Outline of university
Lake Biwa is our campus, and Humanity is our text
This is the slogan of our university. The phrase "Lake Biwa is our campus" symbolizes the firm commitment by our university and the people of Shiga Prefecture toward caring for the environment of Lake Biwa and its surroundings. The phrase "humanity is our text" represents our educational emphasis on the human being. Those phrases also reflect the characteristics of Shiga Prefecture.
Lake Biwa is the largest lake in Japan, providing water for 15 million people in Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe in the Kinki region. The surrounding basins of the lake support agricultural, urban and industrial activities in the prefecture, but recent industrial expansion and population growth have been causing environmental problems. To stop further environmental deterioration, the government, factories and citizens in the prefecture have joined forces and made various efforts. As a result, Shiga Prefecture has become one of the leading environmental-conscious prefectures in Japan and promotes various activities related to the natural ecosystem.
Many talented men and women have historically come from Shiga Prefecture since the time it was called Ohmi. This can be attributed to the location of Shiga Prefecture, which has been a strategic center and crossroads of major routes to northern and eastern Japan from ancient times to the present. Vigorous traffic activities brought various local cultures together to villages and towns along the routes, which encouraged and made possible for the people to develop the enterprising spirits of Ohmi.
Since the environment and human life are related to various fields of academic disciplines, the activities of our faculty members cover these from humanities to science and technology. A rather small student body of about 2600 offers ample opportunities of close contact and communication among students as well as between students and faculty. We consider that this is vital to achieving our motto: "a university where people can grow."
To cultivate individual creativity, students are encouraged to pursue the subjects that interest them most, in addition to those in their specialized disciplines. In all departments, they spend a great deal of their time on field work, experiments and seminars, in which an emphasis is placed on ties to and bonding with local communities in Shiga Prefecture. Such activities help us fulfill the following motto: "Take root in the community, learn from the community, and contribute to the community."
We were the first among Japanese universities to establish a School of Environment Science in 1997. Since then, social situations have changed rapidly and greatly. Environmental issues, such as global warming, pollution in lakes and water shortages are our great concerns world wide. Conflicts rising from cultural and religious differences are spreading world wide, and so cross-cultural understanding is vital for keeping peace in the future. To accommodate such social changes and act on social needs, our university was reorganized as a public university corporation in April, 2006, and is no longer under prefectural control. Our emphasis on environment and human life continues to be relevant to the next generation. We welcome young people who are truly concerned with the future of the world.