The Kobe University Center for Social Systems Innovation

About CfSSI



The Strengths of the Four Graduate Schools and One Research Institute in the Field of Social Sciences

Graduate School of Law

The Graduate School of Law is consistently on the forefront of Japan’s legal and political research, carrying out some of the country’s finest work in terms of the quantity and quality of its large-scale scientific research and other projects. The Graduate School of Law also carries out research exchanges with universities in Europe and around the world, and is recognized as a research hub not only in Japan but worldwide. On the educational front, the Law School serves as a model for Japan’s education to nurture the legal profession and is working continuously on educational reforms. The school is also producing solid results in terms of training researchers in its graduate programs, and was recognized by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) as an“Excellent (Takuetsu) Graduate School”. The Faculty of Law offers a diverse array of courses that correspond to its educational objectives, including courses taught in English. It also carries out a diverse range of programs that ensure greater depth and diversity in its educational and research activities, including the GMAP in Law program; GEEPLS (Kobe Global Elite Education for Politics and Law Students); mock arbitration and other situational training; the EU Institute in Japan, Kansai (EUIJ-Kansai); the Program for European Studies; the ELS Program; the Top Lawyers Program; and more.

Graduate School of Economics

The Graduate School of Economics has a long history and tradition that spans more than 110 years, dating back to the establishment of the Kobe Higher Commercial School, and it continues to this day to be a central hub in Japan for the education and research on economics. The school covers virtually every aspect of the field of economics, and in keeping with the environment of the international city of Kobe, it has a particularly robust faculty with expertise on international economics and on the economies of individual nations. In FY2012–2013, it was recognized by MEXT as an Excellent (Takuetsu) Graduate School. In terms of its educational offerings, the graduate school offers a number of unique programs, including the introduction of skill-up and recurring programs for nurturing advanced professionals; the GMAP in Economics and International Five-year Economics Education Program at Kobe (IFEEK, a program that offers a five-year undergraduate and graduate course) to develop global leaders; the “Programme for European Studies,” which works in cooperation with European universities to offer dual degrees; and the ELS Program.

Graduate School of Business Administration

The Graduate School of Business Administration has a long-standing strength in the research and education on business systems. In FY2012–2013, it was recognized by MEXT as an Excellent (Takuetsu) Graduate School, and among those schools, it was the only social science school in the nation to receive an “S” rating. As evidenced by such a high rating, it has carried out cutting-edge education and research as a Center of Excellence (COE) in business administration and commercial science in Japan. On the educational front, in 1989 Kobe University became the first national university in Japan to offer a professional MBA program, which trains individuals who can be central players in the Japanese business community. In order to offer a world-class business education, the school has strongly emphasized training students for the global stage through such initiatives as the Kobe International Business Education and Research (KIBER) Program for undergraduate students, the GMAP in Management—Strategic Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Alliance Management Initiatives (SESAMI) Program for graduate students, and in addition, since FY2015, the school has offered the Kobe International Management Education and Research Accelerated (KIMERA) Program, which provides a five-year undergraduate and master’s program that includes a year of study abroad during the undergraduate portion of the program and courses taught only in English during the graduate studies portion.

Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies

The Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies conducts interdisciplinary education and research to address a variety of global issues facing the international community (e.g., poverty, development, and security). The core of the program focuses on economics, law, political science, and other social sciences, while at the same time collaborative courses in areas such as global health studies and disaster management studies are offered in order to implement education and research that integrates the arts and sciences. The school has signed agreements for international exchange with universities (40 institutions in 20 countries) and international agencies (8 institutions in Japan and overseas) through which students can participate in training and internships abroad. Moreover, the school offers a Double Degree Program for master’s program students and a Sandwich Program for doctoral program students that promote a more international education. And in FY2011, the school was chosen by MEXT for the Collective Action for Mobility Program of University Students in Asia (CAMPUS Asia), which is an ongoing initiative.

Research Institute for Economics and Business Administration

Established in 1919 as the Commercial Research Institute of the Kobe Higher Commercial School, the Research Institute for Economics and Business Administration (RIEB) has the longest history and tradition of all social science research institutes affiliated with national universities in Japan; it will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2019. Since its inception, the institute has continuously collected and cataloged societal, economic, and business documents, and its Integrated Center for Corporate Archives now utilizes the latest technology to create a searchable database of those documents. The institute began promoting the research and development of computational devices prior to World War II, and its Business Mechanization Exhibition, which displays an array of historically important computers,has been recognized as a Satellite Museum of the Historical Computers by the Information Processing Society of Japan—the very first for a social science–related institute. Research is conducted in four major sections, Global Economy, Corporate Competitiveness, Corporate Information, and Global Finance, and as the only research institute affiliated with a national university in Japan that focuses on both economics and business administration, RIEB carries out cutting-edge interdisciplinary research that is highly regarded both in Japan and worldwide.