Dr. Andrej Bekeš
Professor of Japanese Studies
Faculty of Arts
University of Ljubljana
I am a linguist, specializing in text pragmatics, and am a professor of Japanese studies at the University of Ljubljana. I have been with the Japanese Studies Program since its beginning in 1995, first as the founding chairman of the Department of Asian and African Studies and then as the head of the Japanese Studies Program.
Our program has seven permanent staff members, a visiting professor, and 150 undergraduate students, and we engage in vigorous exchange and cooperation with several leading Japanese Universities. I am proud to note that our exchange with Japan includes a highly fruitful relationship with Tokyo Tech, coordinated ably on the Japanese side by Professor Kikuko Nishina. The two universities' relationship dates from 2006 and has included a formal cooperation agreement between Tokyo Tech's International Student Center and the University of Ljubljana's Faculty of Arts since 2007.
Professor Nishina presently is the thesis advisor for two graduate students from the University of Ljubljana who are doing research on Japanese language teaching. We are cooperating on the development of a computer-assisted language learning system for Japanese language reading. That cooperation includes studying potential ways of incorporating distant collocations in the system. Professor Nishina visited the University of Ljubljana in 2008 and met with people engaged in language teaching there.
The University of Ljubljana is Slovenia's largest university, with 26 faculties and 58,000 students. In 2009, it will adopt a curriculum compatible with the Bologna Declaration guidelines for harmonizing higher-education systems in Europe. The new framework emphasizes interdisciplinarity and flexibility. That, along with the general increase in exchange between Slovenia and Japan, bodes well for even-closer ties between our two universities. I look forward to taking part in strengthening those ties.
Tokyo Institute of Technology Bulletin Renewal (March, 2009)