The 21st Century COE Program

COE stands for “center of excellence.” Originally entitled the”The Top Thirty Public and Private Universities Concept,” the 21st Century COE Program was launched in FY 2002 by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology as part of its structural reform policy for the university sector. The program is designed “to develop world-class centers of research and education at Japanese universities by enhancing the competitive climate through the application of competitive principles based on third-party evaluation; to provide those centers with support on a priority basis to enable them to boost research standards andnurture creative minds capable of leading the world; and thereby to build internationally competitive universities that are each unique.”

The program covers ten fields of research ranging from the humanities and social sciences to the natural sciences. Ten to thirty Ph.D. programs are selected from each field; these then receive annual funding of some 100-500 million over a five-year period. An interim evaluation is conducted after two years, and a post-project evaluation is conducted upon expiration of program.

The 21st Century COE Program Committee of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science looks after the selection process (screening and evaluation). In FY 2002, when five fields were eligible for the program, 464 research applications were received from 163 national, public, and private universities; 113 applications from 50 universities (including 25 applications from 15 private universities) were ultimately selected. Hosei University’s “Declaration of International Japan-Studies” was among them.

The “Declaration of International Japan-Studies” project selected under the 21st Century COE Program is dedicated to the idea of studying Japan as a different culture and examining the cosmopolitan aspects of Japanese culture. It isbeing implemented by a team of renowned scholars both Japanese and non-Japanese, most of them affiliated with Hosei University. Thanks to its selection under this program, the university is now poised to become one of the world’s leading hubs of research and education in the field of international Japanese studies.

Field COE major Title of program COE Leader
Graduate School
“Declaration of International Japan-Studies” Hoshino Tsutomu
(Professor, Faculty of Letters)