English programs foster global resources
Sophia University is one of the 13 universities selected for the government’s Global 30 Project. In celebration of its 100th anniversary last year, the university has been working on developing its students’ ability to fit into the global society. Sophia’s Faculty of Science and Technology is the one most actively working on international education. Tetsuhiro Tsukiji, a professor in the faculty who was promoted as the dean of the faculty and the graduate school this spring, is ambitious to nurture globally active researchers, saying, “I’d really like to produce researchers and engineers who have global views and can contribute to the development of science technology.
The faculty started two programs that allow students to earn credits in English in September 2012. The programs are the Green Science Program under the Department of Materials and Life Sciences; and the Department of Engineering and Applied Sciences’ Green Engineering Program. Both programs can accommodate 30 students and they are designed to let students acquire science and engineering knowledge while pursuing environmental issues.
Last September, another English program, the Green Science and Engineering Division was established under the graduate school. The entire program, including lectures, thesis and research guidance, is offered in English. Also, to foster cross-disciplinary teaching, faculty from different science and technology graduate school divisions will teach the courses.
The creation of these programs allows the faculty to offer courses in English to both undergraduate and graduate students.
Tsukiji said: “Due to the programs, our faculty is now drawing international students from various countries, including the U.S. and Indonesia. During graduate work, they will have a chance to study in Japanese-taught programs and I really expect to see changes from the international communication.”
For Japanese students, the faculty offers “English for Science and Engineering” as an English course focusing on the science and technology field. Launched in 2005, the course is a part of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology’s (MEXT) support program for the current curriculum. In the course, students can get used to the technical terminology in their field and develop skills such as presenting their research in English at international academic conferences.
The faculty also offers a special program to allow students to see the world. As students majoring in the sciences tend to find it difficult to study abroad long-term due to the curriculum, which usually requires many experiments in addition to field work, a special program has been set up to offer students a chance to study abroad for three to four weeks in the spring and summer.
Corresponding to the global society/Strong support for female researchers
The faculty is also focusing on increasing the number of female researchers working in the global society. The school’s project “Project to Support Women Researchers in a Global Society” has received the highest evaluation by MEXT as a model to cultivate woman researchers.
It offers psychological and material support to female researchers. With the global mentor system, they can attend lectures, receive individual guidance and get advice from invited female researchers who are working globally. Other support includes publishing research results in English and providing support staff for researchers with young children. In addition to promoting a good work-life balance, the school looks to nurture the next generation of female researchers by sending the faculty offers to lecture at high schools.
With stating that it would like to strengthen the collaborative relationship with the alumni association established on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the faculty in 2012 as well as to enhance integration of science and technology, Tsukiji aspires to work on more multilayered actions together with the university’s well-established training of global personnel as well as support systems for female researchers.
Faculty of Science and Technology at Sophia University
Address: 7-1 Kioi-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 102-8554
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