Tokyo Tech News
The Global Scientific Information and Computing Center (GSIC) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's Asia-Pacific Regional Bureau for Education (UNESCO Bangkok) held a joint symposium at Tokyo Tech from Feb 22 to Feb 24, 2016. Held for members of the Education Research Institute Network in the Asia-Pacific (ERI-Net) to share their research results, the symposium was funded by Malaysia Funds in Trust, Korea Funds in Trust, Korea Institute of Curriculum and Evaluation (KICE) and Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT).
Representatives from 12 countries and regions presented their research results on two themes: national qualifications frameworks and teacher training regarding 21st century skills. The results were discussed by 49 participants representing Australia, China, India, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Philippines, Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The meeting started with opening remarks by Tokyo Tech President Yoshinao Mishima and Mr. Libing Wang, an education specialist at UNESCO Bangkok. Mishima expressed his gratitude and hopes for the future as this was the first joint event after Tokyo Tech and UNESCO Bangkok signed a memorandum of understanding in December 2015 to develop their partnership.
On the first day, discussion focused on national qualifications frameworks in higher education. Research was presented by representatives of Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Australia, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Korea, and India. Professor Jun-ichi Takada then presented an update on UNESCO Bangkok's knowledge sharing platform, National Education Systems and Policies in Asia-Pacific (NESPAP). NESPAP is jointly managed and updated by UNESCO Bangkok and Tokyo Tech. The platform promotes information exchange and knowledge sharing in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. The first day ended with a reception, where Tokyo Tech Vice President for Education and International Affairs Toshio Maruyama and GSIC Director Isao Yamada made welcome remarks.
On the second day, discussion shifted to the second theme: 21st century skills, also known as transversal competencies. Representatives from Australia, India, China, Malaysia, Mongolia, Japan, Hong Kong, Philippines, Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam presented their research. Professor Shinobu Yume Yamaguchi and Dr. Yukiko Yamamoto representing Tokyo Tech reported on class observations in Akita prefecture's primary and secondary schools and the results of a questionnaire given to 187 teachers in the area.
On the third day, participants discussed the results of the Steering Group Meeting and emerging research topics for the next year. Overall, participants found the three-day symposium a fruitful event, the results of which will be summarized by the ERI-Net Secretariat and published on UNESCO Bangkok's website.