Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
After graduating from the School of Commerce at Meiji University, Minister Hagiuda became a member of the Hachioji City Assembly and the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly. He won his first seat in the 43rd general election of the House of Representatives (currently in its fifth term).He served as Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology; Chairperson, General Council of the Federation of Tokyo Metropolitan LDP Branches; Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary; Secretary General of the Cabinet Bureau of Personnel Affairs; and Executive Acting Secretary-General of the LDP. Since September 2019, he has served as the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and Minister in charge of Education Rebuilding.
We launched the Top Global University Project (TGU) in 2014, as an internal reform program that prioritizes support to universities working on internationalization. Compared to before the start of the program, steady progress has been made, such as twice as many lectures taught in foreign languages, approximately 1.5 times more foreign students admitted and more than twice the national university average of full-time foreign lecturers within all the universities involved in the TGU. When looking at universities individually, they have introduced many distinct initiatives; for example, Kyoto University has launched an international collaborative degree program in genomic research with a top Canadian university; Chiba University has expanded its study-abroad program from a departmental initiative to a university-wide program for all students; and Hiroshima University became the first national university to bring an American university onto campus. We are also actively disseminating the achievements and challenges of the TGU at symposiums held by each university and across all universities in the TGU, allowing them to share the outcomes with other universities. I think that this has triggered a change in staff awareness and on-campus reforms, contributing to the progress in internationalization.
As the globalization of economic society progresses, problems that cannot be solved by a single country, such as environmental problems, poverty and conflicts, continue to accumulate. To address such challenges, international cooperation and tolerance for diversity are indispensable. As SDG values, it is necessary to build an inclusive society with equal opportunities to succeed, regardless of attributes such as gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, social status and disability. It is also important to make diversity normal, and to achieve this, we need to welcome many different and talented people from around the world as well as going abroad and discovering it for ourselves. I believe that this will also lead to the emergence of innovation and the enhancement of Japan’s international presence. There are about 800 universities from Hokkaido in the north to Kyushu and Okinawa in the south, and they play an important role in the region. I hope that as a center of knowledge, the universities cooperate with local governments and industries, offering education and research that attract students to the region and produce graduates capable of responding to and solving problems specific to that region.
It is now time to wrap up the TGU as it nears its end in 2023. We expect Type A (Top Type) universities to provide highly competitive world-class education and research, and Type B (Global Traction Type) universities to promote globalization of the local community, as regional intellectual hubs. Although the internationalization of universities has been greatly affected by the Covid-19 crisis, I hope that they continue to promote international educational exchange programs by taking advantage of online tools, providing valuable opportunities for students to learn from different cultures. TGU is just a launch pad for internationalization. I also hope that they will continue and expand their developed programs after the end of the TGU.
The world is becoming more and more borderless in both time and space. I hope that you young people will not be trapped in a fixed mindset, but will look at things from a global perspective and play an active role while cherishing your Japanese identity. Japan will benefit greatly by more and more Japanese people becoming successful globally in both business and research. I sincerely hope that you will strive to take your success to the next level, with the spirit of turning adversity into opportunity, despite the current Covid-19 crisis.
SOURCE:Toyo Keizai ACADEMIC:Feature story on Top Global Universities Vol.2
Former President of Nobel Peace Prize-winning Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) JapanPresident of Kokkyo naki Kodomotachi (KnK, Children without Borders)
Ms. Terada was born in Tokyo in 1946 and studied at Futaba Gakuen from kindergarten to high school. After studying French at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, she was busy raising her three children. She was involved in MSF Japan as an office volunteer from its establishment in 1992 after being recruited by a friend she knew from university. She served as President for seven years from 1998 and, in 1999, attended the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony as a Japanese representative. She is currently President of KnK, traveling to various parts of Asia and Tohoku.
When I was young, I dreamed of becoming a French teacher at my alma mater. After graduating from university, I had a busy life as a mother of three children, but I never gave up my desire to connect to society at some point. One day, a dozen years later, I received a surprise call from an old university friend. After that call, I decided to help a French person who came to Japan to set up the MSF Japan office, and I found a new life.
