Located in the small town of Ami, Japan, Ibaraki Prefectural University of Health Sciences has offered medical training to over 3,000 students since it opened as a public university in 1995. Part of its mission is preparing its graduates for the importance that medical practitioners will have in Japan’s future due to the country’s low birth rate and rapidly ageing population.
In addition to undergraduate courses, the university also offers two-year master’s courses and three-year doctorate courses for those wishing to pursue research. These are offered by the university’s Graduate School of Health Sciences, which opened in 2010. The university’s Centre for Humanities and Science offers education in liberal arts courses that students undertake on top of their medical training.
The university’s base is a 120,000 square metre campus. Practice rooms offer students the opportunity to simulate real medical environments such as the intensive care unit. There is also a gym and a library among other facilities.
Since 1996, the university has also operated a 120-bed hospital that specialises in rehabilitation. It was the first public hospital of its kind to be opened in Japan, according to the university.
Ami is about an hour away from Tokyo by car and two hours away by train. The town is situated on the banks of Kasumigaura, the second largest lake in Japan and the economy there is largely reliant on agriculture. The nearest city is Tsuchiura, around 20 minutes away by bus.
There are plenty of nearby sights, including Ushiku Jouen, a large memorial park. Visitors there will not miss the statue of Buddha that stands 120-metres high, making it considerably taller than New York’s Statue of Liberty.