Ochanomizu University was founded on November 29, 1875 as Tokyo Women’s Normal School, Japan’s first institution of higher education for women. In the over 141 years since, the university has forged a new path in education for women. Even when it was difficult for women to play a major role in the workforce, many graduates of this university were pursuing careers and becoming strong performers in a variety of fields, including academic research, education, industry, government and the media. They continue to earn the deep respect of their peers, and have opened up doors to new opportunities for the women who follow.
We continue to foster women who embrace the future by adopting a broad perspective and strong sensitivity, based on the legacy and traditions we have cultivated.
When all of Japan’s national universities were turned into national university corporations independent of the government, Ochanomizu University adopted the motto “being a place where all women motivated to learn can realize their most ambitious dreams.” To support all women in pursuing their dreams—including women in developing countries who have the desire but not the opportunity to pursue an education—we have provided continuous educational support and research exchange programs for women and infants and toddlers in Asia and Africa, including an educational support program for women in Afghanistan. As of April 1 this year, Ochanomizu University had concluded exchange agreements with 71 universities in 25 countries, creating an environment that promotes study and research across borders. Our aim is to have young women develop a deep mutual understanding with peers from diverse cultures who have different values and perspectives, and benefit from one another while pursuing their own growth.
At a time of significant social upheaval and intense challenges, we have built a distinctive educational system and a productive place of continuous learning that combines liberal arts education, global education and leadership education to enable young women to find their own paths and contribute to the happiness of other people.
Over the course of its 141 years of history, Ochanomizu University has offered a broad and diverse academic and research environment, covering the workings and structures of nature and living organisms, the ways that humans live in society and the institutions that support them, the development of science and technologies that support human lifestyles, and the construction of systems and theories. We train our talented graduates through this education and research, and they gain broad knowledge, a deep sense of inquisitiveness, a rich imagination and the sense of commitment as a member of society needed to lead Japan and the world into the future.
In FY2016, the university began working on its third-period midterm plans and goals. We have taken this opportunity to add another goal to our existing mission of “cultivating global female leaders.” Based on this new goal—“promoting research and education that enable people to remain physically and mentally happy and healthy throughout their lives”—we have established the Human Life Innovation Development Research Organization. This is one of two outstanding research organizations at our university—the other being the Research Organization for the Promotion of Global Women’s Leadership that was launched in 2015—and integrates liberal arts and science. It includes the Institute for Human Life Innovation and the Institute for Education and Human Development, and promotes research aimed at solving various problems in our aging society with fewer children being born.
Ochanomizu University sincerely hopes that all its students achieve their unique dreams and create prosperous futures for themselves. We also hope they pursue activities that inspire optimism and courage in the people of their community. As an institution of higher education backed by a 141-year legacy of achievement, Ochanomizu University is sure to continue playing a pivotal role in society.