Tokyo Tech News

Over 70 gather online for 14th Student Support Forum


Published: May 31, 2021

Members of autonomous student bodies gathered once again to share information and promote enhanced student, university, and local community life as the Student Initiative Support Section* hosted the 14th Student Support Forum online on February 22, 2021.

Participants gather online for 14th Student Support Forum

Participants gather online for 14th Student Support Forum

This year, students, faculty, and staff from Chiba University, The University of Tokyo, Nagoya University, Mie University, Tama University, Nakamura Gakuen University, Waseda University, and the University of Tsukuba joined their Tokyo Tech counterparts. A total of 71 people participated. The online venue in 2021 enabled participation even for universities located far away geographically.

Yuki Akizawa, a 3rd-year Systems and Control Engineering student at the Institute at the time of the event, acted as moderator. After opening words from Tokyo Tech President Kazuya Masu, Institute of Innovation Research Associate Professor and Student Initiative Support Section* Head Jun Hasegawa greeted participants with a brief introduction of the forum and student initiatives at Tokyo Tech.

President Masu's opening greeting
President Masu's opening greeting

Head of Student Initiative Support Section Hasegawa explains Tokyo Tech student activities
Head of Student Initiative Support Section* Hasegawa explains Tokyo Tech student activities

Invited speaker introduces Tsukuba Action Project (T-ACT)

Each year, Tokyo Tech's Student Support Forum invites a guest speaker or speakers to learn more about the student initiatives at other universities around Japan. This year, Professor Masashi Sugie from the College of Psychology, School of Human Science, University of Tsukuba was present online to introduce to participants the Tsukuba Action Project (T-ACT).

The T-ACT platform aims to provide a stage where students can shine while taking on various challenges and realizing their goals. It was selected by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology as a student support program to meet new emerging societal needs way back in 2008, and remains active in 2021 while corresponding to the goals in the University of Tsukuba’s medium-term plan. T-ACT projects bring students together with faculty and staff, creating a mechanism where students can take on challenges, fail in a safe environment and try again, and ultimately build their confidence.

"Each student shines if they are provided with an appropriate stage. Each student changes if we provide different perspectives and ways of getting involved. Offering a setting that is both enjoyable and interesting is important. The same goes for studies and research. Students are motivated if the faculty and staff are also involved," Sugie explained.

Prof. Masashi Sugie of University of Tsukuba explaining T-ACT
Prof. Masashi Sugie of University of Tsukuba explaining T-ACT

Comments on Sugie's presentation were collected after the event:

  • T-ACT appears to be a solid system that encourages the generation of open ideas.
  • Great initiative that creates a place where students can create freely, are strongly supported, and grow in confidence.
  • A wonderful system for students to take on challenges together with faculty and staff.
  • It seems that this system allows for various activities, included fairly unstructured ones, which develop student independence. This is quite unlike the activities at Tokyo Tech. Perhaps we could start planning and gathering support for a similar system here.

Main presentations by six Tokyo Tech student groups

Six Tokyo Tech groups supported by the Student Initiative Support Section* — the Student Survey Group, Tokyo Tech Volunteer Group, Projects to develop future scientists and engineers (Ripro), Peer Supporters, Hult Prize Tokyo Tech, and Tokyo Tech's Language Exchange Partner group ACTION — also shared their views and achievements from the past year.

Student affiliations were accurate at the time of the event.

Yuki Akizawa

Yuki Akizawa

3rd year, Systems and Control Engineering
Projects to develop future scientists and engineers (Ripro), moderator

I was able to hear about the activities of various Tokyo Tech student groups from the viewpoint of moderator. I am happy that Ripro has been able to ease the minds of Tokyo Tech students through its organized special lectures, but I was also impressed by the activities of other students. These are the result of the unique abilities and awareness of Tokyo Tech students, but also the support and opportunities offered by the Student Initiative Support Section.*

Personally, through activities such as Ripro, I have been able to acquire leadership skills, problem-solving skills, and other abilities that I can utilize in my future research. I sincerely hope that the Student Support Forum will continue to act as a catalyst for the activities of Tokyo Tech students.

