education, and fine arts. Both these universities and their constituent academic departments provide students with unique educational experiences. Shizuoka is also the site of world-class research projects, with a particular focus on fields of great importance in the future, including medicine, food, and photoelectric technology.

Academic and Community Partnerships

Shizuoka Prefecture seeks to support its universities’ educational and research capabilities in a way that takes into account each school’s special attributes and unique strengths. At the same time, the prefectural government places a strong emphasis on ensuring that its academic institutions benefit not only students but area residents as well. This was the inspiration for the founding of the Consortium of Universities and Local Communities in Shizuoka, formed through a network of academia, government, industry, and other fields. True to its goal, the Consortium not only strengthens cooperation between its member universities through joint research enterprises and transfer credit courses but also facilitates collaboration between universities and local residents, helping to invigorate regional communities. Under the Consortium, for example, schools have launched research projects to study community issues throughout the prefecture and mobilized their intellectual resources to host public lectures for adults. Through these projects, Shizuoka Prefecture is equipping all sorts of people to serve their communities, bringing town and gown together and creating solutions to the problems that Shizuokans face

Supporting International Students

As of May 2014, a total of 1,030 international students representing thirty-six countries and regions are studying at institutions of higher education in Shizuoka Prefecture. Of these, approximately 95% are from Asia; recently, the number of students from Southeast Asia in particular has been increasing. Shizuoka actively works to attract the best and the brightest to its universities by supporting international students through every step of their studies. Students are given detailed information even before coming to Japan, enjoy access to social events and broad-ranging advice during their time in Shizuoka, and, prior to graduation, attend job-hunting seminars and job fairs.

Shizuoka’s Prefectural Universities

Shizuoka Prefecture has two prefectural universities, the University of Shizuoka and the Shizuoka University of Art and Culture. The University of Shizuoka offers instruction in a range of disciplines, with colleges including the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences and the School of International Relations, among others. In addition to offering highly focused and advanced classes in each field, it infuses its students with a combination of specialized knowledge and well-rounded ability. The university also actively partners with local communities and industries to host lectures on such topics as health and longevity, disaster preparedness, medicine, and gastronomy. In addition, the university combines science and the humanities in its research, much of which is aimed at promoting area residents’ health and community development. This work is made possible by collaboration between local residents, students, and faculty.

The other prefecture-funded university, Shizuoka University of Art and Culture (SUAC), is made up of two schools, the Faculty of Cultural Policy and Management and the Faculty of Design. SUAC’s combination of culture and design imbues its students with rich character and a precise understanding of the world in which they live, enabling them to function on a global level across numerous fields. As another school with strong local ties, it places a strong premium on publicizing the results of its research and giving back to the community. In addition to opening its library and other campus facilities to the general public, SUAC works hand-in-hand with local governments, businesses, and other associated groups on joint urban design projects.