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Toshiaki Makabe, Vice President

"All-round" Leading Graduate School Program
Science for the Development of a Super Mature Society
—Education Consortium and Board Council—

We have entered an era in which society requires a new generation of highly capable professionals able to develop into leaders. Although 150 years has passed since the introduction of western science to Japan, our ability to revitalize science, evolve technologies and translate the benefits to society through highly motivated minds is wanting. Now, through education and research, it is time to develop students who are capable of independent thinking, able to execute on their ideas and grow into leaders. To achieve a "super mature" highly aged society, we will need to educate doctoral students who are able to not only develop their research abilities but also possess and demonstrate the soft skills of management, policy and administration. These "all-round" traits are necessary for leaders who can establish and implement their own roadmap for the solution of sophisticated and highly interwoven challenges associated with a super mature society. An objective of the Keio Leading Graduate School Program is to instill these traits in our future leaders.

The Keio Leading Graduate School Program was inaugurated in April 2012 and has started to develop a new generation of highly advanced doctoral students in a curriculum spanning five-years including a dual master's and a doctoral degree program. The program will choose about 20 new students every year. This semester, the leading program started with ten students chosen from candidates already enrolled in regular graduate courses at Keio. These students are now studying "science for development of super mature society" in a faculty environment comprising of members from academia, industry and government with expertise ranging from science and engineering, medicine, political to social sciences. It is our belief that a careful mix of industry-government-academic interactions, overseas university and research partnerships, and mentorships from industry and government in our education consortium will offer a 'fresh agenda' to students. As a consequence, students will develop the high level of human resource skills necessary for all-round involvement in a society beyond their own research field. We challenge them to be the architect of their path drawing on the unique assets of the leading program faculty. To the students the faculty environment will be a "watering hole" providing them with an avenue to receive advice and professional connections when they endeavor a short-term study abroad or internship in partner industrial and governmental entities of the education consortium. To achieve the education and research activities, a new cloud computing system will facilitate needs of students, faculty members and mentors in time and space, regardless of when and where they are. In addition to the faculty, the board council was established to facilitate feedback among the university, industry and government partners and to foster the healthy establishment of the education consortium as a supporting organization for our doctoral graduate program.

Importantly, students will have financial support, experience a variety of international professional and scientific networks and develop their lives with the potential of a more fruitful career than ever. We dedicate ourselves to the goal of establishing an era of global leadership emanating from our leading program fortified with expertise, international engagement and service to moral imperatives and ethics in industry and management. The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of the Japanese Government also granted an all-round leading program each to Kyoto University and Osaka University in December, 2011. Together with Kyoto and Osaka University, we appreciate your generous support for the leading edge graduate program and advocating science for strengthening our super mature society.

*This article appeared in the 2012 summer edition (No.275) of “Juku.”
*Position titles, etc., are those at the time of publishing.