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Seminars for First-year Students

In the first semester of their first year, students are given a basic seminar comprising approximately 35 students. In order to provide new students with an opportunity to mentally prepare for higher education, rather than aiming for mere acquisition of knowledge, each faculty member taps into their expert knowledge and information about their field to discuss a variety of socioeconomic issues that we face in our daily lives, so that students may have their intellectual curiosity stimulated and embark on their course work with an open mind. Direct contact with the staff of the Faculty of Economics immediately after admittance will help students to envisage their own approach to economics.

Required Subjects and Major Subjects (Introductory Courses) for First-year Students

In addition to basic exercises in economics, first-year students are required to take subjects which teach fundamental knowledge essential for learning the major subjects of the Faculty of Economics in later years, such as Principles of Economics I, Introductory Economics, Economic History, and Statistics. They are also expected to take major subjects (Introductory Courses), which are offered commonly across all faculties and comprise lecture classes such as Logic, Psychology, Sociology, Cultural Anthropology, and History of Social Thought, and mathematical subjects such as Linear Algebra and Calculus. Through these introductory subjects, students are expected to build the fundamental knowledge necessary for the major subjects that begin from the second year.

Wide-ranging Liberal Education

In addition to major subjects, students are expected to take foreign languages, Health Sciences, and principles of liberal arts from among the liberal arts and sciences subjects common to all Faculties. With as many as eleven faculties under its umbrella, Kobe University offers a wide variety of subjects on principles of liberal arts (general education). All the more because of the fact that economics attempts to analyze phenomena involving a number of complexly intertwined factors that play a part in our daily lives, it is important to engage in a broad range of scholarship, including the natural sciences and humanities.

Major Subjects

From the second year, students may enroll in major subjects on economics. Each of the eight courses offers diverse major subjects for their respective areas. With about sixty faculty members, the Faculty of Economics teaches nearly every field of economics. From the second semester of the second year, students may also choose subjects which interest them from an even broader range of subjects, which includes those offered by the School of Business Administration and Faculty of Law.

The Front Lines of Business – Special Lectures

Every year, the Faculty of Economics invites guest speakers from research institutions and businesses for a lecture on issues concerning the Japanese economy. Based on real-life experience from the front lines of business, their talks offer an appeal unlike that of ordinary lectures. By hearing these speakers discuss different industrial sectors and companies, students are able to make more informed decisions about their career path and their future.

Research Seminar

From the beginning of the third year, students are able to receive guidance from teachers of their choice (seminars). The size of the seminars in this Faculty is limited to about ten students, so that each student can receive individual guidance to compile what they have learned during their studies and collect it into a graduation thesis. These seminars serve as one of the greatest stages in the students’ college life, through which they can truly grow as a learner. In regular seminar classes, each student is given time to make a presentation, which is an excellent opportunity to speak in front of others and improve their presentation skills. A small class means that, unlike a lecture in a large auditorium, students receive more individual attention from professors and frequently exchange their opinions with other students. However, seminars are not just “places for studying.” Students in the same seminar occasionally go on trips for intensive study or just for fun. They may also set up stalls for the school festival together. During social gatherings held regularly and after classes, professors and students can speak candidly, laying all formalities aside. By building up such interpersonal relationships, professors will become students’ mentors in life, while fellow students will become comrades in life. Valuable encounters with professors, seniors, juniors, and graduates at these seminars will surely enrich your college life.

Traditional Debate among Seminars from the Three Universities

Every year, seminars from Kobe University, Hitotsubashi University, and Osaka City University gather to present their research findings on common topics at a traditional debate among the successors of the “three former commercial colleges.” Preparing papers to be presented at this annual event takes a considerable amount of time and effort, and is often fraught with difficulties. Still, there is no comparison with the sense of achievement and fulfillment that is felt when one has, with valuable input from professors, finished an entire paper. With each seminar competing ardently not to lose out, the debate often becomes intensely heated. Such experiences at seminars and encounters with people outside of the university will surely stimulate the students, and provide them with the “nourishment” that they need to grow.

Advanced Program

Students who wish to “go the extra mile” to improve their abilities may take the advanced program. Beginning from the first semester of the third year, this two-year program is given to a select group of about twenty students, and includes special seminars, higher-level subjects (common to the Faculty and Graduate School of Economics), and reading of foreign literature in class. These classes qualify as graduation credits, and a certificate will be issued to those who have met the requirements for completion of the program. Students enrolled in this program tend to have a higher aim, i.e., going to a graduate school or seeking a position at a research institution, and so we expect that students will cherish the friendships which they have formed in these classes for the rest of their lives.

Higher-level Subjects:

As a part of the major subjects which are offered commonly for both Faculty and Graduate School of Economics, intensive lectures are given to small classes on specialized topics of various fields within each course.

Graduation Thesis

Faculty of Economics gives great importance to the graduation thesis, which is the culmination of two years of research guidance. This is due to our belief that the process of writing a graduation thesis, which requires an advanced level of investigation, analysis, and theory construction skills, can provide students with the practical training necessary at a time when the ongoing globalization of the economy demands that they assert their positions using internationally-accepted logic. Every year, we commend the authors of outstanding theses.

EU Education and Research Program

With financial support from the European Commission, the seat of administration of the European Union (EU), the EU Institute in Japan, Kansai (EUIJ, Kansai) was established in April 2005 as a consortium among Kobe University (coordinating university), Kwansei Gakuin University, and Osaka University, with the aim of conducting comprehensive programs on education and research concerning the EU.

Students of the Faculty of Economics can take the EU courses provided by the EUIJ, Kansai, which then awards Certificates in EU studies to those who have completed the stipulated courses. The EU courses are also given at Kwansei Gakuin University and Osaka University, and credits received from any of these three universities may qualify as credits needed for graduation from the Kobe University Faculty of Economics. (A cap on the total number of credits applies.)

The EU courses offer one of the most extensive EC-approved curricula on EU education and research in Japan, allowing students to study European economy, law, politics, etc. As such, students will be able to gain knowledge and experience that can be attained nowhere else.