A national university that conveys the three founding philosophies of "research first," "respect for practical learning," and "open doors" to the present day

Due to the decline in Japan's industrial competitiveness, there are once again great expectations for university research, especially research that leads to innovation.

 Our university was established in 1907 as the third national university after the University of Tokyo and Kyoto University.Another article "What is Spintronics? [Professor Hideo Ohno, President of Tohoku University]"In addition to the research on semiconductors and telecommunications introduced in , we have accumulated brilliant achievements in the fields of natural sciences such as metal engineering and medicine.


Katahira Campus (Provided by Tohoku University)


 These research results are a direct embodiment of another philosophy of our university, "respect for practical learning." "Respect for Jitsugaku" means "academics that lead to the creation of social value," and this is precisely the kind of research that leads to the innovation that is needed today.New discoveries in science and the development of new technologies bring new value to society.

 In terms of the humanities and social sciences, in 1922 the university established the Faculty of Law and Literature and became a comprehensive university. doing.It is said that this is rare even in the world.

 Another philosophy of our university, “open doors”, can be said to respect diversity in today's context.Tohoku University was the first national university in Japan to accept three female students in 1913.Japan's national universities, including the University of Tokyo and Kyoto University, are now trying to somehow increase the ratio of female students and female faculty members.In the case of our university, the ratio of female students is currently approaching 30%, and the ratio of female faculty members is approaching 20%, but I still feel that it is still lacking.Personally, I think that a natural figure is around 50% in any index.

 It is also a diverse and pioneering university in terms of accepting students and faculty.It is all too well known that the Chinese novelist and philosopher Lu Xun (1881-1936) was enrolled as an international student at Sendai Medical College, the predecessor of this university.

 In Japan, at a time when students could only enter Imperial Universities from high schools under the old system, they were allowed to enter from other routes.Among them, Seiji Kaya (1898-1988, the 17th president of the University of Tokyo) and Shigeyoshi Matsumae (1901-1991, the founder of Tokai University) have been produced.Recently, we have issued the Diversity Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Declaration to further respect diversity, fairness and inclusion, and to believe in their power.


The experience of the Great East Japan Earthquake strengthened cooperation between departments and led to a swift response to the corona disaster.

 The Great East Japan Earthquake of 11 years ago also caused great damage to our university, but it is certain that it was also a turning point for our university to change.The early imperial universities had science and medical universities under them.There are also cases in which colleges and vocational schools established in the Meiji and Taisho eras were later integrated.

 This is a difference from general schools, and seems to be one aspect that is difficult to understand from educational institutions below the university level.At many universities, the way of learning is different, and the culture of respecting the independence of each department (educational and research organization such as department) remains.

 Our university started out as the Tohoku Imperial University of Science and the University of Medicine.Therefore, the head of the university is called the president, not the president.However, as globalization progresses and social issues become more complex, efforts that cut across faculties and specialized fields are required more than ever.

 The Great East Japan Earthquake was a major opportunity for universities to connect side by side.Each department was the first to connect horizontally to rescue and restore the coastal areas, which was an urgent task.Since there were many things that were required beyond the specialty of each faculty member, horizontal connections were inevitably born in various forms.As a result, more than 100 projects spontaneously emerged within the university, and since then, the university has also started eight recovery actions, and has continued to promote priority research and social implementation for recovery and revitalization. (*1).

 In the spring of 2020, which was hit by the corona disaster, the experience of this cross-departmental initiative was put to good use.In April, about 4 supporters gathered for the "Peer Supporter System," in which senior students support new students who are unfamiliar with university life from various aspects, in addition to providing benefits to students who are unable to work part-time and are in need.

 At the same time, we assigned an “advisor faculty member” to each student.As a result, the university was able to keep the dropout rate from 2020 to 2021 at the same level as the average year, even during the COVID-2,500 pandemic, when students tend to have many problems.About 2,500 peer supporters have been registered this year as well, and they are able to support about XNUMX new students.


Aobayama New Campus (Provided by Tohoku University)


Update Tohoku University's DX "Tohoku University Vision 2030" and formulate "Connected University Strategy"

 In the corona misfortune, digitization has progressed at once.A system of "seal-free", "working place-free", and "counter-free" for university business is in place, and faculty and staff can work 100% from home if necessary. In July 2020, we updated "Tohoku University Vision 2030" and formulated the "Connected University Strategy" (*2) using digital technology.

 The so-called university DX aims to further expand our university in cyberspace.By providing such a place, we hope that students, faculty and staff will grow beyond distance, time, country and organization, culture and values.

