Kochi University of Technology (KUT), established in 1997, was originally a private university. Founded by the Kochi prefectural government, KUT ambitiously set its sights in becoming a world class university through the pursuit of unique excellence. KUT's revolutionary design, introducing innovations never before seen in universities in Japan, contributed greatly to development in university education. Despite its relatively small scale, KUT has had a strong presence with its distinctive character and progressive education system. Notably, KUT took the lead in adopting a quarter system to enable intensive learning. Valuing student autonomy, KUT has no compulsory courses.
In 2009, KUT became a public university corporation. With its solid financial position thanks to the support of the Kochi prefectural government, KUT could operate innovatively since it gained the know-how needed for independent and autonomous operation through its experiences as a private university. At the same time that KUT changed its status, its organization was transformed as well: 5 departments within the faculty of engineering became 3 schools offering 13 specialty courses. This redesign was aimed at deepening and broadening the learning system to answer to the needs of the time and of society. This educational reform for broadened learning enabled KUT to pursue an innovative future not bound by a conventional engineering curriculum.