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Top Global Universities continue to evolve, each with their own original vision. Utilizing their distinctive strengths to the fullest, they aim to lead the world with unique research that is only being conducted in Japan.
-Studying motivation of human behavior-
Changing people's behavior for the better
by using gimmicks
Professor, Graduate School of Economics
A trashcan with a basketball hoop encourages people to throw trash into it. "Shikakeology" is the study to validate effects of gimmicks to motivate people to behave, new research field advocated by Professor Naohiro Matsumura.
Changing People's Behavior Solved a Problem
Professor Matsumura defines a "gimmick" as "something to motivate people for the better." He says, "When thinking of how to lower hurdles that people must deal with in daily life, I thought it would be better to change the behavior of people who think of them as hurdles not by force, but by encouraging them."
For example, a urinal with urinal target marker to reduce undesired splash. Another example would be file folders with a diagonal lines on their spines. If you put them together in the right order, it makes a consecutive line, which makes you want to place them in that order. Yet another example would be a deterrent, such as a mini torii (a Shinto shrine's sacred gate) placed at a fence in the alley to ward off those who would otherwise leave waste in the area.
Urinal target marker
A sticker designed to look like a target that encourages men to aim at it. Helps to keep the bathroom floor clean and reduce cleaning costs.
A diagonal line across the spines
To encourage people to keep file boxes organized, a diagonal line is drawn across their spine covers.
Inspired by a tube at Tennoji Zoo
Dr. Matsumura entered the Osaka University Faculty of Engineering Science to study artificial intelligence and continued his research at The University of Tokyo. Currently, however, he teaches data analysis regarding company management at the Osaka University Graduate School of Economics.
In 2006, he hit on the idea of choosing Shikakeology as a research theme. While studying data analysis, he noticed that "most events in the world are not quantified." He was looking for a new theme while thinking about different options, including totally changing his research theme.
At Tennoji Zoo (Tennoji-Ku, Osaka) he happened to find a telescope-like tube placed at a height of 1m, a device to encourage people to look inside. Looking through the tube, curious individuals found elephant dung there. Children were enjoying looking into it.
"'That's it.' I thought. The tube was a gimmick to get people to discover elephant dung. I realized that, without having to rely on computers, by just changing people's awareness, people can discover something that is normally unnoticed."
Tube at Tennoji Zoo
The "tube" on the side of a pathway leading to the elephant area. It is placed at children's eye level so that they can take a look at elephant dung through the tube.
Making Handai Slope a Landmark with his own Gimmick
In addition to gathering examples of various gimmicks, Dr. Matsumura himself tries various gimmicks that he made. For example, he placed basketball hoop trashcans on the university campus and hand disinfectors shaped like lion heads at Tennoji Zoo in order to collect and verify data such as usage frequency.
Moreover, he plans a race called "Ebisu Otoko Erabi (Lucky Man Run.)" Based on Nishinomiya Shrine's ritual "Kaimon Shinji Fukuotoko Erabi," the annual race in which men compete by sprinting from the gate to the shrine's main hall, together with the local shopping street, he plans "Ebisu Otoko Erabi" in which men run up the "Handai Slope," the slope leading to the Toyonaka Campus. This is also a kind of gimmick to make the Handai Slope a landmark of Osaka University by making Handai Slope accessible to local people.
Mouth of lion-shaped hand sanitizer
A hand disinfector modeled on the Mouth of Truth, known from its appearance in the film Roman Holiday. People are gingerly tempted to put their hand into its mouth. Putting one's hand into the mouth automatically dispenses hand sanitizing liquid.
Professor Matsumura makes most of his gimmicks by hand.
Hoping that manga Shikakeology will motivate elementary school students to perform independent research
Shikakeology is expected to be applied in various fields, such as marketing. Dr. Matsumura said, "I coined the word Shikakeology and included it in the title of my book." Shikakeology is the combination of the Japanese word 'shikake' for gimmick and 'ology.' "I want to spread the concept of shikake and its way of seeing things."
