About KUT

Message from the President

President

Aiming at the cultivation of human resources in engineering, Kochi University of Technology (KUT) was established by Kochi Prefecture in April of 1997, as a publicly initiated, privately operated university. Our slogan, ‘Making KUT a world class university through the pursuit of unique excellence,’ reflects our broad vision of top quality university activities in terms of education, research and social contribution.

Although KUT is a young university, with 15 years of history since its establishment, a number of reforms have already been implemented. The School of Management was added in April 2008, expanding the range of education and research to include liberal arts. In April 2009, KUT's status changed from private educational corporation to public university corporation, a first among Japanese universities, creating quite a stir in the conception of Japan’s higher educational system. At the same time, KUT reorganized the schools of engineering into a structure composed of the School of Systems Engineering, the School of Environmental Science and Engineering and the School of Information. This reorganization was aimed at the fostering of specialists with generalist qualities, invoking our educational curriculum for the broad and deep study of engineering. In the same year, the Research Organization for Regional Alliances was established as a strong instrument of regional contribution. Clearly KUT has consistently been working to perfect the institution and achieve optimum university form.

Our basic concept of education is to create an educational environment for optimum human growth. To that end, KUT has introduced unique systems such as the general elective system to support students’ individual initiatives, the quarter system to enable students to take classes intensively, and study skills programs to ease first year students' transition to university life. This educational system has contributed to the graduate employment rate, which has exceeded 90% ever since the first cohort of students graduated from KUT.

With regard to research, KUT has established a system to provide substantial research funding for both faculty members and research institutes, and to proactively obtain external funding. Recent efforts brought in over 1 billion yen of external funding for the year of 2011. Moreover, in 2011 three KUT faculty members were awarded the Commendation for Science and Technology by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology; one was awarded the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry Minister’s Prize; and one the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister’s Prize. This is a noteworthy achievement for this small-scale university of some 120 full time faculty members.

In terms of social contribution, KUT has been promoting a variety of activities centered around the Research Organization for Regional Alliances. In addition to industry-government-academia groups, some groups aimed at regional revitalization through their original social scientific methodology also belong to this organization. One faculty member of the organization received the 2011 Monodzukuri Collaboration Award from Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun.

In the current situation, with universities in Japan and around the world facing severe competition, KUT has been operating in the spirit of ‘inheritance and evolution’. This approach has led to excellent achievements in the year of 2011. We will continue to strive for perfection in the future. I hope our efforts in the Kochi region are modeling a futuristic optimum university form and will prove to be a spearhead for substantial regional revitalization.

SAKUMA Taketo,
President