From 2006 to 2007, we conducted the “Biostudies Career-Development Program“ supported by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. From 2008, we have launched the “Program for Developing Pharmaceutical Strategists“ as one of the projects of “Reforming Programs in Education“ at Kyoto University. This program in cooperation with the Graduate school of Pharmaceutical Sciences, is aimed to reform the educational system of graduate schools in our university. Launched in 2011, we are conducting a new program named “Global Frontier in Life Science”. We are hoping that our students will understand the essential aspects of the programs and cooperate with us in achieving their goals.
In master’s programs, the curriculum is designed to make the students systematically understand life science and its related fields. We offer an inherent lecture for understanding, revealing, and cultivating the relationship between life science and our society. In our doctoral program, advanced courses in life science are offered in addition to the seminars at the lab where each student belongs. This program has been ongoing since 2006.
It is now very important to give seminars in English, especially scientific presentations at international meetings. Historically however, the graduate schools in our country scarcely cared about the development of English communication skills for students. Our school has been emphasizing the development of communication skills in English. We encourage and financially support our students to give talks at international conferences abroad. We also give them advice for their presentation skills.
Students in the life science field tend to stay in their labs because they are busy working at the benches. However, it is highly important to communicate with other students studying life science inside and outside of our school during the course of education. We encourage and financially support the students to organize and conduct workshops by themselves.
Heretofore, students who were assigned to their laboratories studied under the supervision of one faculty member. However, it would be highly stimulating for the students if they could have opportunities to discuss their research and other things with other faculty members. In our school, each student is strongly encouraged to consult with two additional supervisors for his/her current research and also career in the future. We hope that the practice widens their visions on life science and on their future plans.
The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology has launched the “Global 30” Project for Establishing Core Universities for Internationalization, for the purpose of selecting universities that will function as core schools for receiving and educating international students. In 2009, thirteen universities including Kyoto University were selected. These core universities are playing a major role in dramatically boosting the number of international students educated in Japan as well as Japanese students studying abroad.
It is the duty of universities to contribute to the development of a stable global society by seeking solutions to the problems faced by human society in modern times, such as energy and environmental issues, poverty, and issues related to urbanization. K.U. PROFILE, Kyoto University’s educational initiative under the Japanese government’s Global 30 (G30) Project, aims to work toward those goals by gathering together talented students from around the world to provide them with the education, research experience and global perspective needed to prepare them to become future international leaders in their fields. By establishing an excellent environment in which to foster the next generation of international leadership, Kyoto University seeks to further increase its competitiveness in the field of higher education.
Through the K.U. PROFILE initiative, we aim to increase the number of incoming international students from last year’s figure of 1,335 to 3,200, and double the percentage of our international faculty members from 5% to 10%, by the year 2020. We hope that the success of this program will not only benefit the international standing of Kyoto University and Japan, but will also contribute to an international knowledge base which will benefit the world as a whole.
In addition to our undergraduate Global Engineering Course, which addresses urban development and social infrastructure issues, we will offer eleven master’s, doctoral and professional courses, conducted entirely in English, in the field of environmental studies, energy science, disaster prevention, life science, agriculture, informatics, primate research and business management. Several of these programs will begin in spring 2010. The initiative will give students an opportunity to carry out their studies at Kyoto University’s unique facilities and research centers. We will also offer Japanese studies courses to enable students to study Japanese culture in Kyoto, the heart of Japan’s traditional culture.
We plan to recruit faculty from overseas, as well as explore ways to further enrich the international experience of our Japanese faculty members. We will provide education at an internationally competitive level by drawing on the diversity and unique capabilities of our faculty, in addition to focusing on small class sizes and offering field-work experience. Planning is in progress to improve our student recruitment methods by offering more information and by sharing overseas offices with other Japanese universities for recruitment activities. We will soon open an office in Vietnam for this purpose. We will also conduct the entrance process in English. In addition, we plan to enhance our facilities and services for international students.
As a high-priority initiative, K.U. PROFILE will be supervised by the president and executive staff in charge of education, student affairs and international affairs. In executing the initiative, we will seek the advice of an external advisory committee comprised of persons of diverse backgrounds and nationalities.