• HOME
  • > About GPWU
  • > Foundation of the University

Foundation of the University

Foundation of the University

Gunma Prefectural Women's University was founded to provide students with a broad cultural background and specialized knowledge to enable them to make an active contribution at every level of society at every level both here in Japan and throughout the world.

A look back at Japanese education shows that by 1975, already more than 30% of high school students nationwide were going on to further education either at universities or junior colleges. This rapid increase was even more conspicuous in the case of women whose wider role in society was reflected in their growing desire to enter university. Gunma was part of this national trend, although the number of students in tertiary education was about 10% lower than the national average. The prefecture was unable to cater to the huge increase in women wanting to go to university. As a result was that the majority of them were going outside the prefecture to study. Against this backdrop, the people of Gunma to establish a university for women.

Gunma Prefucture took note, and the decision was made to establish a university. The new university was to pay an important role in the 100- year plan. In 1977, the prefucture took aim at raising the cultural and educational level of everyone in Gunma so that the people of Gunma would be able to meet the challenges of internationalization. The four- year womenfs university was to have its own unique identity with three departments, Japanese Literature, English Literature, and Aesthetics and Art History.

Establishment of the Faculty of International Communication

When the university opened on April 1, 1980, it offered students a broadly based liberal education in the humanities in one of three departments. However, since that time there have been many social changes that have led to a much higher participation by women in the workforce. As a symbol of the greater opportunities available to women, a law was established that outlawed sexual discrimination in employment.

Although the university remined firmly rooted in the local community and true to its original aims, it also realized it needed to keep pace with the changing society . The creation of the English Communication and International Business programs was a way to address these needs while helping the university establish a strong and distinctive identity for itself nationally.

In recent years, English education in Gunma has been the focus of much attention with a number of schools attempting to provide a more integrated English language curriculum starting at the primary levels. The Department of English Literature does provide some basic English language training in speaking and listening; however, their main focus is the study of English and American literature. On the other hand, in the Faculty of International Communication the attainment of an advanced level of communicative competence is given the highest priority. To achieve this aim, students take the TOEFL and TOEIC and are given detailed and individual counseling. Students who chose this faculty will have ample opportunities to use English in critical and persuasive ways, such as learning how to support their opinions and how to give presentations, so that they can with exellent spoken and written English. Such advanced levels of practical English are a prerequisite for anyone who wishes to work in the international arena. Students within this faculty can also choose to specialize in the international business program where they can learn the fundamentals of economics and business.