Last year, he published Shikakegaku—Hito wo Ugokasu Aidea no Tsukurikata [Shikakeology—Creating Ideas that Motivate People] (Toyo Keizai Inc.). Following this book, he plans to publish manga Shikakeology soon so that elementary school children can use it for independent study in their summer holidays. "I want kids to think about gimmicks using their sensibilities. If possible, I want to hold a contest. I hope they will become interested in study through the process of finding problems around them and thinking about gimmicks to solve them," said Dr. Matsumura, searching for gimmicks for spreading Shikakeology.
- Graduated from the Department of Systems Engineering, School of Engineering Science, Osaka University.
- Completed doctoral program at the School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo (Doctor of Engineering).
- Lecturer at the Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University.
- Associate Professor, Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University.
- Visiting Scholar at Stanford University.
- Current position as Professor, Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University.
Source : Osaka University NewsLetter #75
The undiscovered world of microorganisms: The science of fermentation
Nagaoka University of Technology
A deeper understanding of fermentation, which contributes to the deliciousness of Japanese food, opens the door to an unseen world
Microorganisms convert many natural things into different products during the process of their survival and propagation. For instance, they make soil more fertile by rotting and breaking down fallen leaves. Microorganisms and plants work together for mutual benefit and such activities by tiny invisible organisms drive the earth's carbon cycle. Fermentation is a part of this process and results in many delicious foods. Moreover, the various microorganisms living in our gut keep us healthy. We therefore directly and indirectly receive numerous benefits from microorganisms inside and outside our body, and are able to lead healthy and enjoyable lives.
We greatly benefit from fermentation, a process performed by microorganisms, especially in the form of miso, soy sauce, natto, pickles and sake which are used to make traditional delicious Japanese foods. Bread, cheese and yogurt are also fermented products found in other food cultures. In recent years, research on fermentation has progressed and its application in the fields of medicine, energy and the environment has increased. However, we have only discovered 1% of the world's microbial species and our understanding of fermentation is just beginning. Opening the door to the remaining 99% of undiscovered species and studying the power of this unseen world will unlock tremendous potential for the future of humankind and earth, beyond our imagination.
Exploration of the universe and the deep ocean is regarded as a frontier of human research. While microorganisms are all around us, 99% of all microbial species remain unused. Discovering these species is another field of frontier research. Sophisticated equipment for the detection of molecules and advances in genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics and omics (the field encompassing all of them) will soon enable us to make use of the undiscovered 99% of species. We consider that research to clarify the important roles of earth's microorganisms using the latest analytical techniques is a part of frontier research. Our laboratory mainly investigates the lives of bacteria, yeasts and fungi, as well as the cultivation and function of unknown species. Through these studies we aim to understand the importance of earth's microorganisms.
WPI-next unit "Text Studies on the Creation of Cultural Heritage and the Power of Memory" 2015-2017
Bringing together knowledge of humanities across academic disciplines to explore the true worth of the cultural heritage of humankind and pass it on to future generations
This unit was set up to develop a cutting-edge international research project in the humanities. Adopted as a WPI-next preparation unit in October 2015, the unit has been preparing for the full-scale research project since April 2016. Humanities researchers study the significance of the colorful variety of cultural works created by humankind, ranging from the remains and structures of ancient civilizations, artistic works by great masters, literature and performing arts to folk traditions such as rituals, and publish the resulting insights. As an advanced form of humanities, text studies involve reading and interpreting all such works as texts using research methods developed in academic fields such as theology, philosophy, literature, and history and the knowledge gained in these fields in order to identify universal laws governing them. Especially important for the heritage of various cultures, which serves as both monument and legacy, is the work of memory. What makes something heritage is the memory, which is the product of history and at the same time assumes a critical role in creating history. While cultural heritage is attracting increasing global attention today, it is also the focus of conflict and confrontation. Against this backdrop, humanities researchers need to look squarely at the power of memory and clarify how it works by means of the methodology of text studies across academic disciplines.
