The RESPECT Program is the first of its kind in Japan, and aims to produce multicultural innovators capable of implementing highly advanced research and social applications related to issues of multiculturalism and coexistence. The qualities required to function as a global leader in multicultural innovation can be termed as “multicultural competencies”, which specifically refer to advanced levels of literacy in six areas: global, multilingual, policy, research, fieldwork, and communication. In practical terms, participation in the five-year RESPECT Program is akin to taking a double major. Students will be provided with a rich graduate education experience in their own specialty and in the field of multicultural coexistence. (Note that graduates are awarded one doctorate in the field of their major specialty.) The RESPECT curriculum can be illustrated as follows:
The RESPECT Program curriculum is comprised mainly of coursework (academic work and practical work) and research. Academic work is more than just classroom-based lectures; students participate in a diverse range of courses, many of which include participation-based learning. Practical work is the most distinct feature of this program, and offers students real-world learning opportunities in numerous fields and on a variety of platforms outside of the university. With regard to research, students receive supervision and advice from Osaka University’s outstanding faculty members working in or across multiple disciplines, as well as advice from external program advisors working in various fields.
Students who enter this program will have already received a place in a Master’s program in the Graduate School of Human Sciences in the university. They should be committed to completing the whole five years and fulfilling all the requirements for a doctoral degree in the school. The RESPECT program is designed to complement the students’ primary specialties. Successful students will receive a doctoral degree from the faculty of their affiliation, but it will be noted that they have met all requirements to complete the RESPECT doctoral program.
In addition to meeting the requirements of the school, at the end of the second year, students on the RESPECT Program must pass a Qualifying Examination (QE) to continue. At the end of the third year, students must submit and defend an original research proposal in the field of multicultural innovation in their area field of specialty.
Students who complete the RESPECT Program and who are awarded a doctorate in their field of specialization will have noted on their doctorate diploma that they completed the Doctoral Program for Multicultural Innovation.
NB: The Doctoral Program for Multicultural Innovation had been one of the Programs set up for Leading Graduate Schools (2012-2018 academic years) and funded by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan, as a multidisciplinary program. The program was taken over by the Graduate School of Human Sciences of Osaka University from April 2019.
Due to the demanding nature of the RESPECT Program and to ensure that students are fully devoted to their academic studies and research, Osaka University has established a scholarship program. Successful applicants will receive a monthly stipend of 40,000 yen (2019 academic year).