I knew nothing about international aid at that time. I learned a lot from the French person and was given an opportunity to see the front-line work. There, I learned the importance of not being emotionally involved in the present but thinking about what is truly required with compassion. I moved to Kokkyo naki Kodomotachi (KnK, Children without Borders), which became independent from MSF, and continued in my present role. KnK operates in seven countries in the Middle East and Asia, including Japan. It reaches out to young people who are living in harsh conditions and trying to move forward through learning.
I feel that young people today are much more interested in international activities than they used to be. Although it is difficult to go abroad at the moment due to the Covid-19 crisis, we receive far more information and images about distant places. I think your first response of “I want to do something but what can I do?” is very important. Different people can be involved in different ways; some may study and become involved in international aid; some may reach out to people’s hearts by living with local people; some may be connected by fate or chance like me and share a smile. Either way, the most important thing is to have a spirit of “a helping hand to a friend” in your heart. I think that a powerful big circle can be formed when many thoughts become intertwined many times over and connect to each other like a patchwork.
Let me summarize what I have learned so far:
Taking a break and coming back fresh sometimes gives you a deeper connection with the people you work with.
Even if you can’t do anything right now, chances will come as long as you keep thinking “someday.”
In recent years, the social environment and people’s lifestyles have greatly changed, and new technologies such as the hybrid cloud, AI and quantum computing are becoming the core businesses of IBM. Although the IT industry is changing rapidly, the concept of “Good Tech” is always valued. The goal of our technologies is to create a better society. Under this concept, IBM has used cutting-edge technology to make an impact on the world for over 100 years.
During the last few years of being involved in recruitment, I feel that more students have a global view. I would say that this is one of the achievements of the Top Global University Project. To be an international player, Japanese students should think about what kind of impact they can make on the world as a Japanese individual. Japan has a number of world-class strengths, such as outstanding quality of service and customer satisfaction. They should understand the great things about Japan compared to other countries and be aware of themselves as potential global leaders from an early stage. In addition, universities will need to improve the environment for developing “communication skills beyond words.” At IBM, we work with multinational staff based in various locations in Asia and Europe as well as in New York, where our head office is located. I encourage you to develop world-class communication skills through multidisciplinary studies including psychology and sociology in addition to languages.
Technological innovation such as online language courses and virtual study-abroad experiences is changing the way of internationalization. In the IT industry, new technologies are being developed every day, which accelerate the obsolescence of skills. The most important thing in such a rapidly changing era is to have an attitude of continuous learning. This attitude is proportional to intellectual curiosity. I think that in the future, global society will require individuals who take change as an opportunity and continue to take on challenges without fear.
IBM Japan, Ltd.
Managing Executive Officer in charge of Human Resources
Sumitomo’s business philosophy is the basis of Sumitomo Corporation Group’s activities. It includes the principle “Benefit for self and others, private and public interests are one and the same” which means that Sumitomo’s business must benefit the nation and society as well as itself. This has been refined and the group’s current management principles state that it aims to be a global organization constantly staying a step ahead in dealing with change, creating new value and contributing broadly to society. In modern terms, the group has inherited the philosophy of sustainability management and operates globally. Members working with us at Sumitomo Corporation Group are expected to take on the challenge of creating new value globally in line with this business philosophy and management principles.
An increasing number of students have overseas experience and gained strong language skills by studying abroad. Meanwhile, many students seem to rush to find solutions and try the shortest path to achieve the goal. There is no perfect answer in the real world, including business. It is necessary to go through trial and error and repeatedly make adjustments to find a solution that is required by society. Students should take on various challenges without being afraid of making mistakes and should experience many successes and failures during their education.
To be successful in global society in the future, an open mind is indispensable. This means the ability to adapt to the environment in a rapidly changing world, the ability to respect others and the ability to work diligently. I believe the key to success is to face other people seriously and keep going tenaciously until the end.
I encourage students to do whatever they can now or what they want to do, gain a broad experience, and develop their own views. I hope the university will improve the environment and encourage students to take on challenges, allowing them to expand their potential and future options by themselves.