In this research, we should have objective views of the practice of recording events and the archives that result from the practice. Such archives are an aggregation of texts of different phases and a repository of memories of humankind with its coverage extending to heritage and culture as a whole. As such, the archives, including the process of their construction through field works and efforts to preserve and pass on the memories, occupy a unique place in the cultural memories of humankind, and constantly offer topics of experimental studies to humanities researchers.
This unit is based in the Research Center for Cultural Heritage and Texts (CHT), an institution established by the Graduate School of Humanities of Nagoya University with a view to pursuing the social mission of humanities to explore the true worth of the cultural heritage of humankind as a whole and pass it on to future generations. Its research project is supposed to lead "Investigation and Comprehensive Research into the Heritage of Religious Texts," a research project currently being conducted with Grants in Aids for Scientific Research (S) under the leadership of Professor Yasuro Abe, specialized in Japanese medieval literature and religious texts, who is in charge of the Archives Section of CHT and serves as Director of CHT. In the academic year 2017, Professor Abe was appointed as a coordinator of "Construction of an International Research Consortium on Creation of Universal Value in Religious Cultural Heritage through Textual Studies," funded by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). Against this backdrop, this unit is expected to play an important role as a starting point towards building an international hub of humanities research in Nagoya University.
The main members of the unit are, from the Graduate School of Humanities, Associate Professor Haruki Yasukawa, specialized in German literature, who translated Moses the Egyptian authored by Jan Assmann, a theoretician of cultural memory; Professor Daisuke Ito, specialized in Japanese art history, who co-authored and edited "History of Imperial Art"-- Exploring the Cultural Significance of Portraits in which the cultural significance of portraits is discussed; Associate Professor Dylan McGee, specialized in modern philology, who is currently writing a book about a book-lending shop (Daiso) which opened in the early modern period to explore how common people read books in those days and discuss the space of the book; and from the French School of Asian Studies, Professor François Lachaud, specialized in comparative religious and cultural history and the study of religious archives and memories. In addition, researchers of history, anthropology and archaeology join the unit from time to time to work together.
During two years since its establishment, the unit organized five international workshops for the dual purpose of conducting field studies on overseas cultural heritage and archives, and communicating with local researchers. These workshops include "Cultural Heritage of Hindu in East Java" held with the State University of Surabaya in 2016 and 2017, and "Archives as Cultural Heritage" held with the Australian Academy of Science in 2017. The unit also held 18 public seminars and lectures by inviting leading scholars specialized in cultural heritage research and archiving of heritage objects, including "Buddhist Memory of the World Heritage in Korea and their Intellectual Sustainability" by Professor Jongmyung Kim of the Academy of Korean Studies in 2016 and "Dangerous Omens and the Soundscape in Ancient Japan" by Professor Michael Como of Columbia University in 2017. These events were attended by 300 participants in total and lively discussions took place. Some of the outcomes of these events are reported in HERITEX, an academic journal issued by CHT (the second issue is currently being edited), and their overall outline is given in CHT Newsletter (the third issue has been published.)
In this process, the following joint research projects were launched as part of the Core-to-Core Program: "Text Studies on Performing Arts as Cultural Heritage and Boundaries" with Columbia University; "Discussion on Heritage of Religious Texts" with Collège de France; and "Mobility of Knowledge in Religious and Cultural Heritage" with the Free University of Berlin. In addition, joint research projects dealing with relevant topics and objects have started with overseas partners, including the University of Strasbourg, Heidelberg University, and the State University of Surabaya. In this way, Nagoya University is actively proposing more extensive themes of humanities research, while promoting interactions and cooperation with its partners.
Top Global Universities are keen to give you a better, deeper understanding of Japan and the world. Why not learn to view the world from a Japanese perspective?
