On 13 July 2023, Kyoto University hosted an event featuring presentations and laboratory tours for a group of high school students visiting from overseas as part of the Sakura Science High School Program (SSHP).
Run by the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), SSHP invites selected students to Japan for opportunities to experience advanced science and technology and to engage with leading researchers. The 2023 event brought 51 visitors, including teachers, to Kyoto from India, Mongolia, and the Solomon Islands.
The program began with a welcome address from Professor Hisashi Miyagawa, vice-president in charge of the KyotoU Institute for Liberal Arts and Sciences (ILAS), followed by an ILAS staff member who introduced the University and its International Undergraduate Program (Kyoto iUP). The Graduate School of Engineering's Associate Professors Jan-Dirk Schmoecker and Abbas Khayyer then offered an overview of the Undergraduate International Course Program of Civil Engineering (ICP), after which two KyotoU international students shared their experiences at the institution.
Following these, participants split into three groups to each tour a laboratory at the Graduate School of Biostudies or Energy Science. At these laboratories — led by Biostudies' Associate Professor Shigehiro Yoshimura and Energy Science's Associate Professors Hideyuki Okumura and Iwao Kawayama — the students keenly examined equipment and experimental apparatuses, listened to researchers as they discussed the latest developments in their fields, and observed some of the research activities underway.
The final segment of the event was a tour of the Clock Tower Centennial Hall highlighting the building's seismic isolation system. Participants were seen actively interacting with the guide, Professor Kunitomo Sugiura from the Graduate School of Engineering, asking him questions about the system and the research behind it, especially in relation to the lessons learned from past large-scale earthquakes.
As a higher-education institution committed to attracting scholars from across the world, Kyoto University aims to continuously promote its appeal to non-Japanese high school students and to increase interest in Japan's science and technology and study opportunities through SSHP and other programs.