Recruitment Team Leader, Human Resources Department
As well as home appliances, Panasonic offers products, technologies and services in various areas including housing, town development, transport to connect homes or towns, and parts and materials to support almost everything. Panasonic is a global company that follows the economic development and cultural background of each country and region around the world. Approximately 60% of employees currently work outside Japan. By utilizing the overseas trainee system, over 100 young employees are assigned overseas every year, where they work to make life better for people around the world.
We focus on three points in the recruitment process. The first is whether the candidate is unique, not only in terms of specialty but also in identity, which is formed by a combination of personality and experience. By looking at your past experiences, you should be able to see what makes you unique. The second point is whether the candidate has ambition. We value individuals who can envision what they want to achieve, consider what is required to achieve it and then take the necessary action. We are also keen to hear how you could link your vision to customers’ lives and develop potential new approaches. The third point is networking. I feel that students, especially those who are from universities involved in the Top Global University Project, have better communication skills, possibly because they have more opportunities to interact with foreigners as well as Japanese. These skills help to leverage the strengths of members with diverse personalities and complement each other’s weaknesses. They also bring diverse values together to create new value. This allows us to build teamwork with each other and increase the speed of our response. That’s why such skills are directly related to helping our customers.
We do business in close cooperation with our domestic and international group companies, including development, production, sales and service. From the perspective of globalization, in future, globally optimal decision making will be essential in businesses that have previously operated locally, in terms of organization and human resources. There will also be more opportunities to interact with those in other countries. We are looking for individuals with their own ambitions who can use their strengths to create a better life with us globally.
Graduate Recruitment Manager
The world has become a place where conventional wisdom no longer applies; for example, due to drastic changes in the business environment such as digital transformation, new services that were unimaginable previously have emerged. In these circumstances, the Marubeni Group is facing a time of change. While our company is involved in diverse businesses as a general trading company, vertical silos have become ingrained in each business, which stops us from adapting to the changing times. Thus, Marubeni has adopted the “Global crossvalue platform” as the vision for our company’s future. Using the Marubeni Group itself as a platform, we aim to anticipate future social issues; break down barriers between businesses, departments, companies and countries; and create solutions for society and our customers through progress in individual businesses and expansion across all businesses. Exploring new growth areas and business models, our company seekshuman capital that is constantly aware and has the ability to solve problems with a sense of curiosity and ownership. In the recruitment process, we value not only each individual’s achievements but also the process that accompanied them. Students with various overseas experiences such as studying abroad and encouraging international cooperation are increasing, but we want to hear the details—what you were interested in, what your aim was and how you tried to accomplish your goals—to better understand each individual. If you know what you want to do in our company from your previous experiences, we recommend that you apply through our Career Vision Recruiting website, where you can specify the role or department you would like to work for.
Our goal is to be a group that creates value by tackling social and customer issues and going beyond the framework of a general trading company. Unlike school exams that always have right answers, you will need to face complex tasks with no simple right answers and reach your own conclusions through trial and error. It is not easy, but I hope you will find the process enjoyable and rewarding. I also hope that you value putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. It is important to understand that people from different countries and regions have different perspectives and values and to accept those differences. I believe that individuals who think outside the box and make efforts to understand others will be successful in our global society in the future.
General ManagerRecruiting & HR Development SectionHuman Resources Department
Fourth year studentSchool of International StudiesCollege of Human and Social Sciences
At first glance, it may seem hard to connect the terms “international” and “study abroad” to student life on the verdant campus located on the outskirts of the historic city of Kanazawa. However, Kanazawa University, one of the universities involved in the Top Global University Project, offers study-abroad programs which meet a wide range of needs, such as student exchange programs to improve language skills and academic performance through interaction with local students, and short-term study-abroad programs involving fieldwork, work experience and visits to international companies and organizations. As a comprehensive university, it also offers support from academic staff who are internationally recognized in various fields, which is very attractive.
Taking advantage of these well-organized programs and supportive environment, I have gained various international experiences since starting university. One of those experiences was an exchange program at the University of Malaya, Malaysia, which I joined for one year beginning in the fall of my second year. I studied Islam and development issues, allowing me to understand different cultures as well as look at Japanese society and myself objectively. I also participated in several short-term study-abroad programs, in which I visited field sites in developing countries, as well as companies and international organizations in other countries. These experiences taught me the importance of tackling problems with a sense of ownership as well as objective thinking from academic and international perspectives.