Learning for international students
Global Health Leader training course: TMDU MPH course will open in 2018
Tokyo Medical and Dental University
Attracting high-caliber students from Asia and around the world to develop future global health leaders by offering English-only courses
From 2018, Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU) will start a Master of Public Health in the Global Health (MPH) course with the aim of developing global health leaders.
In the world today, everything is interconnected, interactive, and mutually dependent, which is why medical professionals who are dedicated to public health are needed more than ever, on a global scale. The knowledge gained through scientific research is a strong tool for effective health policies. However, there is a great gap between scientific knowledge and the practice of public health today. The MPH course at TMDU is designed to educate individuals from around the world who want to lead their fields by leveraging and disseminating scientific evidence in the real world, such as working at international organizations including the WHO, UNICEF, etc., global corporations, or academic research.
At TMDU, we focus on the social determinants of health and life-course epidemiology in the context of global health. We welcome potential students from all over the world who are keen to make a difference.
For more information, please visit:http://www.tmd.ac.jp/cmn/mphgh
Learning for international students
Global Art Practice (GAP) Seminar to learn Japan's traditional craft techniques and cutting-edge artistic expressions
Tokyo University of the Arts
Exploring Japan's unique artistic traditions to learn the values that the Japanese have upheld since ancient times and attitude towards creation
The Global Art Practice (GAP) course was established in the Graduate School of Fine Arts, Tokyo University of the Arts, in April 2016. More than one-third of the students enrolled in this course are international students from various parts of the world, who are engaged in artistic activities day-to-day, to explore how they can practice contemporary art in society while sharing cultural backgrounds and thoughts with each other.
In the GAP Seminar, which was launched specifically for the GAP course, students learn Japan's traditional craft techniques in woodworking, urushi, textile dyeing, washi, woodblock printing, and glass, as well as cutting-edge artistic expressions such as performing arts that have been evolving in a uniquely Japanese way. In this way and by learning directly from leading experts, this seminar helps students to deepen their understanding of the dynamic tradition and techniques that the Tokyo University of the Arts, the only national art university in Japan, has cultivated in the field of fine art in its 130-year history.
In the urushi course, for example, students learn the fundamentals of urushi or Japanese lacquer, and various decorative styles, techniques and processes. In last year's course, students created two-dimensional works on the theme of "four seasons," using the traditional techniques of maki-e and raden. In the textile dyeing course, students are taught the tradition and history of Japanese textile dyeing techniques through the creation of tenugui hand towels using the stencil dyeing technique. After studying the characteristics of Japanese costumes, hon-yuzen dyeing, and komon pattern, students designed patterns on their own by examining actual stencils and kimonos for inspiration and worked on dyeing.
These courses are taught with the help of Japanese-English interpreters to ensure that both Japanese and international students understand the traditional craft techniques, history, and worldview specific to this art genre, which are largely unknown even to the Japanese.
Through such hands-on experiences, students learn not only how to use the equipment in each studio and handle special materials, but also the values that the Japanese have upheld since ancient times and attitude towards creation. As an example, the metal casting studio within the university has a traditional household Shinto altar for the god of fire decorated with a Shinto straw festoon to pray for safe operation during the casting process. By experiencing and thinking about such a traditional custom together, both international and Japanese students are guided to face their own roots and identities.
By interacting with instructors and peers, learning the long-established local values, and acquiring techniques and knowledge through hands-on activities, GAP students deepen their understanding of the importance of local perspectives, which will eventually help them develop global perspectives necessary for globally active artists.
Learning for international students
Discovery Program for Global Learners
An interdisciplinary program in global studies
In October 2017, Okayama University launched the Discovery Program for Global Learners with 31 new students from 16 countries accepted through international admissions. Started as part of Okayama University's Top Global University Project, the program offers a liberal-arts undergraduate education for international and Japanese students. The program brings together students of diverse backgrounds and encourages a cooperative learning environment using English as a common language. An open curriculum allows students to go beyond the borders of existing faculties and departments, and build their own program of study to suit their interests and career goals. Under an individualized advising system, students gain specialized knowledge as well as wide perspectives necessary for tackling global issues.
