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Topics on International Activities

Grand Opening Event for the College of Cross-Cultural and Multidisciplinary Studies building of Kumamoto University Held

In commemoration of the completion of the building and beginning of operation, the grand opening event for the College of Cross-Cultural and Multidisciplinary Studies building of Kumamoto University was held on April 6, 2016. The building has been developed as a symbolic facility of Kumamoto University’s globalized education.

The opening ceremony was attended by approximately 100 people involved in school education from inside and outside Kumamoto Prefecture. In the special lecture following the ceremony, Mr. Takanori Sonoda from the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation delivered a lecture about the importance of developing leaders who have gained some experience abroad as well as in Japan.

On the day, various other programs were also offered, including trial lectures for liberal arts courses in English (global courses), a briefing session on the Global Leader Course that will open in AY 2017, and a facility tour. Approximately more than 100 high school and university students participated in these programs. Comments were heard from participants, such as, “I want to develop the communication skills necessary to work in a global environment, and “I want to study abroad at least once during my university days.”

The College of Cross-Cultural and Multidisciplinary Studies will offer liberal arts courses in English (global courses) and hold various events, such as the ‘english-TALKmon program, an extracurricular activity that aims to help students at Kumamoto University improve their English skills, and the ‘Kumamoto University Global Youth Campus program’, which provides a global education environment for high school students and technical college students before they enter university.

Kumadai Global Youth Campus Encourages International Exchange

On February 22 2016, during the first-ever Spring Program at Kumamoto University, high school students from around Kumamoto prefecture gathered at the 100th Anniversary Hall on Kumamoto University’s Kurokami south campus to take part in the “International Students Meet & Greet.”

41 high school students came from 6 different schools to join the 39 international students who attended the Spring Program. The international students’ home countries included Nepal, Indonesia, China, Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam, and Thailand.

During the event, the international students first made simple self-introductions in Japanese, and then made presentations in English about their experiences with Japanese culture (namely kendo and calligraphy) and the places they visited during the Spring Program, including Yamaga, Kumamoto Castle, and Reigando. Finally, the participating students enjoyed free talking time in English.  Many participating high school students reported that they “were able to have a great experience” and “enjoyed the chance to speak with foreign students.”

This is the second “Meet & Greet” event organized by the Kumadai Global Youth Campus.  Due to its popularity, similar events are planned to be held in the future.

Internship Program Provided for International Undergraduate and Graduate Students

For the internship program that runs from December 2015 to March 2016, the International Research Center for Medical Sciences (IRCMS, Director Toshio Suda) accepted international students from overseas universities who were identified as being strongly motivated to study advanced medical research.

Eight students from seven countries – the UK, Ukraine, China, Malaysia, Egypt, Tanzania, and Iran – participated in this program. Under the guidance of the principal investigator (PI) in the state-of-the-art research environment offered at IRCMS, they proactively worked on research in the areas of AIDS, ATL, and hematopoiesis, hoping to learn the latest experimental techniques and to get as much out of the course as possible.

Many of the students who participated commented that they would like to return to Kumamoto University as PhD or PD students in the near future. One of the targets of IRCMS is to achieve a graduate student body that is 50% composed of international students. To meet that goal, IRCMS will further promote the creation of an international research environment, lead in the globalization of the university, and facilitate advanced medical research.

French-Japan Joint Lab for Chiral Nanostructures Established

Research teams of Graduate School of Science and Technology, Kumamoto University and the University of Bordeaux have engaged in joint research and personnel exchanges in the area of supermolecular chemistry for over 10 years. This led to the creation of a joint French-Japan lab to develop chiral nanostructures (UA-CNPA : Laboratoires internationaux associes -Chiral Nanostructures for Photonic Applications), which was established in accordance with the agreements of 5 institutions, including the CNRS (National Center for Scientific Research) and University of Bordeaux. The kickoffmeeting was held at the University of Bordeaux on October 2 and 3, 2015. Attendees from Kumamoto University at the signing ceremony and the memorial lecture included Prof. Hirotaka Ihara, the principal researcher, and Prof. Takashi Hiyama, head of the International Collaborative Research Group for Science and Technology. In November, a research proposal on the topic of molecular technology from the members of the UA-CNPA was selected by JST-ANR as a Strategic International Collaborative Research Program (SICORP), which will further accelerate research in this region.

Academic, personnel and student exchanges with the University of Bordeaux are also expected to be further enhanced, and will include the utilization of the double degree program that was agreed to between the universities in March 2015.
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