Message from the Global Commons Director General

 

DG:BENTON Caroline Fern

  In the midst of today’s increasingly globalized society, the University of Tsukuba established the Global Commons in April 2013 to act as a one-stop support center for students, faculty and staff who wish to participate in the diverse array of international exchange opportunities offered at our institution.

    Our university has been actively promoting international exchange since its foundation based on the principle of “being open to global society”. We have also established our mission as “the creation of the knowledge and the development of global leaders aimed at resolving emerging global issues.” Toward this end, we currently have 298 agreements with institutions of higher education and research from 59 countries and regions. We also welcomed over 3,300 international students, as well as sent over 1,000 students abroad, in the last academic year.

    However, society’s expectations of universities are becoming increasingly complex amidst accelerated globalization; professionals who can work across all borders to make global contributions are eagerly sought after in all fields and sectors. To respond to these needs, we have prepared a diverse assortment of international education and research exchange programs. In terms of education exchange, in addition to the conventional inter-university agreement-based student exchange, we are actively developing international education schemes, such as double degree and certificate programs, where exchange is incorporated into joint education programs, as well as exchange programs that include internships and fieldwork.

    The Global Commons comprises the 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 a 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 with abundant international experience at the International Exchange Support Division. 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.

    Our aim is to develop global-minded professionals with a strong sense of self, as well as the academic expertise and the flexibility to negotiate diversity to foster and lead cooperation beyond national, organizational, and disciplinary boundaries. We hope that all of our students will take advantage of the many opportunities for international exchange during their time in Tsukuba to nurture their global competencies. Global Commons will support these endeavors. Our mottos are “Internationalization of everyday campus life” and “All the world’s a classroom.”