Strengthening Our Core - Academic Programs

April 2009 (Revised in October 2009)

Unique undergraduate majors

TUJ students receive a Temple University degree for studies completed on the Japan Campus. As such, it is necessary to closely adhere to the Main Campus curriculum and high standards of education quality. However, given its uniqueness and prime location in Asia, TUJ must simultaneously develop cutting-edge international academic programs. One successful example is the International Affairs major which was started in 2005. Unique to TUJ, this major is now the second most popular (109 students in fall 2008), and has served as the model for similar initiatives at the Main Campus.

Building on this success, TUJ expects to add two new majors unique to the Japan Campus in the immediate future. TUJ will launch its new Bachelor of Science in International Business degree in Fall 2009, and expects to offer a Japanese language major in Fall 2010.

Bachelor of Science in International Business Studies (BSIBS)

TUJ will introduce this new degree program in the Fall 2009 semester. The main focus of the BSIBS is to provide students with the business knowledge necessary to work in a multilingual/ multi-cultural environment. To achieve this, TUJ has developed a curriculum that not only includes language components and technical subjects such as accounting and marketing, but also a range of electives that provides students with an expansive international perspective.

An increasing number of non-Japanese TUJ students are seeking employment in Japan after graduation, which is driving a need to learn about Japanese companies, and their operations and practices. At the same time, many of our Japanese students plan to work in global enterprises, which creates a strong demand to learn business in a multi-national environment.

The introduction of the new BSIBS provides a more finely tuned response to these needs, by adding the study of language, more general knowledge, and international skills to the curriculum. The program is an upgrade of the existing Bachelor of Business Administration which was introduced in 2007 and will be superseded by the BSIBS.

Japanese Language Major

Many students who study Japanese language at TUJ pursue career opportunities in the Japanese market where Japanese language proficiency is an absolute must. Since the existing Japanese minor cannot meet the increasing demand to acquire a sufficient level of proficiency, TUJ is developing a Japanese language major which is projected to be available in Fall 2010.

This new major aims to provide students with an advanced and well-balanced proficiency in Japanese, well-equipped with linguistic skills, fully prepared to examine socio-cultural aspects of Japan and Japanese literature, and ready to find work in a variety of careers in Japan. TUJ will seek to ensure an optimum Japanese language learning environment where students can simultaneously pursue their American university degree alongside Japanese students, while practicing their Japanese skills in the local community. Other Japanese universities offer language programs for second-language Japanese learners, but none offer a language program similar to the type proposed at TUJ. The design of this new major will give TUJ a significant advantage over competing programs.

Repositioning of Academic English Programs

The Academic English Program (AEP, previously called IELP and then Academic Preparation Program) at TUJ play an important role in TUJ's broader educational mission. However, it has seen steady fall in enrolments since the 1990s. Reasons for the decline include an increasingly competitive market, difficulty in clearly defining its mission and purpose as a university-affiliated program, and unsuccessful marketing initiatives.

TUJ recently completed a review of the AEP, and the Program will be fundamentally restructured to suit the changing needs of TUJ and the evolving market for English students in Japan.

The revised program will develop in three directions:

  1. Return to the original mission of English language education
  2. Act as an indirect feeder for the UG program
  3. Form a central component for partnering with Japanese universities

Enrollment increases in the AEP are expected with the implementation of concrete changes based on the directions above. At the same time TUJ, will make substantial alterations in the administration, curriculum, and provisions of the program.

Upgrades in research initiatives

Although TUJ will always be a teaching institution, it is continuing efforts to expand its research capabilities and develop research-oriented faculty. Over the past two years, TUJ has made significant improvements to its research mission through:

  1. Appointment of a new generation of research-oriented faculty
  2. Creation of an Assistant Dean for Research
  3. Establishment of the Research Fund
  4. Greater flexibility for course loads
  5. Greater emphasis on grant development both in the administrative infrastructure and faculty attitudes
  6. A new faculty evaluation system that gives greater weight to research for faculty who have research as a central element of their work.

These initiatives will continue to help TUJ develop its research activities in the future.

The Institute of Contemporary Japanese Studies (ICJS) has been a great success as a platform for the presentation of research by a wide variety of scholars and practitioners in the field of Japanese and Asian economics, politics, international relations, society and culture. It has developed a truly global presence and TUJ plans to use the Institute as a base for the development and presentation of research with a goal of total self-sufficiency through grants.

With regards to grant development, TUJ plans on developing an institutionalized system to assist faculty secure research and institutional grants through faculty development workshops, the Office of the Assistant Dean for Research, the Teaching and Learning Center, and the TUJ development officer.

TUJ will also serve as a portal for research by Main Campus faculty, and a base they can work from in Japan. TUJ plans to assign a staff member to help Main Campus schools and colleges develop their own direct research contacts with Japanese institutions.

Utilization of distance learning

Distance learning has been vastly underutilized as an educational tool at the Japan Campus. TUJ will investigate the feasibility of TUJ students participating in distance learning courses originating at the Main Campus. TUJ will also explore the possibility of developing distance learning opportunities for use at all Temple campuses. This will significantly increase the educational capabilities of TUJ and broaden the horizons of its students.