1) Students enrolled in the Discovery Program for Global Learners can take courses in English taught largely by core faculty members, courses taught in Japanese in the 10 faculties of Okayama University, or a combination of the two.
2) The courses taught in English are divided into three themes: "Transdisciplinary Sciences for Global Sustainability," "Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship," and "Cultural Diversity and Communities." Students build their own program of study by combining courses in the fields of agricultural science, environmental engineering, astrochemistry, sociology, anthropology, economics, management, philanthropic studies, and political science.
3) The interdisciplinary curriculum aims to help students explore and question ideas from multiple perspectives. Research methods or knowledge taken for granted in one field may lead to new discoveries and innovations when applied to other fields. The Discovery Program for Global Learners places importance on this process. Through a combination of in-class studies, field study, lab classes, internships and study abroad, students gain theoretical and practical knowledge which will enable them to address global problems such as energy issues, food shortages, environmental destruction, and inequalities. The program aims to nurture creative individuals with interdisciplinary perspectives and specialization in their chosen field of study.
Learning for international students
Joint extracurricular activities and student programs for international students and students in the Global Leader Course
Networking with Japanese students in a wide variety of situations fosters diverse values
Kumamoto University offers many opportunities for networking between international students and their Japanese counterparts. In particular, students in the Global Leader Course, which was launched in the academic year 2017, are required to have a broad global perspective and to engage proactively with international students in order to understand diverse values and cultural differences. This course's distinctive curriculum also includes numerous extracurricular activities with the participation of international students.
One example is the overnight study camp for students in the Global Leader Course held at Kumamoto Prefectural Ashikita Youth Center in June 2017, in which 13 international students took part. They visited the public organizations Minamata Disease Municipal Museum, SOSHISHA – The Supporting Center for Minamata Disease, and Hotto Hausu, to carry out fieldwork by directly interviewing people related to Minamata Disease. The different perspectives of these various institutions gave them a deeper understanding of the different ways in which Minamata disease can be understood. As the Japanese and international students together learned about local issues and exchanged views, they came face-to-face with the fact that their viewpoints differed depending on the country and environment in which they had been brought up, and studied Minamata disease from multiple viewpoints.
In the evening, they gathered around a campfire, split into groups that planned and carried out different activities, made S'mores with marshmallows, and strengthened their shared bonds.
In addition to such joint study camps with the participation of international students and students in the Global Leader Course, the GLC Foundation Seminar attended by Global Leader Course students during regular class time also includes study alongside international students. All the faculty responsible for teaching the Global Leader Course are foreign lecturers, and in principle discussions and presentations all take place in English. There are also opportunities to communicate in English with short-term international students attending summer programs and other courses at Kumamoto University, offering the chance to experience the diverse values, cultural differences, and differences in thinking of students from other countries in addition to Japan.
The program of joint extracurricular activities for international students and students on the Global Leader Course is scheduled to continue. Other programs planned and implemented by Global Leader Course students themselves to take advantage of their own student perspective are also scheduled, and it is anticipated that these will also enable international students at Kumamoto University to encounter Japanese culture in more depth and network with Japanese students.
Learning for international students
Akita International University's Japanese Language and Culture Partners' Programs:
Fostering Local Understanding and Ambassadors for Japan and Japanese Culture
Akita International University
Experience a side of Japanese society you won't find in big cities through a unique program that leverages Akita's distinctive resources
All undergraduates at Akita International University are required to study abroad for a year. As of April 2017, the university has 185 partner universities in 47 countries and regions around the world, and not only sends around 180 students to study abroad every year but also welcomes around 180 undergraduate international exchange students each semester. International students study alongside Japanese students in the various academic subjects, all taught in English, and many also take Japanese language courses at the same time. Akita International University also offers separate short-term intensive summer and winter programs for international students to study Japanese language and culture.
