7 Reasons to Study a Degree For Sustainable Futures
Sponsored by Sophia University
In 2015, the United Nations General Assembly outlined 17 Sustainable Development Goals for the year 2030 as an urgent call to action to ensure prosperity for all and protect the planet.
In a world that’s deeply impacted by war, financial disparity, and environment crises, the need for graduates who have the knowledge and skills to come up with solutions is pressing.
We spoke to Professor Hideki Maruyama at Sophia University about their new Program for Sustainable Futures (SPSF) launching in September 2020, and how it aims to develop students’ knowledge and skills to deal with the sustainable challenges in today’s truly globalized world.
Sustainability is an issue across all industries and sectors
In what is becoming an increasingly pressing issue for humanity, “no-one can ignore sustainability today as we face rapid changes in society and nature,” warns Professor Maruyama.
But how can studying a degree for sustainable futures help? In the English-taught Program for Sustainable Futures at Sophia University, prospective students will specify their desired field of study when applying in one of the six departments of journalism, education, sociology, economics, management or global studies (international relations and area studies) with an additional focus on sustainability and sustainable development.
When asked what students can expect from the program, Professor Maruyama told us: “Students can major in one of the disciplines provided by the department as well as interdisciplinary contents in the program.
“This means they can choose to study their own major and also take classes in other disciplines.”
Study in the heart of Tokyo
Tokyo is a metropolis full of culture, innovation and promise. It’s also an attractive study destination for thousands of students all over the world, thanks to its welcoming society and exciting lifestyle.
The opportunity to learn about the global issues facing us all in a classroom full of peers from across the globe is an unrivalled learning experience.
Gain a better understanding of the role you play in a globally-interdependent world
It’s no secret that the next generation of educators, engineers, scientists, doctors and business professionals will have to face the consequences of what the older generation’s actions and decisions.
Such awareness leads to action, so it’s important to consider the role that yourself, and others such as corporations, governments and non-profit organizations play within society, and the potential consequences actions could have on the planet.
It’s also important to understand how everyone can work together across sectors and industries, to ensure such pressing issues can be resolved. The Sophia Program for Sustainable Futures at Sophia University allows students to enroll in the same classes regardless of their specialization in order to get a richer understanding of matters related to sustainable futures.
Become familiar with the concepts of sustainability, globalization and development
In order to come up with answers and solutions for a better future, you need to have the ability to think sustainably at local and global levels.
SPSF takes an interdisciplinary and practical approach, where students learn about many varying topics that encompass a wide range of subjects.
“The concept of sustainability is everywhere. From global to local, we can tackle climate change in the private sector and reflect on our lifestyle to keep ourselves more sustainable.
“The Sophia Program for Sustainable Futures will emphasize all ranges of sustainability, depending on the learner's interest,” says Professor Maruyama.
Enhance not just your knowledge but your skillset too
A degree will not only equip you with the knowledge to come up with solutions for global challenges, but it will also help you develop specialist skills that are both strategic and adaptive when it comes to solving such complex issues.
Your ability to think critically, be a creative problem solver, work within a diverse team, and communicate effectively are exactly what future global leaders will need in order to help solve the challenges facing modern society.
The opportunity to undertake internships and gain real-world working experience
Students who study the Sophia Program for Sustainable Futures have the opportunity to apply their learning to real-world problems by undertaking internships, field research and other initiatives where they can develop their professional and academic skills and enhance their comprehension of their chosen discipline.
“Students can learn in a global environment in central Tokyo, where there are many headquarters and offices of large companies for internships and services,” says Professor Maruyama.
Find solutions and offer positive contributions for global challenges in modern society
In the final stage of their degree, students can work towards offering practical solutions to real-world problems which can also be integrated into their final-year thesis.
The program itself aims to ensure students develop a variety of visions of what a sustainable future should look like – whether it’s within education, the economy, sociology, management, journalism or global studies – and to further help prepare those students who have the ambition and capabilities to deal with the pressing global issues within those sectors and industries on both a local and global scale.
This article was originally published in November 2019 . It was last updated in January 2020