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Educational Environment

Matsumoto Dental University is similar to American universities

People are generally aware that there are differences between universities in Japan and the USA. Professor Carlson shares some of his thoughts on the Matsumoto Dental University by examining the differences between universities in Japan and the US.

When I compare Japanese universities with American universities, I think that the biggest difference is in the overall system of education. It is often said that entering a Japanese university is more difficult than entering an American university, while graduating from an American university is more difficult than graduating from a shool in Japan. Actually, the differences in national character between the two countries makes it difficult for me to say which system is better. However, because Japanese universities select students using highly competitive entrance exams, perhaps the level of students’ ability at university is among the highest in the world.

When I came to Japan for the first time, all of the universities I visited gave me the same impression. This was probably because Japanese universities lack a sense of individuality. The university buildings are quite non-descript and similar, as is the environment around the universities. In contrast, American universities tend to cherish a certain atmosphere and to create a characteristic sense to the university buildings and campus. For instance, the design of the buildings and the campus at my alma mater, the University of Michigan, is quite distinctive. Unlike many Japanese schools, Matsumoto Dental University has an environment and buildings with a degree of character, similar in some ways to those of universities in the US. Naturally, the students at MDU appreciate such at atmosphere -- something that seems rare for a Japanese university.

Dental English Lecture

A strong point of Japanese universities, especially Matsumoto Dental University, is the excellence of the facilities. MDU has truly remarkable facilities among Japanese universities -- extensive sports facilities as well as the greenery surrounding the campus provide an attractive environment for study. I am very interested in the library, a building with an impressive collection. It makes me feel as though I am in the library of an American university.

When I see the ways in which professors and the faculty of Matsumoto Dental University communicate with students, I can directly sense the meaning of the phrase “Education is love” which was so important to the university founder, Dr. Yagasaki. Surrounded by that sense of love, our students can study, engage in active discussion, and enjoy a richly-textured university life.