Sprouting from the Department of Science in 2008, the ELCAS Program (stands for Experienced-based Learning Course for Advanced Science ) started as hands-on learning course to introduce the wonders of science to high school students, fostering new generations of researchers by promoting curiosity and nurturing them with skills to start their paths in science.

Since its ignition, the program has expanded by including other academic fields. In 2014 it entered a new phase, when the program was set under the umbrella of the Japan Science and Technology Agency 's Global Science Campus, or GSC (in Japanese), rendering it a "university-wide" scheme. In 2018, now as a Kyoto University initiative, ELCAS has continued to expand both academically and geographically, currently offering courses in more than 20 fields in a wide range of disciplines in the natural and social sciences, as well as in humanities, while learning opportunities are also offered at the University's Tokyo Office.

The program welcomes high school students from all around Japan to the University's research facilities, providing opportunities for future scientists to carry out experiments and participate in lectures about research, coached by leading researchers and university students.

Students are divided into small groups to facilitate constructive interactions and to encourage exchanges that, in many cases, lead to partnerships and life-long friendships. ELCAS accepts about 200 students for foundation courses in the first year, while the second year admits qualified students who engage in specialized courses.

Overall and in the course of a year, ELCAS brings together more than 300 professors and researchers, together with some 250 tutors and volunteers from the University, and the program produces a journal compiling reports from participants in the specialized courses, their research activities and outcomes, which is available through Kyoto University's Research Information Repository .

Find out more about ELCAS (in Japanese).