Message from Dean

Ritsuko Kawamura

College of International Relations

Ritsuko Kawamura

Welcome to the College of International Relations, Ritsumeikan University

Today, society has steadily become more globalized and this trend is expected to grow and intensify into the future. Fostering graduates with the abilities to play active roles in this globalized society is the consistent objective of the College of International Relations, Ritsumeikan University, for the past 30 years.

Our college was established in 1988 as the first college of international relations in the West Japan. Since established, it has maintaining a firm position in the forefront of the international studies. In 2011, the college’s original Japanese-medium curriculum became the International Relations Major and Global Studies Major was newly added with English-medium curriculum. In 2018 this was followed by establishment of the American University–Ritsumeikan University Joint Degree Program (JD Program). Students embarking on JD Program in Japan spend the first 18 months in Kyoto, the next two years in Washington D.C., and the final six months in Kyoto.

The challenges facing the international community today are extremely diversified. They include armed conflict, economic friction, ethnic tensions, immigration issues, and other disputes between nation-states, as well as those that demand action transcending national borders, such as climate change, resources, and bio-diversity. Each of these challenges involves complex interrelated factors including politics, economics, society, and culture. At the College of International Relations we study those factors from various angles. Naturally, such problems cannot be solved overnight but there are much to be gained by tackling them boldly. In our college, we employ the three major pillars to guide students in carving their own pathways toward resolution: that are Theory, Language, and Area.

One of the distinguishing features in our college is the diversity of backgrounds of our teaching staff. This diversity, not only in country of origin but also in specialized fields and approaches, is a major attraction in studying in our college. We all share the common goal of using the college’s diversity to foster internationally oriented individuals. As a result, our students are equipped with broad-ranging perspectives and insights and thus they develop a capacity for flexible thinking. We are very proud of this approach.

In the 30 years since the establishment, we have fostered more than 8,000 graduates who are now working globally across the world and within Japan as key players in companies, governmental agencies, international organizations, educational and research institutions, non-profit organizations, and in other settings. The entire staff of the college is fully committed to support students in developing their fundamental strengths required to identify and solve societal problems, and in developing those abilities further and deeper.

Welcome to the College of International Relations!