Needless to say, the university offers an international environment on campus as well. For instance, the School of International Studies at the College of Human and Social Sciences gives many specialized lectures in English. I belong to a research group where half of the members are international students and receive supervision in English. As I was surrounded by many international students and foreign languages were spoken on a daily basis, and as I could receive guidance from academic staff with broad international experience, I became more interested in other countries and did not hesitate to go abroad.
I am currently involved in the student group project “KU-SGU Student Staff” to promote the Top Global University Project, which is a unique initiative here at Kanazawa University not found in other TGU universities. A wide range of activities are planned and implemented based on students’ own ideas, such as making badges to promote interaction between international and Japanese students and inviting lecturers who are recognized globally.
The global society is full of diversity and uncertainties. Through various international experiences and education at university, I felt that in addition to language skills and specific expertise, the ability to collaborate and bridge across different values and cultures is important to be a successful player in such a society. I am planning to pursue postgraduate studies to apply in the real world what I have learned through those experiences.
Fourth year studentDepartment of Integrated Human StudiesFaculty of Letters
I traveled alone to Laos during the summer vacation in my third year at university. I was particularly impressed by the mix of ongoing urbanization and people’s traditional lives in the capital city of Vientiane. While more and more large shopping complexes and buildings were being constructed in the city, some streets were still unpaved just outside the city center. People still kept chickens at home and friends gathered in the afternoon to chat over a beer on their days off. I decided to participate in the student exchange program with the National University of Laos because I was interested in seeing and thinking about how modernization through ODA and companies in neighboring countries was impacting people’s lives in Laos.
During my time in Laos, I tried to live the same way as the local people as much as possible in order to understand their everyday life. I bought sticky rice and side dishes (about 60 yen per meal) near my dormitory to eat, and I wore clothes and shoes which I bought at local markets. I also tried to behave as a local; for example, I put my palms together and inclined my head slightly as a greeting like Lao students whenever they meet academic staff on campus. This also helped me to convey my willingness to adapt to the local culture and to be accepted by Lao people.
In addition to daily life, I experienced other things. I learned about local beliefs and cultures through attending Buddhist events and weddings and also went to temples as a volunteer teacher of Japanese to monks. Another valuable experience was traveling around the country by bus and learning that the society in each region was completely different.
Through experiencing local life, I found that it was important to have both flexibility and confidence. I lived in an uncertain environment where I didn’t know what would happen from day to day. It often took a long time to determine the start dates of lectures and meetings were often cancelled. Although I was initially confused by the cultural differences, I gradually got used to them and became able to respond flexibly to changes in schedule. I also learned the importance of having self-confidence, such as a strong purpose, will and knowledge. If you have these, you can feel confident that your feet are on the ground while abroad, and that local people will treat you as an individual person with a personality, not just as a foreigner. This is not limited to Laos. I realized that it is necessary to accumulate knowledge with a strong will and purpose and to respond flexibly to situations in a global society where people with different cultures live together.
I finished my studies in Laos and am currently in my fourth year of university. After completing my degree, I am going to pursue postgraduate studies to work on further questions and interests about Lao society which arose during my time in Laos. Previously I had to figure out everything from campus life to socializing, but next time, I hope to improve my understanding of Lao society in greater depth based on this experience. To achieve this, I would like to build my confidence.
Fourth year studentTIPS (Toyo University Student Group) RepresentativeDepartment of Policy StudiesFaculty of Economics
I was interested in community development even before starting university, and was particularly attracted by the cities of Strasbourg in France and Portland in the U.S. I learned that Toyo University offered study-abroad programs in those two cities; I visited France and Germany for two weeks and studied in the U.S. for more than half a year. My first overseas experience was in France and Germany, which I visited as part of a European training program organized by my faculty during my first undergraduate year. This experience marked the first step towards a wider world.
