Tsukuba Informatics: A Pioneer in the iSchool Movement in Asia-Pacific

 The Master’s and Doctoral Programs in Informatics, University of Tsukuba, is a member of iSchools, a global organization of information schools, to develop informatics research and education.

 The iSchool movement, which began in the United States at the end of the 20th century, advocated for the importance of interdisciplinary schools that comprehensively teach about information, information technology (IT), and people and communities. iSchools were created in various countries besides the United States. Over 100 schools worldwide are now members of iSchools, and in the Library and Information Management category of the QS University Rankings, nearly all the top schools are iSchools.

 Unlike traditional graduate schools for information engineering or library and information science, diversity and an interdisciplinary approach are major characteristics of iSchools. Our program is among the largest iSchools in the world, bringing together faculty members with diverse specialties related to information. All the faculty, students, and staff members share a vision of diversity and interdisciplinary research. As society becomes increasingly information-driven at an accelerating pace, the cross-sectional teaching of information, IT, and people and communities at iSchools is of ever-increasing importance. For instance, many of the issues in today’s information-driven society require a cross-sectional approach to all three subjects, including 1) new paradigms in an information-driven society such as Digital Humanities, Citizen Science, and Human-in-the-loop; (2) the elimination of bias and achievement of trust in an information-driven society; (3) the management and advanced utilization of massive amounts of data produced by documents, sensors, social media, etc.; (4) the achievement of artificial intelligence (AI) that is be considerate of humans’ feelings; and (5) the integration of the real and virtual worlds. Our university has long been leading the iSchool movement in Japan and the Asia Pacific region since the 1990s. It is ranked high on the QS University Rankings for the field of Library and Information Management, and our program is recognized as one of the leading iSchools in the Asia Pacific region.

 This program welcomes students with diverse backgrounds, nationalities, cultures, and experiences. Students from various backgrounds such as information engineering, library and computer science, media informatics, and socio-informatics are enrolled in the program to acquire advanced skills, conduct advanced research, and make career changes.

Reference websites:
The iSchool Movement: https://ischools.org/The-iSchool-Movement
The Asia-Pacific iSchools: https://asistdl.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/bul2.2016.1720420407