Tokyo Tech News

Tokyo Tech hosts 17th Student Support Forum


Published: May 14, 2024

Tokyo Tech's Student Initiative Support Services, an arm of the Student Success Support Section within the Student Support Center, hosted the 17th Student Support Forum at Hisao & Hiroko Taki Plaza on Ookayama Campus on February 29.

Participants of 17th Student Support Forum

Participants of 17th Student Support Forum

The annual Student Support Forum aims to support and revitalize student activities, which are often public in nature, promote exchanges between students from a wide range of universities, and generally enhance student, university, and local community life.

The 2024 "forum for students by students" was planned and executed from start to finish by students. A total of 85 students, staff, and faculty members from Tokyo Medical and Dental University (TMDU), Utsunomiya University, the University of Tsukuba, the University of Tokyo, the International University of Health and Welfare, Seijo University, and Tokyo City University came together to enjoy the day and focus particularly on this year's theme of enhanced student exchange.

After opening words from Tokyo Tech President Kazuya Masu, Professor Kenji Saito from Tokyo Tech's Health Support Center briefly outlined the history and purpose of the event. Acting as moderators at the forum were 3rd-year Transdisciplinary Science and Engineering student Narumi Iiboshi and 2nd-year Computer Science student Tatsunori Hashimoto.

Tokyo Tech President Masu offering opening words
Tokyo Tech President Masu offering opening words

Health Support Center’s Saito giving outline of forum
Health Support Center’s Saito giving outline of forum

Icebreaking session

For the first time, this year's Student Support Forum kicked off with an icebreaking session. Participants joined groups of three or four people to decide on keywords that best describe themselves. They then shared these keywords, together with hashtags, allowing everyone to get acquainted.

Participants offered positive feedback on this approach to start the forum. Some said it fostered a friendly atmosphere right from the start, while others were convinced that it encouraged more lively discussions later in the day.

Moderator Hashimoto explaining icebreaking session
Moderator Hashimoto explaining icebreaking session

Participants writing down self-descriptive keywords
Participants writing down self-descriptive keywords

Presentations on student activities by members of various groups

This year, five student groups supported by the Institute's Student Success Support Section — Tokyo Tech's Peer Supporters, the Student Survey Group, Tokyo Tech Volunteer Group, study abroad promotion group FLAP, and Tokyo Tech's Peer Life Coaches — gave presentations to share their activities and achievements over the past year.

TMDU's Peer Supporters were also present to share their activities, providing a valuable opportunity to learn about the differences between the lives of TMDU and Tokyo Tech students. Tokyo Tech and TMDU will merge in October 2024 to form Institute of Science Tokyo.

Minori Niwaya

3rd year, Track of Nursing Science, School of Health Care Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, TMDU
TMDU Peer Supporter

TMDU Peer Supporters provide various forms of support for students by students, including consultation services in student life, surveys, and information sharing through the Peer Support Newsletter (Japanese). Last academic year, there were six TMDU Peer Supporters. Our activities expanded significantly, and included the renewal of the TMDU suggestion box, participation in the nationwide peer support training and exchange event Peer-no-wa 2023, and exchanges with various associations and groups.

I feel that my activities as a peer supporter are rewarding because I learn things that are also applicable to nursing care, such as listening skills and individualized support tailored to the needs of the patient. The Student Support Forum was an excellent opportunity for me to broaden my perspective through interactions with people from non-medical backgrounds.

Eri Fukuda

4th year, School of Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, TMDU
TMDU Peer Supporter

I learned about the many organizations at Tokyo Tech that are working for the benefit of students and the local community. After listening to the presentations by other student groups, I felt that we could review and improve our approaches to many of our activities. We are a medical university with a small number of students in classes, practical training, and club activities, which makes us different from other universities in many ways. I will continue to devote myself to meeting the unique needs of our students. Thank you for inviting us to the Student Support Forum.

Mari Kimura

4th year, School of Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, TMDU
TMDU Peer Supporter

This was the last Student Support Forum before the integration between TMDU and Tokyo Tech. Various groups at Tokyo Tech engage in activities with their own themes and objectives, and I believe that this kind of proactive stance will continue to have a positive impact after the merger. To achieve our goals, it is necessary to develop a deeper and more open relationship with each other. In this respect, the reception was a great way to get a glimpse of not only the activities of the student groups, but also their daily lives. In the medical world, collaboration among multiple professions is required, and I felt that I would like to collaborate with Tokyo Tech students in the future.

TMDU Peer Supporters at Student Support Forum

TMDU Peer Supporters at Student Support Forum

Shota Matsuo

4th year, Information and Communications Engineering, Tokyo Tech
Tokyo Tech Peer Supporter

At this forum, we received varied opinions and questions about peer support activities through the oral presentations and the poster presentations that followed. I feel that we were given an opportunity to think carefully about the nature of our activities. I also believe that this forum has strengthened ties among the various groups engaged in voluntary activities. Each group can work hard on their own, but we can also cooperate and develop our activities together.

At Tokyo Tech, I am currently involved in research on numerical solution methods for generalized Nash equilibria in non-cooperative game theory.

Ryoya Yoshimura

3rd year, Systems and Control Engineering, Tokyo Tech
Student Survey

The Student Survey group surveys all Tokyo Tech students to ensure that their opinions are heard across the Institute. This forum offered a great opportunity for us to learn from other student groups and universities, to publicize our activities, and to collect ideas for new activities from other groups.