 A university is a community.In the past, Japan was said to be a closed society, but I believe that from now on, in a sense, we should aim to become a role model for society.I believe that assistance to Ukraine will also serve as an opportunity to think about the international community and the society that we will create in the future.

 One of them is to increase the ratio of female students and female teachers.Recently, the university has also developed its own parental leave system for men.Universities must show what society should be like, and make them feel that they are aiming to realize it.I think this is also one of the "open doors".


Leading entrance examination reforms at national universities XNUMX% of students admitted through AO entrance examinations that emphasize academic ability

 AO entrance examination was introduced in 2000. It took more than 20 years, but last year the percentage reached 30%.In addition to testing the basic academic skills necessary to study at our university, it also tests what you want to do and your strong will to study at our university.

 Over the years, I have tracked the growth of students who entered the university through the AO entrance examination, and it seems that they form a motivated group and lead the whole in various activities at the university.This is also why our university did not panic in response to recent university entrance examination reforms and high school-university connection reforms.

 However, since the comprehensive selection process takes time and effort, it is currently not possible to target all applicants.I also believe that leaving the general selection process in place has a certain significance in terms of indirect dialogue with society.


Conceptual image of the next-generation synchrotron radiation facility (provided by the Optical Science Innovation Center)


Ultra-vacuum sputtering equipment for forming and processing thin films in vacuum (courtesy: Tohoku University)


[Message to high school students]
I want you to pursue what you love and love to think

It doesn't matter what you like.Whether it's sports or reading, I don't think there's a single useless thing around you.The important thing is to be passionate about it and work hard.

 There is also a lot to think about. It's also good to think about "why such a phenomenon occurs", "what kind of structure exists in the background", "how can such a movement be made" in the case of sports, the system and structure of society, the background of the phenomenon that is occurring, etc. I guess.Alternatively, take nature as it is and try to express it in a different form.I just want you to think about it and enjoy it.

 If you think that your research activities are being taught, you may find that they are ``boring'' first, and your awareness of the problems may not be very high.Rather, I think it would be more fun to think about what you like and think, "I want to know more, is there a different approach, is there a different route to solving it?"

 Developing these habits and attitudes in high school will help you make even greater strides in college.You will be able to use 120% of the opportunities provided by the university, and your life afterward will surely be much richer.


Tohoku University President

Professor Hideo Ohno

1982 Completed the doctoral course at the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Engineering. 1982 Lecturer, Faculty of Engineering, Hokkaido University, 1983 Assistant Professor, Faculty of Engineering, Hokkaido University, 1988-1990 Visiting Researcher, IBM TJ Watson Research Center, USA. In 1994, he became a professor at the Faculty of Engineering, Tohoku University, and in 1995, he became a professor at the Research Institute of Electrical Communication, Tohoku University (Director from 2013 to 2018).2010 Tohoku University Center for Energy Conservation and Spintronics Integrated Systems Director, 2010 Tohoku University Advanced Research Institute for Materials Research Principal Investigator, 2012 Tohoku University International Integrated Electronics Research and Development Center Professor, 2016 Tohoku University Spintronics Academic Collaborative Research Director of Education Center. Incumbent since 2018.His areas of expertise: spintronics, semiconductor physics and semiconductor engineering.He graduated from Hokkaido Sapporo Minami High School.


*1: In April 2021, we will further develop our activities and initiatives such as 3 projects of "Research with Impact on Society", which is the Tohoku University version of SDGs, and newly add "Green Technology", "Recovery & Resilience", " Under the three pillars of "Social Innovation & Inclusion", it was established with the aim of contributing to the realization of a green future society by taking on the challenge of solving social issues on a campus-wide basis with the comprehensive strength of the university.
*2: "Expanding university activities and accelerating the realization of Vision 2030 through the combined use of cyberspace and real space." “First of all, by transcending barriers such as distance, time, country, organization, culture, and values, our university will be able to connect dynamically with society and the world, enabling learning and co-creation of knowledge with a higher degree of freedom than ever before. Secondly, we aim to establish a new image of a university that transcends the social divisions and disparities that have become apparent due to the COVID-XNUMX crisis and connects the world in a borderless and inclusive manner.” It introduces measures for reform from the perspectives of co-creation and university management.


Tohoku University

Create excellent research results that will be the source of innovation, and develop talented human resources who will lead the next generation

Tohoku University has a rich culture and humanity based on the tradition of "research first principle" since its opening, the idea of ​​"opening the door" and the spirit of "respect for practical science", and is a phenomenon of human beings, society and nature. In response to this, human resources with the ability to carry out intellectual exploration with a "scientific mind", demonstrating their expertise in various fields from an international perspective and leading […]

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