By October, 1997, four to five years before the establishment of the International Student Center, the International Exchange Committee of the University proposed the idea for establishing “The Center for the Promotion of International Exchange” for the purpose of centrally managing international exchange operations for the University of Tokushima. In October, 2001, the University of Tokushima established internal funding for the International Student Support Center. Then, in April, 2002, in accordance with ministerial ordinance from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, the establishment of the International Student Center was approved, enabling our university to provide foreign students with a successful and practical Japanese language education program, as well as close support and guidance for students’ schoolwork, research, and accommodation for daily life.

Even after the establishment of the International Student Center, our university sought out a permanent facility dedicated to improving operations for collection and exchange of information in regards to the promotion of international exchange. With the International Center as a base, we devised a plan for developing a new center characteristic to the University of Tokushima. Thus, in April, 2005 the Steering Committee of International Affairs wrote up the University of Tokushima Internationalization Policy, and within that policy proposed the establishment of The International Center. The University developmentally reorganized the International Student Center and moved the plans forward for establishing the International Center, finally resulting in the inception of the International Center. Likewise, the University of Tokushima has developed the system to enhance internationalization as a whole.

The International Center of the University of Tokushima (hereafter, ‘the Center’) used to provide various supports and services for students under the two subdivisions of International Exchange Division and Education Division. In addition to the two subdivisions, International Cooperation Division was newly established in April, 2014 and has been leading international cooperation activities for developing countries.

In the midst of the current trend of globalization, two educational councils of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Education Rebuilding Council and Central Education Council, set the goal to double the number of Japanese students who study abroad. To reach the goal, Tokushima University and the Center have established Study Abroad Promotion Division and have started to work actively to enhance study abroad and global education in the University. Corresponding to this reformation, we changed the name of the International Exchange Division to International Exchange Support Division to make more active commitments on the enrollment of new international students. We also renamed the Education Division to Japanese Language Education Division.

In April, 2018, we integrated the Study Abroad Promotion Division into the International Exchange Division, which is formerly named International Exchange Support Division, in order to comprehensively operate the services for incoming foreign students and sending Japanese students overseas. Furthermore, we discontinued the Japanese Language Education Division and newly established the International Education Division in order to add English education and housing support services to the existing Japanese language and culture education.

Through the above reorganization, the Center has been comprised of the three subdivisions, International Exchange Division, International Education Division, and International Cooperation Division, and has been providing various supports and services to students and faculties to promote the internationalization of the University.


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