With its roots in the Science Department of the 7th High School of Japan, established in 1901, the Faculty of Science Graduate School was established in 1977 to provide higher education for university graduates, in response to the needs of society.
Originating in the Faculty of Engineering at Kagoshima Prefectural Industrial College, established in 1945, the Graduate School of Engineering opened its first masters’ course in 1968 in response to the country’s need for highly skilled engineers. A doctoral program was added in 1994 to build on these foundations, and to foster leaders in technology education and research.
In 1998 the two programs were combined to form the Kagoshima University Graduate School of Science and Engineering, to allow students to build a strong foundation in scientific research, from which to progress to original, creative research in science and technology.
Kagoshima University Graduate School of Science and Engineering offers 10 specializations and employs approximately 200 faculty and teaching staff engaged in fundamental and applied research in a wide variety of fields, and who are responsible for both undergraduate and graduate education. At least half of all students graduating from the undergraduate Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Engineering go on to higher education, and there are about 80 students enrolled in the three comprehensive doctoral programs.
The physical sciences concern themselves with the study of seismic and volcanic activity in our country, measuring and predicting earthquakes and volcanic eruptions in affiliation with the Nansei-Toko Observatory for Earthquakes and Volcanoes. This chain of islands is a key area of study as it includes one of the world’s most active volcanoes, Mt. Sakurajima, the World Heritage Site Yakushima, and supports a wide array of biodiversity. Working with the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, our school is also involved in galaxy mapping through the VERA Project.
Our engineers are involved in meeting the region’s environmental, energy, and medical needs, as well as in the prevention and mitigation of natural disasters, including volcanic eruptions, typhoons, heavy rain and flooding, earthquakes, and tsunami. Because these issues strongly impact Southern Kyushu and the Nansei Islands, it is essential to investigate the challenges presented.
Through all these ventures, the Graduate School of Science and Engineering cooperates with a wide variety of overseas research institutions.
As the technical capabilities of developing countries increase and international competition becomes more intense, there are high expectations for our doctoral graduates to be innovators who can contribute their expertise to the betterment of society. To meet these expectations, Kagoshima University Graduate School of Science and Engineering established a Regional Development Center in April 2015. And from April 2016 we will revise the educational structure and curriculum with the aim of establishing a progressive course in Science and Technology that will cultivate innovative researchers who can contribute not only to the security of the local region, but also to the development of the country as a whole.
Eiji Kondo, Dean, Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Kagoshima University