One of five universities in the coastal city of Shimonoseki, Baiko Gakuin University is a private institution which can trace its history back to American missionaries who came to Japan in the wake of its opening up in the second half of the 19th Century.
It originated in two mission girls schools, one started in Nagasaki in 1872 and the other in Shimonoseki seven years later, which merged in 1914. It became a junior college in 1964 and a university offering four-year degrees three years after that, shifting to co-education in 2001.
It maintains traditions rooted in those Christian origins, with the motto "Let us walk as children of the light" and daily chapel services on campus. Having relocated to its current campus in 2002-3, it plans to open further new facilities in 2019.
With just over 1,000 students in 2018, it has undergraduate schools of Japanese literature, international language and culture and child development along with graduate schools of Japanese literature and English and American literature.
It offers the "Bakuin Basis" as a common factor across all provision, which is intended to produce "Glocal" citizens with an understanding of both local and global society. Students are encouraged both to undertake "Kanmon Fieldwork", research projects on the history and culture of their region, and to develop high-level language skills, with significant numbers spending time abroad to work on English, Korean or Chinese.
In January 2019 32 students completed an intensive eight-week English-language programme at INTI International University in Malaysia, which was also due to host a nine-month programme during the year. The partnership with Valencia College, Florida has led to some students taking internships at Disney World.