セクション

The 8th University Administrators Workshop in association with the G30 Project -International Offices as a Driving Force for the Cultivation of Global Talent- 挨拶 (2013年1月29日)

Distinguished guests, dear colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning everyone. My name is Hiroshi Matsumoto, president of Kyoto University, and on behalf of the university, I would like to thank you all for coming to Kyoto during this rather chilly season to take part in the 8th University Administrators Workshop.

Last year's workshop was very successfully held by our colleagues at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand, and I am very happy to welcome the event back to Kyoto, where it was held for the first six years of its existence since the inaugural workshop in 2006.

As you know, this workshop aims to gather administrative staff in charge of international relations at Asia's leading universities together under one roof to provide an opportunity for networking, information-sharing, and the discussion of topics of shared interest and concern. The central theme of this eighth edition is "International Offices as a Driving Force for the Cultivation of Global Talent," and we have the combined knowledge of almost one-hundred participants from thirty-one different institutions assembled here today. As with the last workshop held in Kyoto two years ago, we are once again fortunate to have the support of the Japanese government's Global 30 Project for Establishing University Networks for Internationalization-the G30 Project. Delegates from several Japanese institutions adopted for that program have joined us to take part.

As university internationalization continues to be a major issue, and institutions around the world strive for international standards in education and research, institutional networking and collaboration remain vital elements of university operations. It has been apparent for some time now that a collaborative approach is indispensible in addressing the global-scale issues that are common concerns in all parts of the world. That is the reason that large-scale university consortia such as the Association of Pacific Rim Universities-APRU, the Association of East Asian Research Universities-AEARU, and the ASEAN University Network-the AUN are more relevant now that ever. I'm sure that almost every university represented here today must be affiliated with at least one-if not more-of those associations.

Through deepening our international ties, we can effectively promote research collaboration, provide our researchers with opportunities to work at the global vanguard of their fields, and strengthen our position within the international academic community. Our students also benefit from diverse exchange and study abroad programs, which give them a chance to develop a mature multicultural awareness and international perspective at a young age.

In Japan, the government's G30 Project, which I just mentioned, has been ongoing since 2009, and through that project several institutions have greatly expanded their provision of English-taught degree courses for international students, enabling them to greatly enhance their ability to attract quality students from around the world and focus on cultivating highly skilled international human resources. Needless to say, that kind of large-scale internationalization of a university's student and faculty population requires a similar shift to occur behind the scenes-among the administrative staff. At Kyoto University, we are endeavoring to respond to that need through innovations such as our recently established John Mung Program, which provides young researchers, students, and staff members with opportunities for international experience at a wide range of universities and research institutions overseas. The program takes its name from Nakahama Manjirō, also known as John Mung, who was one of the first Japanese people to visit the United States at the end of the Edo period. Upon returning to Japan he became a highly important figure in Japanese international diplomacy. We hope that our new program will not only enable our students, faculty, and staff to further their own international careers, but that it will contribute to cultivating the next generation of global leaders.

Against such a background of advancing internationalization, I believe that this workshop represents a highly valuable opportunity to share information and develop new ideas, and to consider, from the perspective of university administration:

  • In what ways can we strengthen our infrastructure for international exchange?
  • In what ways can we effectively foster international human resources?
  • And how can we best become international human resources ourselves?

In closing, then, I would like to thank once again everyone who has worked towards the realization of this workshop, including, of course, all of the participants, and I would like to extend my very best wishes to you all for two days of stimulating discussions, discoveries, and friendship.

Thank you very much.

関連リンク

第8回ユニバーシティ・アドミニストレーターズ・ワークショップを開催しました。(2013年1月29日・30日)