University of Tsukuba
Located at the city of Tsukuba in the Ibaraki Prefecture in the Kanto region of Japan, the University of Tsukuba covers an area of about 258 hectares in its main campus, which makes it the largest single campus in the country. Originally established back in 1872 as the Tokyo University of Education, this institution is regarded as one of the country’s oldest universities.
It was not until October 1973 that the University of Tsukuba was formally established after the Tokyo University of Education was relocated to the Tsukuba area. The school is the first comprehensive university in the country to be established under a country-wide reform plan, and has featured openness with New Systems for education and Research falling under a “New University Administration.”
The reform undertaken by the University of Tsukuba played a vital role in its effort for improvement. Today, the University of Tsukuba has 9 Schools with several colleges and schools following under it.
Among the Schools found at the University of Tsukuba that cater to undergraduates are the Schools of Humanities and Culture, Social and International Studies, Human sciences, Life and Environmental Sciences, Science and Engineering, Informatics, health and Physical education, and the school of Art and Design.
Students who wish to continue their schooling or those who want to proceed to higher learning can proceed to the university’s Graduate Schools, where the Master’s Program in Education, Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Graduate School of Business Sciences, Graduate School of Pure and Applied Sciences, Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Graduate School of Comprehensive Human Sciences, Graduate School of Library, Information and Media Studies, School of Integrative and Global Majors and the Graduate School of Systems and Information Engineering are being offered.
To further enhance their students, the University of Tsukuba has various research centers and laboratories. One of the notable research centers that the university has is UTARC, which was established in 2004 in order to cater to growing need of the research in robotics area inside the university.
Short for University of Tsukuba, Division of Advance Robotics and Cybernics, UTARC has been instrumental in leading the university in its quest for advanced robotic research and aims to create an interdisciplinary research basis on Advanced Robotics and Cybernics.
Under the UTARC is the Intelligent Robot Laboratory, headed by Professors Shin-ichi Yuta and Takashi Tsubouchi, where they have developed an autonomous mobile robot called YAMABICO. This robot has been developed as the lab’s research platform and was created with functional distributed controller with modularity and extensibility. It is equipped with a Real Time OS, standard locomotion, ultrasonic sensors and can interact with other robots.
This project goes to show that the university is serious about becoming the leading institution not just in the field of physics, economics, physical education and social science but also in the field of robotics.
The University of Tsukuba was chosen as one of Japan’s 13 “Global 30” Project Universities conducted by the country’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and its Graduate School of Life and Environmental Science was highly represented on Japan’s Coordinating Committee for Earthquake Prediction.