About iUP

Message from the Director

To future Kyoto iUP students

Since Kyoto University's establishment in 1897, its unique spirit of academic freedom has served as the foundation for the cultivation of a great many talented human resources and researchers, including eleven Nobel laureates. Additionally, in 2020, Associate Professor Takeshi Nishimura of the university's Primate Research Institute became Kyoto University's first Ig Nobel Prize winner for his research team's experiment that induced a female Chinese alligator to bellow in an airtight chamber filled with helium-enriched air. The Ig Nobel Prize is generally regarded as a parody of the Nobel Prize, but I think that the mindset of acknowledging "achievements that make people laugh and think" in this way is also important, and not unrelated to the mindset required to attain the actual Nobel Prize. Such achievements by researchers at Kyoto University may well be related to the fact that Kyoto, where the university is located, is in the center of the Kansai region, which is widely regarded as the "laughter center" of Japan. In today's world, which is fraught with complex global-scale problems yet to be solved, such as the worldwide spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), people often forget to laugh. At Kyoto University, however, we value the benefits of laughter and know that it can help us in developing flexible thinking and innovative ideas. In this spirit, I hope that everyone who will come to study on the Kyoto iUP program in the future will always keep smiling and never forget the importance of working hard and enjoying every single moment of life.

Kyoto iUP is an innovative undergraduate program for bright and talented students from around the world, which consists of a six-month preparatory course and four-year undergraduate program. In addition to classes in each student's major field of specialization, the program also provides intensive Japanese language courses. Outstanding students from around the world are already enrolled in the program, and are on their way to becoming part of an international student elite.

I personally have been engaged in research in the field biochemistry for many years, and I look forward to seeing what kind of "chemical reaction" will occur at Kyoto University through your contribution, and how it will change the world and the future.


Hisashi Miyagawa
Kyoto iUP Office