About Tokyo Tech
About Tokyo Tech
Continuous reforms for a better tomorrow
President, Tokyo Tech
As the world's best athletes begin their final months of preparation before the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games next summer, I am preparing for my third year as president of the Institute. I am pleased to say that, much like our sportsmen and women, Tokyo Tech is looking forward to a strong year.
At a time when the lethargic economy, environmental crises, disconcerting nationalism, and other global incertitudes seem to be impacting us all, it is critical for Tokyo Tech to offer — through its education, research, and engagement — an environment where young people can openly discuss the future. More than ever, the Institute is committed to forming the driving force that encourages our successors to envision, create, and live a better tomorrow.
With this in mind, one of the main challenges for the executive team in 2020 is to enhance further our management reforms. The Tokyo Tech strategic plan 2018-2023 sets specific goals — including institutional effectiveness and financial stability — and methods to achieve these goals, reminding us of the needs of our students, our faculty, and the broader Tokyo Tech community, and of our responsibilities as a Designated National University.
As a national university, Tokyo Tech aims to develop outstanding professionals capable of leading the future, satisfy the intellectual curiosity of the people by unraveling the mysteries of science and technology, and promote cutting-edge research in multiple fields. These efforts are supported by annual government grants — investments in the professionals, creations, and discoveries that emerge from Tokyo Tech year after year. As a public good provider, Tokyo Tech strives to exceed expectations and guarantee a high return on investment to all our stakeholders.
The financial landscape of national universities, however, is by no means stable. Rather than simply plugging financial fissures, the Institute's management reforms are intended to provide autonomy and sustainability, enabling us to utilize public funding — together with the public — in a manner that creates maximum impact.
Tokyo Tech strives to respond to rapidly changing needs by offering a student-centered curriculum, supporting frontline research rooted in the passions of faculty and researchers, and designing solutions through its well-established areas of expertise. The environment at the Institute also ensures that Tokyo Tech-born professionals, creations, and discoveries are diverse. They mirror the rich character of the Institute as a whole while representing the individual abilities and personalities of each Tokyo Tech member.
To maintain and enhance such an environment, and to push education and research into new spheres, Tokyo Tech must continuously improve its operational efficiency and diversify its resources. As president of the Institute, I will advocate — and fervently communicate — management reforms that both induce such improvements and enable students and faculty members to take on new challenges.
Many reforms, all of which reinforce Tokyo Tech's virtuous cycle of education and research, came into effect last year. The Institute's renewed industry collaboration strategy, with the Open Innovation Platform at its core, promotes more efficient resource allocation, facility sharing, and streamlined education, research, and administrative duties for Tokyo Tech members. The Japanese government acknowledged our efforts with two additional grants in 2019, which means that in 2020, more funding will go into accelerating changes and boosting the Institute's ability to operate its virtuous cycle smoothly.
Later this year, Ookayama Campus will see the opening of Hisao & Hiroko Taki Plaza, a 5,000-m2 exchange hub where international and Japanese students will connect, create, and innovate. Efforts to enhance the environment for faculty are being made, not only in the form of modern facilities, but also in a potentially more valued form — time. By securing more time for faculty to teach their students and focus on their research, Tokyo Tech will continue to provide the world with informed, highly skilled professionals and unique findings that create real impact. Neither can be accomplished overnight. With care, however, both will grow into invaluable offshoots that change the world for the better.
Happy New Year 2020!
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Published: January 2020