Audience enjoys rakugo as Ripro hosts 15th special lecture | Tokyo Tech News

Hiroki Yoshida

Hiroki Yoshida

3rd year, Physics
Student Survey Group

Due to the spread of COVID-19, our activities were all held online unlike in previous years, and there were many challenges in communication between students. I felt busier as I was not accustomed to this kind of environment and had many tasks. Still, I am pleased that, even under such circumstances, we were able to share the activities and significance of the Student Survey Group with a broad audience.

Student Survey (Japanese)(External site)

Tomoki Ichimura

Tomoki Ichimura

1st-year master's student, Architecture and Building Engineering
Tokyo Tech Volunteer Group

Our activities focused mainly on reconstruction support, disaster prevention, and regional cooperation, but it was a tough year as we could not conduct any of the conventional activities we usually do face to face. It was, however, very meaningful to be able to create a new disaster prevention map by utilizing the tools used in our research activities, and to look back on past reconstruction support activities. The group will continue to ask itself what it can do to help those in need.

Volunteer Group | facebook(External site)

Teruya Nagafuji

Teruya Nagafuji

2nd year, Materials Science and Engineering
Peer Supporter

Peer Supporters offer various types of support to students by students. The consultation session for new students had to be held online this year, and none of us had much know-how regarding online operations. Still, we worked together to create a plan, and this process was extremely fulfilling. I look forward to taking on new challenges online, whether they relate to research or to other activities.

Peer Support | Counseling Services | Current Students

Marcos Masukawa

Marcos Masukawa

2nd-year doctoral student, Computer Science
Hult Prize Tokyo Tech

Hult Prize is an organization that promotes social business inside Tokyo Tech. We help students to identify social problems and how to help to solve them by creating a business plan. In 2020, we organized two workshops to help students to create a virtual social business, due to the travel restrictions. Hult Prize is a great way to connect with other students who have similar values and who want to impact society. We were very happy to speak at the Student Support Forum and exchange our experiences with the other student organizations.

Hult Prize Tokyo Institute of Technology | facebook(External site)

Jiatong Yu

Jiatong Yu

3rd year, Chemical Science and Engineering

ACTION is a student group running the Language Exchange Partner Program at Tokyo Tech. For me, participating in and running the language partner system has motivated me to make friends and learn languages. This system was suspended temporarily due to restrictions caused by COVID-19, but due to many requests from participants, we decided to move it online. We will continue with our efforts to improve the ACTION language partner system.

ACTION | facebook(External site)

Further presentations, including from first-time participants

The second half of the session was dedicated to more presentations from other student groups, including several who joined the Student Support Forum for the first time. Presenters included iGEM(External site), Attic Lab(External site), Jr. student life coaches, Online Education Development Office teaching assistants(External site), the Student Association for Global Exchange(External site), Taki Plaza Gardeners(External site), Library supporters(External site), study abroad promotion group FLAP(External site), and Robogals Tokyo(External site).

This year's Student Support Forum ended with a group discussion between all participants, followed by closing words from Executive Vice President for Education Tetsuya Mizumoto.

EVP Mizumoto in front of virtual cherry blossoms
EVP Mizumoto in front of virtual cherry blossoms

Comments from participants

  • There were so many types of groups, each of them student-led and very active.
  • I was moved by the fact that the students independently planned activities and achieved growth through these activities.
  • It was impressive to see that each group carried out powerful activities based on their own beliefs.
  • I felt that the obstacles posed by COVID-19 have actually increased the flexibility and diversity of student activities.
  • Even though activities have been restricted by the coronavirus, these groups have achieved wonderful results, and I think we can expect even more success in the future.
  • The quality of the students' activities and their ability to act were fantastic. The president and vice presidents also participated, and I could feel the warmth of their encouragement.
Student Initiative Support, Student Success Support Section as of April 1, 2021.

Tokyo Tech Fund

Official Tokyo Tech student clubs and other student activities are supported by the Tokyo Tech Fund

Tokyo Institute of Technology Fund


Student Initiative Support, Student Success Support Section, Student Support Center


Tel +81-3-5734-7629