We live in the Age of globalization and information technology, facing many difficult issues. For the past two decades, we have seen rapid growth in quite a few developing countries. The collapse of the socialist regimes in the Soviet Union and Eastern European countries, coupled with the observations of the growth experiences, led many economists to concluding that the respect of property rights and political stability are the foundation of the "success" in market-oriented economies. Then came the financial crisis. This event urged every policy maker to re-evaluate the role of deregulation on economic activities, especially in the financial sector. In the meantime, despite all effort exerted by the involved parties, the problem of Global Warming has become increasingly difficult. As for rich countries, aging society and increase in inequality are major concern. Aging society tends to aggravate budget deficits, making the operation of the economy more difficult. The grass roots movement, Occupy Wall Street, is still fresh in our memories. The movement illustrates the dilemma between increase in inequality associated with pro-market policies and equality demanded by the majority. All of these problems are challenging. The School of Social and International Studies provides education that helps young and creative minds to think about the challenging problems for making the world a better place.

The School of Social and International Studies consists of the College of Social Sciences and the College International Studies. The College of Social Sciences primarily offers discipline-oriented courses, and the College of International Studies provides students with courses that are issue-oriented and practical. The curriculum of each college is flexible enough to take courses from both colleges and obtain a bachelor's degree. Established in the summer of 2010, our Bachelor's Program in International Social Sciences (part of the G30 Program) provides foreign students the opportunity to earn a degree by taking courses taught entirely in English. The School of Social and International Studies is a leading example that embodies the idea of "Internationalization as an everyday affair" that the University of Tsukuba embraces.

Nobuyoshi NEMOTO, Provost
School of Social and International Studies
University of Tsukuba