The University of Tsukuba has separated the functions of education and research, in contrast to the systems adopted in other, more conventional Japanese universities. Institutes are the locus of research activities at the University of Tsukuba. Its educational system consists of colleges and graduate schools with doctoral and masters programs. Faculty members, while performing individual researches in their own Institutes, are assigned to teach in colleges and schools.

To avoid narrow specialization, Institutes do not adopt the traditional system that prevails among other universities in this country. Faculty members conduct advanced studies for the development of education from the disciplines of pedagogy, psychology, physiology, pathology, and welfare and rehabilitation science, as well as from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Research members of the Institute, while conducting special studies of their own, participate in educational projects for the five-year doctoral degree programs in Comprehensive Human Science and Special Education and the two-year masters degree program in Special Education, including the day and night courses for students employed in Tsukuba and the counseling and rehabilitation course (night course) inTokyo. Members also participate in lectures and seminars of theCollegeofHuman Sciences, which is an undergraduate course of the Second Cluster of Colleges, and an undergraduate college for teachers of acupuncture and moxibustion programs in schools for the blind. Furthermore, counseling services have been established both in Tsukuba and Tokyo areas in collaboration with clinical counselors as well as research staff to give advice on education for children with special needs.

The organizations are thus separated for research and education, but the results of researches are also used for clinical activities. Information exchange is encouraged among graduate students in doctoral and masters courses, undergraduate students, students from abroad, and research students by holding study meetings, providing clinical guidance and encouraging joint studies with scholars of four affiliated schools of the University for impaired students in order to integrate research and educational activitie

Outline of the Institute of Special Education

TheInstituteofSpecial Educationis the successor of the former Department of Special Education of the Tokyo University of Education. The institute carries on the tradition of the researches and practice of educational science from its predecessors, including the Tokyo University of Literature and Science and the Tokyo Higher School of Teachers. It conducts basic and application studies on special education for persons with disabilities.

Studies conducted at the Institute consist of six main areas: 1) visual impairment, 2) hearing impairment, 3) mental and developmental retardation and behavioral disorders, 4) motor and health impairment, 5) speech-language impairment, and 6) welfare science and theories for persons with disabilities. Studies are conducted on persons of all ages, including infants and the elderly, from the disciplines of pedagogy, psychology, physiology, pathology, and welfare and rehabilitation science, as well as from an interdisciplinary perspective.

The Institute is the largest research facility of its kind in Japan and consists of 48 members, including professors, associate professors, assistant professors, assistants, and technical assistants. Joint studies are conducted with eminent Japanese and foreign researchers and research institutes. Through close liaison and cooperation with the University of Tsukuba Schools for the Blind, Deaf, Physically Handicapped, and Mentally Retarded, the Institute employs a system capable of dealing with various problems arising from these educational sites.

Findings obtained from these studies are reflected in the educational guidance provided at the Institute and School Education Center in the Tokyo area, and are reported in the Institute’s annual publication, “Bulletin of Special Education.”

To realize its ideal of an “open university,” the Institute promotes social and international contributions. For example, the Institute offers public lectures under specific themes for each study area several times a year, and accepts teachers from special education schools inJapanand abroad for training. With the cooperation of the Center for Research on International Cooperation in Educational Development (CRICED), which was established in the University of Tsukuba in April 2002, the Institute conducts studies and provides support to promote the advancement of special education in developing nations.