Thriving in today’s globalized society
Japan is experiencing a rapidly aging population with its declining birth rate. As symbolized by two decades of stagnant economic growth, Japan has shifted from an era of accelerated economic growth to a matured society. In the 21st century, the time for a Japan-centric life is over. Japan’s economy and population will shrink further and take a backward step, the longer we wait.
Meanwhile, the world is in the midst of turbulent change. Dire global issues such as the deterioration of the environment, resource and energy scarcity, securing sufficient medical care, revitalizing industries, rising gap in incomes, and the problems associated with the instantaneous sharing of information world-wide over the internet. We need to nurture students with a global outlook who can contribute to the resolution of these global issues.
Qualities necessary in a global leader
What qualities and competencies are necessary in a global leader? First, the ability to communicate is a basic skill required for any leader. In particular a command of spoken and written English, which is the de facto international language, is essential in today’s globalized society.
However, proficiency in English is not sufficient. One must be able to logically develop, present and communicate one’s ideas and arguments in English based on a strong foundation of basic and specialized knowledge, and also to understand the opinions of others from different fields and cultures. Global leaders must flexibly make positive use of the diversity of organizations and society by bringing out the strengths of individuals from different backgrounds, culture, values, and specialty in order to revitalize a developed society.
TSUKUBA Study Abroad Program
The wide-ranging opportunities provided by the TSUKUBA Study Abroad Program can help students gain the necessary skills described above. By offering “Global Course” including study abroad programs that are embedded in our curricula, our university is committed to creating an environment where our campus functions as a “place to learn the world.” Our university has international exchange agreements with 323 universities throughout the world that support a wide variety of collaborative education and research programs. In 2015, we sent over 1,000 students to partner universities It is true, however, that many students believe that there are obstacles to their studying abroad, such as their anxiety about living and studying in a foreign country, language barriers, worries about cost, safety or delaying their graduation and job hunting, and perceived difficulty in transferring credits. The TSUKUBA Study Abroad Program aims to alleviate these anxieties and offer a valuable opportunity for growth. At the same time, the university will continue to innovate its internationally-compatible education system and reform its admissions and entrance examination systems.
Global Commons was established in April 2013 to offer one-stop service for international exchange, including support of the TSUKUBA Study Abroad Program, and comprises the following units: Global Campus Division, the International Exchange Support Division, the Global Staff Development Office, and the Area Commons. The Global Campus Division promotes internationalization of everyday campus life through the management of the Student Commons, a space for student exchange activities, and the Overseas Commons, which incorporates the on-campus offices of our main international partners. Advice and support for both inbound and outbound student exchange are provided by faculty members of the International Exchange Support Division who have abundant international experience. The Global Staff Development Office supports the enhancement of the international competencies of administrative staff through various staff development activities. Lastly, the Area Commons’ staff members provide on-site support for international exchange to students, faculty and staff at each area-specific Academic Services Offices, including support of MOUs, compliance with Export Control compliance and real-time monitoring of inbound and outbound student exchange.
Overseas offices, collaboration with universities, industries, governments in Japan and overseas Our university has set up 13 overseas offices in 12 countries: Brazil, China (Beijing and Shanghai), France, Germany, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Taiwan, Tunisia, USA, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam. These offices work together with the Global Commons to create a truly transnational university where the “world is the classroom.”