When I studied for the university entrance exam, my English was not good. I used on-campus English program to improve my language skills before studying abroad in my second year. As a result, I increased my TOEIC score by more than 200 points and was able to initiate conversations without hesitation when studying English in the U.S. By interacting with local students and appreciating the cityscape and culture, I realized the importance of 1) having a broad perspective, 2) seeing the site and 3) learning in the locality. I also participated in internships at local companies and in volunteer activities to learn more about community development as well as to learn English. I expanded my network with the help of my professors and gained experience that could only be obtained from a local perspective. As I expanded my range of activities beyond studying English, I was able to gain experience in the research field which I was really interested in. I was quite nervous, but accumulating small successes gave me confidence and allowed me to thrive in a different culture.
While interacting with local people, I was impressed with local students’ high levels of awareness of the SDGs and ability to act on them. I thought I could also do something in Japan and so I set up the student group “TIPS” to create a base to help Japanese students take action. At the time of its establishment, we aimed to help students who didn’t know what they wanted to do to find a purpose through a Hult Prize event, where students made a business pitch in English. The original principle remains unchanged even though the range of activities has expanded. The current theme of TIPS activities is “SDGs, Diversity and Students’ Growth,” and we particularly focus on students’ growth. Our principle is the “Do philosophy” which Toyo University has been advocating since its establishment. This helps us to approach the essence of things without prejudice and to deeply think on how to actively tackle social issues as if they are our own problems. The ability to think about how to solve problems instead of following a prescribed path is essential for students today. I realized the importance of challenging questions from my experience of studying abroad, but it seems that many Japanese students do not yet have such an attitude. Through the activities of TIPS, I would like to continue to help students to realize the importance of the ability to think, act and challenge unanswered questions, and also offer each student the opportunity to improve such abilities.
Graduate School of International Peace StudiesDivision of International Peace StudiesSecond Year
The Graduate School of International Peace Studies (SIPS) is a new program established in 2018 as part of the Top Global University Project. We have a large number of international students enrolled. In 2019 when I joined SIPS, the 28 students were from 15 dif ferent countries and regions and all 8 faculty members are also from different countries. English is used as the medium of instruction at SIPS, and in such a diverse environment, the students deepen their study of International Peace Studies through the tw o core courses of “International Relations” and “Peace Studies.” A distinctive feature of this department is that it cultivates a comprehensive perspective by reevaluating the causes and solutions of conflicts in global society from multiple perspectives. We are studying hard every day, broadening our perspectives as global citizens toward finding solutions to issues on a global scale. My first visit to Japan was in 2016. When I was a graduate student at the University of Ghana, I was selected by the head o f the department for an opportunity to study at Soka University as an exchange student. At Soka University, international students from various backgrounds study and live together with the Japanese students in the international dormitories. In the internat ional dormitory, I spent my days with Japanese students and was able to feel the diversity in various scenes of daily life. Also, I met many passionate peers at Soka University, and it was my friends I met here who eagerly listened to my passion to impact the world someday, and encouraged me to come back to Japan to study at SIPS. I have taken classes such as “Peace and Global Citizenship,” State Building in Africa,” and “Civil War and Peace Process.” My research is on the role of digital technology and mu ltilateral organizations in reducing youth unemployment, especially in Sub Saharan Africa. This research is something that will lead to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8, Decent Work and Economic Growth. The classes at SIPS are di scussion based, challenging, and offer a lot to take back, which allows me to be constantly engaged. Sharing ideas among other students from different countries and cultures allowed me to develop more awareness about global issues and have confidence in fi nding innovative and sustainable solutions. Moreover, I was able to present at an international conference, TICAD7 Post-event hosted by Soka University, event hosted by Soka University, and there are various similar opportunities for the students, which I am inspired by every day. and there are various similar opportunities for the students, which I am inspired by every day. Life inLife in Japan can be difficult, but the University has a full support system even outside of Japan can be difficult, but the University has a full support system even outside of academic aspects such as advice from staff and readily available support. In addition, the academic aspects such as advice from staff and readily available support. In addition, the faculty members sincerely listen to our concerns and always put students first,faculty members sincerely listen to our concerns and always put students first, and it is and it is reassuring that they are always there for me. I am determined to continue to deepen my reassuring that they are always there for me. I am determined to continue to deepen my learning so that I can become a person who can lead the international community towards a learning so that I can become a person who can lead the international community towards a peaceful and sustainable world.peaceful and sustainable world.