As part of its Top Global University Project, as selected in Academic Year 2014, AIU has developed Partners' Programs in collaboration with select overseas partner universities. From January 4 through February 10, 2016, AIU held the first Japanese Language and Cultural Immersion Program: Advanced (J-CIP:A), developed in collaboration with the Australian National University (ANU) and hosted six ANU student participants. Eight more ANU students took part in the second program iteration from January 5 through February 10, 2017. In the development of this program, AIU faculty held numerous discussions with counterparts from the ANU College of Asia & the Pacific's Japan Institute to determine the number of credits and teaching hours, the class levels, and the content of the curriculum, then proposed and implemented a unique curriculum combining lectures on Akita studies, Japanese language, cross-cultural understanding, and local Akita culture experiences. During both iterations of the program, faculty from ANU visited Akita to observe how it was run and participate in extracurricular activities.
Participating students met local Akita residents and experienced a side of Japanese society very unlike the big cities. They studied Akita's climate, history, traditional arts and crafts, festivals, and food while deepening their understanding of issues facing rural Japan, such as the declining birthrate, aging population, and depopulation. As part of the program, participants engaged with a local community that is grappling with population decline, visiting an elementary school there to interact with students and staying with local families while helping to conduct the winter festival. These activities also contributed to creating opportunities for village residents, particularly children, to gain a more international perspective.
Program participants have rated the experience highly and, through sharing their experiences in various media formats online, have become ambassadors for Akita and Japan both within Australia and abroad, which is one of the aims of the Top Global University Project Partners' Programs. In light of J-CIP:A's positive reception, in Academic Year 2016 AIU began reaching out to other top-level Australian partner universities to invite them to take part in the program during the summer holidays. Akita International University is also launching Partners' Programs with other overseas partner universities and will continue efforts to develop an appealing, world-class curriculum in the future.
Learning for international students
Global project-based learning (PBL) program with GTI Consortium
Shibaura Institute of Technology
Bringing together international and Japanese students to work as a team towards solving engineering problems
Global project-based learning (PBL) program is a pedagogy that encourages students to actively address open-ended problems.
Shibaura Institute of Technology (SIT) implements the Global PBL program in cooperation with overseas partner universities to bring together international and Japanese students to address given problems as a team. The program has been conducted both in Japan (at SIT) and overseas (at partner universities), with 46 sessions held overseas and 15 sessions at SIT during academic year 2016. This program helps SIT students deepen their understanding of foreign culture, customs, and ways of thinking as they work with international students to tackle engineering problems and develop qualities necessary for success as global engineers. Using English as a common language, the program also makes students aware of the importance of communication skills, including English proficiency.
In December 2015, Global Technology Initiative (GTI) Consortium consisting of Japanese and overseas universities, companies and governmental organizations was established by the proposal of SIT. With 159 Japanese members (139 companies, 10 universities, and 10 governmental organizations) and 18 international members (3 companies and 15 universities) as of May 2017, GTI Consortium is promoting various activities such as the Global PBL program, international internship program, international joint research program, inter-governmental project, international inter-university collaboration program, GTI Consortium symposium and etc. Among these activities, the consortium places special importance on the Global PBL program.
In the Industry-Academia-Government Global PBL program that involves member companies of the GTI Consortium, students are instructed to discuss actual problems that the companies face and are given interim and final reviews on their discussions by businesspersons. Conducted jointly by SIT, overseas partner universities and companies, the Global PBL program helps students develop highly practical skills.
Cross-cultural interaction in everyday scenes
Japan's Only MBA Program Designed as a Career Path to International Organizations: the Global Public Management Program at Kwansei Gakuin University Business School
Kwansei Gakuin University
Developing human resources with expertise and ability to act globally as members of international public organizations such as the United Nations
Japan's only MBA degree program on the management of international public organizations
The Global Public Management Program (GPMP) at Kwansei Gakuin University Business School (Nishinomiya Japan), established in 2017, is Japan's only MBA program designed to provide specialized knowledge on the management of international public organizations to students who aspire to follow professional careers in public organizational management as highly specialized professionals. The curriculum combines carefully-selected MBA basic courses and advanced courses taught by instructors with practical experience on the front line at the United Nations and diplomatic institutions.