I will join a lab in April and begin research on computer vision and image processing. As I move into that stage of my student life, I would like to continue to examine Tokyo Tech from various perspectives, and to flexible carry out Student Survey activities in the future.

Saki Oogawara

4th year, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Tokyo Tech
Tokyo Tech Volunteer Group (Tokyo Tech VG)

Many people at the forum were interested in the activities of the Tokyo Tech Volunteer Group (Tokyo Tech VG) and approached us. We were able to interact with people who are engaged in similar activities at other universities. This information sharing was very meaningful, gave us good ideas for new activities, and offered potential opportunities for collaboration with other groups. I am delighted about the various connections that formed through the forum we planned.

Based on the diverse perspectives gained from this forum, I would like to continue to engage in volunteer activities related to reconstruction, disaster prevention, and regional cooperation. While doing so as a civil engineering student, I will also continue to keep in mind the need for sustainable land and appropriate residential environments across Japan.

Hinata Moriyama

4th year, Industrial Engineering and Economics, Tokyo Tech

FLAP is engaged in activities to support study abroad, and aims to make it more accessible for Tokyo Tech students. I believe this forum was a good opportunity to reevaluate our activities, and to let people know about FLAP's philosophy and efforts.

I currently conduct research on the challenges posed by the electric vehicle routing problem. I have presented FLAP's activities and interacted with faculty members and students at this forum, and I hope to apply this experience during my future research presentations and my planned study abroad.

Shingo Nakayama

1st-year master's student, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Tokyo Tech
Peer Life Coaches

This forum was an extremely useful experience as it allowed me to interact with aspiring students who are engaged in a broad range of activities. We introduced our group's activities, but we also shared the challenges we face, such as attracting students to our groups, and we were able to consider solutions to these challenges together.

I am engaged in research on water-related disasters in which I envision an ideal situation and perform trial and error in search of a solution. This approach has much in common with these student support activities, and I feel I have achieved significant personal growth. In the future, as Tokyo Tech undergoes changes such as the integration with TMDU, I would like to continue to challenge myself without being bound by existing frameworks.

Student poster presentations

Poster presentations included one-minute talks by the abovementioned groups and the following seven student groups:

- Online Content Research and Development Section
- PR Support
- Taki Plaza Gardener student group
- Attic Lab
- Tokyo Tech International Student Association
- Future Creation Challenge Machines in Bottles Workshop
- Future Creation Challenge Oooshirumachi Project

Lively poster presentation
Lively poster presentation

This session proved to be particularly fruitful as students from different backgrounds initiated discussions, invited each other to join their efforts, and gained ideas for further development of their activities.

Reflection session

At the reflection session, groups first entered their experiences on a reflection form. They then shared their responses with everyone else using an audience interaction platform. This immediate visual representation of opinions generated further enthusiastic discussion and laughter as people learned about the diverse experiences in the room.

Sharing experiences during reflection session
Sharing experiences during reflection session

Based on feedback, students greatly appreciated the new interactive form of reflection. Some commented on the importance of sharing both within the smaller group and across the whole forum. Others stated that the interactive approach not only made results easy to understand, but also created a more inclusive environment.

Warm closing by EVP Imura
Warm closing by EVP Imura

The forum ended with some warm closing words from Tokyo Tech's Executive Vice President for Education Jun-ichi Imura.

Comments from Tokyo Tech moderators

Narumi Iiboshi

3rd year, Transdisciplinary Science and Engineering, Tokyo Tech

Narumi Iiboshi

I was a bundle of nerves before taking on the role of moderator, but with the help of the core members working on the forum from the planning stage, I was able to accomplish the task. I gained important experience by interacting with other organizations through the process and the forum itself.

I am currently a member of a lab specializing in evolutionary game theory, and I am formulating my own research topic. My research will begin in earnest in April, and I will be commuting to Tamachi Campus. It will be a big change from my classroom-centered life on Ookayama Campus, but I will continue to work hard both on my research and my peer supporter activities.

Tatsunori Hashimoto

2nd year, Computer Science, Tokyo Tech

Tatsunori Hashimoto

With the primary goal of student interaction, this forum was planned and executed by students. During the oral and poster presentations, as well as the Q&A sessions, many students not only communicated their own activities but also actively sought to learn about the efforts of others. I was truly impressed by this engaged attitude.

I am currently studying programming and machine learning. I have not yet had much experience in public speaking, so I was very nervous about moderating such a large gathering. That said, it was an invaluable experience to moderate this event and to interact with the audience using Slido, an interactive information sharing tool.

Comments from forum participants

  • The program was well thought out and designed so that all participants fit in nicely. The two moderators were friendly and things progressed in a light and fluent manner.
  • Both the icebreaking and reflection session were enjoyable and easy to join. It was interesting to talk to such a broad range of people.
  • The entire experience was enjoyable and inspiring. I hope that we will have regular opportunities to learn about each other's activities and deepen exchanges in the future.
  • I was surprised by the variety of student groups at Tokyo Tech carrying out such a wide range of activities. I hope that more students at my university participate in such groups and broaden the scope of their activities.
  • It was wonderful to see how Tokyo Tech provides the foundations and support so that students can shine.

Tokyo Tech's Student Initiative Support Services will continue to support activities that help students acquire independence and strong social skills, and aim to develop professionals with an entrepreneurial mindset.

All affiliations in this article were accurate at the time of the event.

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 Success Support Section, Student Support Center