Tokyo Tech News
On January 27, 2015, Tokyo Tech held a kickoff symposium for its Top Global University Project "Enhancing Tokyo Tech Education and Research Quality through Administrative Reforms for Internationalization." Through this project, funded by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Tokyo Tech is introducing reforms to promote globalization and achieve its goal of becoming a world-class research university. With over 200 participants from academia, government, and industry in attendance, the symposium commemorated the start of Tokyo Tech's efforts under the new project.
After opening remarks by President Yoshinao Mishima, Hideto Matsumoto, director of the Office for International Planning at MEXT, gave a speech on the aims of the Top Global University Project and expectations for Tokyo Tech.
The presentation session began with a talk by President Mishima, outlining Tokyo Tech's objectives in internationalization, education, and research. Key reforms under the project include aggressive investment in personnel for target fields, academic tuning for easier credit transfer, and further promotion of international collaborative research.
Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Chief of Staff and Vice President (Research) Khin Yong Lam provided the second presentation "Approach to Administrative Excellence in Support of Research and Academic Advancement: A NTU Case Study." In it, he described NTU's growing portfolio of collaborations with academic, national, and industry organizations, and how that growth required that NTU revise its administrative systems for greater capacity and efficiency. NTU is ranked 61st in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2014-2015 and has shared a university-wide partnership with Tokyo Tech since 2009.
Armando Fox, a professor at the Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Department, University of California, Berkeley, provided the third presentation "Opportunities and Challenges of Online Education at UC Berkeley." He spoke on UC Berkeley's implementation of massive open online courses (MOOCs) and the opportunities and challenges offering them has presented. UC Berkeley had a history in online education even before the recent proliferation of MOOCs, and Professor Fox's talk provided useful insight in support of Tokyo Tech's own efforts in online education.
A panel discussion followed with guest speaker Noritoshi Yoshiyama, a senior manager at Lenovo Japan, Ltd., speaking on "What Global Companies Seek in Their Future Workforce." A panel consisting of Tokyo Tech professors Jeffrey Cross and Shigeki Saito from the Graduate School of Science and Engineering, graduate students Fumika Isono and Tommi Kerola, and Vice President for Global Planning Isao Satoh as moderator continued the dialog by discussing "University Education in This Globalization Era." The panelists talked about their experiences in education in Japan and abroad, their definitions of Tokyo Tech Quality, and strategies for promoting internationalization.
Audience members also contributed positive comments and conveyed high expectations for Tokyo Tech in its education and research activities. This symposium was a milestone in Tokyo Tech's globalization efforts, and we can expect many more exciting developments as the Institute strives to share Tokyo Tech Quality, in all its forms, with the world.