One of the three universities based in Maebashi, capital of Gunma Prefecture and known as the "City of Water, Greenery and Poetry", Kyoai Gakuen is a private university associated with the United Church of Christ, largest of Japan’s protestant denominations.
It represents the top end of provision extending from nursery school through to university and dating back to the opening of girls’ school in 1888. The centenary was marked by the foundation of a Women’s Junior College offering two-year courses while the university - which is co-educational - opened in 1999 with a single Faculty of International Social Studies and won recognition from Association of Japanese Universities in 2005.
It is a small, but highly distinctive, institution offering four-year degree courses. It expects to admit 200 students of international social studies – courses in English, international studies, information technology and business management, humanities and culture and psychology - and 50 in regional childhood education, each year.
The institution emphasises the "Kyoai Spirit", defined as "to love one another and live together" and aims to raise "Glocal Leaders", combining global and local vision. Students are taught in small classes with a focus on learning languages and involvement with the local community, and are encouraged to work together on group projects. Activity is centred on the Kyoai Commons building, opened in 2011 as an innovative action-leaning facility.
The university’s 2016 accreditation report praised it under a number of headings including educational content, methods and outcomes, the educational and research environment and societal cooperation and contributions.