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Hokkaido University is a mainstay comprehensive university that places importance on its graduate schools.Hokkaido University had its beginnings in Sapporo Agricultural College, founded in 1876 as the first college in Japan to give bachelor's degrees. In 1949 it was re-organized as a 'new system' university with seven faculties and one department of general education. It now consists of 12 faculties, 14 graduate schools and 20 research institutes and centers, with 2,150 academic staff, 11,400 undergraduate students, 5,200 graduate students and 712 non-degree research students; the student body includes 720 overseas students from 75 countries. The University has concluded exchange and cooperation agreements with 65 universities in 18 countries. The main campus of the University occupies a 170 hectare site close to the center of Sapporo. Hokkaido University, on the foundation of academic freedom, aims to promote world-class research to solve problems confronting humankind through flexible organization of its graduate schools and other networks leading to remarkable developments in its research and education functions, while promoting creative research without distinction of theory and practice. With the introduction of western customs and scientific technology, and lectures by foreign teachers, the Sapporo Agricultural College opened its mind to diverse directions from the beginning. From this time on, Hokkaido University has played an active role in placing its graduates in positions overseas and its philosophy of Global Perspectives has taken on many different forms. Hokkaido University strives to encourage its students and staff to acquire “Global Perspectives” and to contribute to the development of an international society by creating more opportunities for studying and researching abroad, by further activating the acceptance of foreign students and researchers, and by promoting cultural and social exchange with people around the world, including Asia and the northern regions. International students can apply for scholarships which are sponsored by the Government or private organizations after enrolling at the university. Eligibility for application and the amount of allowance vary according to the organizations, and the number of scholarships is also limited. The ratio of international students who received scholarships last year (academic year 2001-2002) was 64.7%. The tutorial system is implemented with the cooperation of university students and faculty members for the purpose of enabling international students to adapt to life in Japan and thus to progress effectively in their studies and research at the Hokkaido university. All overseas undergraduate / graduate / research students (both Japanese government scholarship students and self-supported students except for students majoring in Japanese studies) are eligible to participate in the tutorial system on the recommendation of their supervisors. Graduate students can participate in the tutorial system for the first year after their arrival in Japan. However, those students who are enrolled in the six-month Intensive Japanese Language Program should apply for a tutorship after finishing their Japanese-language course. Undergraduate students can participate for the first two years after their registration at the university. Hokkaido University has one main library (Central Library), the North Library, and in addition each faculty has its own branch library. The Libraries offer facilities for reading and lending books and newspapers to students and staff.
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