BIRD Virtual Exchange Program 2022 with the University of Melbourne
May 23, 2023
Tokyo Tech and the University of Melbourne, Australia held the online winter program "Bringing Ideas in Remote Discussion (BIRD)" from February 10 to February 20. The Winter Program started as an exchange program for international students from the University of Melbourne, one of Tokyo Tech's partner universities, and other universities in and around the Oceania region. Following on from last year, this year's program was held again as a remote student exchange between the University of Melbourne and Tokyo Tech students. Seven undergraduate students from Tokyo Tech and 14 undergraduate students from the University of Melbourne participated. They were divided into four teams and brought their ideas on the theme of "Technology for Sustainable Food," with each team presenting their results on the final day.
The BIRD program consisted of four parts: 1) preliminary study for Tokyo Tech students, 2) site visit to Kewpie Corporation, 3) theme-related lectures by Tokyo Tech and University of Melbourne faculty members, and 4) teamwork and presentation of results by participating students.
The major difference from the previous year was the company visit to Kewpie Corporation's Mayo Terrace. Students from the University of Melbourne took a virtual tour of the facility and were also connected online to Kewpie Corporation's mayonnaise factory, where they learned about the company's commitment to "sustainable food and engineering" in society. The combination of face-to-face off-campus education and online education, conducted while taking preventive measures against COVID-19, was well received by the students.
All participating students received a certificate of completion, and the program came to a close with a sense of accomplishment for having fostered friendships across borders and shared ideas for solving social issues.