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Daiki Sugiyama

True color of Shingaku-Furiwake system

Shingaku-Furiwake system is a very unique system of this university, and many students make an effort to win the battle. Let’s disclose the secrets of this system.

When students enter the University of Tokyo, with an exception of some exchange students, the faculty they can enter in their 3rd and 4th year is not determined yet. It is decided according to their choices and results of examinations or quality of reports during the first three terms.

This system is so unique that there are only three universities which apply similar systems in Japan: the University of Tokyo, the University of Hokkaido and Tokyo Institute of Technology. Even so the system of Hokkaido University is only applied to some students, and that of Tokyo Institute of Technology is used to decide not faculties but only majors. The Shingaku-Furiwake system of the University of Tokyo is the biggest one in Japan. It has continued for a long time. It stems from the entrance examination from Daiichi High School to Teikoku University which was the first university in Japan.

You will read these many books (January 18, 2013, taken by author)

You will read these many books (January 18, 2013, taken by author)

The most important advantage of the system is that students can study a wide range of subjects regardless of their major for the first two years in the university. We can choose which faculty to enter our 3rd and 4th years based on our experiences and various kinds of knowledge obtained in the first three semesters. So we can enter into a faculty that is the most suitable to us. Moreover, the knowledge we learn in the two years will be useful after we enter our next stage of education.

It is true that students endure the pressure of the system and have to struggle hard. Many students even choose lessons according not to their curiosity and will to learn, but the easiness to get high scores that will benefit in the for system. But imagine our campus life without the system. The very pressure is the essential factor to drive us to study hard. We have to get along with the Shingaku-Furiwake system. The system will continue to be a double edged sword that both suffer and empower students in the future.

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