All courses of the GPMP are conducted in English. Currently, some international students are studying on the program with Japanese students.
Structure of courses
The GPMP is composed of basic courses and advanced courses. Students start with the fundamentals of managing organizations through the basic courses. They then learn advanced topics, and gain essential expertise required by international civil servants.
Among the basic courses, International Management, Marketing Management, and Principles of Finance are compulsory, and provide students with fundamental knowledge of managing international organizations. In addition, the knowledge and skills obtained by taking the courses Making Ethical Decisions, Marketing Strategy, and Japanese Economy are beneficial for students wishing to acquire the latest business knowledge.
The advanced courses, including International Public Policy, Management of International Organizations, Seminar in Global Communication, Seminar in Multilateral Negotiation, Seminar in Diplomacy, Peace and Security, and Global Sustainable Development are designed to closely follow the UN Competency Framework which is widely used to select, evaluate, and train capacity development at the United Nations as well as other international organizations.
The GPMP also provides students with various practical training opportunities in the elective compulsory courses: Internship in United Nations and Internship in Diplomatic Institutions. Students are required to choose one of the courses. During the 1-3month internship, students are asked to apply the skills and knowledge they have learned in the program to address issues and problems which professionals at the United Nations and other diplomatic institutions tackle in their daily work.
Kwansei Gakuin University has already concluded agreements including the Internship Programme Cooperation Agreement with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The University is also aiming to expand partnerships with international organizations for promoting the internship programs.
Highly distinguished faculty members
Faculty members of the program are experts on global issues and include the following:
- Yasushi Akashi, Former Under-Secretary-General of the UN
- Takahiro Shinyo, Former Ambassador of Japan to Germany
- Shun-ichi Murata, Former Deputy Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)
- Keiko Nishino, Former Recruitment and Staff Development Officer of the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF)
- Jun Kukita, Former UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) Representative to Kazakhstan
- Mackenzie Clugston, Former Ambassador of Canada to Japan
- Kenzo Oshima, Former UN Under-Secretary-General (Humanitarian Affairs)
- Toshiyuki Niwa, Former UN Assistant Secretary-General of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Secretariat
In addition to conducting the courses, the faculty actively offer career advice.
Extensive career support
Kwansei Gakuin University established the Career Center for International Organizations in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan in 2015. The Center offers various seminars, workshops and opportunities for individual counseling all year round. Extensive career support is one of the major benefits for students at the GPMP.
Opinion of a Student – Koichi Kaida
I am studying the GPMP at Kwansei Gakuin University (KGU) Business School as one of the first students.
I majored in international cooperation and international relations at the School of Policy Studies when I was an undergraduate student at KGU. I studied development and decided I needed to gain more practical and specialized knowledge to work in the development field as a career. This is why I decided to study Business Administration at graduate school.
At first, I thought about going to graduate school overseas to do an MBA, but it is so expensive. Then I found the GPMP at KGU where all the lectures are in English, and I can also study international cooperation and international relations while focusing on my MBA studies at KGU.
The contents of this program are quite different from those at undergraduate school. Each class is very intensive and there are many specialized and challenging subjects.
However, I now realize that my English ability and understanding of my specialized studies have improved greatly in just this first semester at the graduate school of KGU.
For details, see the website of the International Management Course, Business School, Institute of Business and Accounting, Kwansei Gakuin University (http://www.kwansei-ac.jp/iba/imc/).
in Everyday Life
Living in a student dormitory and participating in residential programs and numerous cultural exchange events―your daily life in Japan outside of the classroom will be filled with new discoveries.
Cross-cultural interaction in everyday scenes
Student dormitories with residents from 18 countries
International University of Japan
Living alongside students from many different countries deepens cross-cultural understanding and fosters an attitude of respect
Since it was founded in 1982, International University of Japan (IUJ) has always had an all-dorm policy, recommending that in principle all first-year students should live in dormitories. The "Characteristics of the School" include the statement that "students will as a rule reside in dormitories so that by living together young people of different nationalities and with different backgrounds can be stimulated by each other's world views and awareness of critical issues and learn to work together," and cross-cultural encounters are regarded as an important aspect of education.
The IUJ dormitories consist of three blocks for single students (SD1, SD2, and SD3) and one for families (MSA), with a total capacity of 300 people. Their convenient location within a few minutes' walk of the classrooms means that students can always take part in group discussions and debates without having to worry about the time, a feature of IUJ with its full complement of dormitories. The student dormitories are designed as shared student rentals. Rooms are deliberately allocated so that students from many different countries live alongside each other, with each floor containing residents from at least 18 different countries. The absence of segregation by nationality, gender, program, or year of study creates a liberating atmosphere like that of a miniature United Nations or an Olympic village.
Each dormitory has a large main lounge as well as smaller lounges on each floor, equipped with TVs for watching CNN and the BBC as well as billiard tables and other recreational facilities that can be freely used by students. Parties are held at Christmas, Easter, New Year, and on festivals celebrated in different countries, organized mainly by students and local international exchange groups. By not only taking classes with students from many other countries but by living alongside them as well, our students learn about each other's cultures and values, gain cross-cultural understanding, and develop an attitude of respect.
Many of the students currently enrolled at IUJ are government officials, central bank officers, and other key figures in Asian and African countries, and the relationships forged by studying together and living under the same roof for two years lay the foundation for a strong alumni network that will persist long after the completion of your studies, not only with people in the same country but also across international borders.
Since May 2015, a 24-hour English management service has been operational in the student dormitories as part of the Top Global University Project. A university counseling room was opened in April 2017, staffed full-time by counselors able to offer counseling in Japanese and English. The university is endeavoring to provide a support framework that enables students to feel more relaxed and at home during their studies.
Cross-cultural interaction in everyday scenes
Exchange programs between international and Japanese students
Every situation is an opportunity for cross-cultural exchange.
Make the most of wide-ranging support and find out about Japanese culture.
Ritsumeikan University offers many opportunities for international students to interact with Japanese students. In addition to networking between international students and those from Japan, these also provide the chance for international students from different countries to meet each other. All international students at Ritsumeikan University are invited to take advantage of these events in order to make new friends and encounter many different aspects of Japanese culture.
Networking through programs and events
Examples: Barbecues (spring), mochi-pounding events (winter), bus tours, home visits to local families, and other events organized by student exchange groups
Networking in international exchange venues
Examples: Every campus has an international exchange venue that is always bustling with students with an interest in studying abroad and international exchange. Japanese and international newspapers are available, as are computers, making these venues also useful for gathering information.
Networking and learning through the tutor system
The Japanese Tutor System brings together international students who would like more opportunities to study Japanese outside regular classes and Japanese students who want to teach Japanese. The aim is that by learning and teaching the Japanese language, students can interact at a deeper level and improve their understanding of each other's cultures.
International exchange programs by support groups for international students
There are several support groups for international students at Ritsumeikan University. Some of their activities are described below.
* Tutors for International Students Assembly (TISA)
Offers daily life and study support for full-time international students, and runs international exchange programs.
* SKP Buddies
Offers support for international students taking part in six-month or one-year student exchange programs, and organizes events to enable international students to find out more about Japan.
* RSJP/RWJP Buddies
Offers daily life and networking support for international students taking part in five-week short-term programs held in summer and winter.
* Resident Mentors (RMs)
RMs live alongside international students in dormitories and university-rented apartments and offer everyday support.
In addition to these groups, Ritsumeikan University also offers many other opportunities for international and Japanese students to study together and network. We hope that everyone who joins Ritsumeikan University as a student will take advantage of these opportunities to make friends and learn more.