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Leading Graduate Schools: "Science for Development of Super Mature Society" Symposium and Forum

Update:Mar. 20, 2014

On March 10 (Mon), the Keio Leading Graduate School Program, "Science for Development of Super Mature Society," hosted its third symposium, which focused on the theme "Developing highly-skilled doctoral graduates through collaboration between industry, academia, and government." More than 150 people—including representatives from the business community and national and local governmental agencies and faculty members, staff, and students from both Keio and other universities—gathered at the North Building Hall on Mita Campus for the symposium.

The "Science for Development of Super Mature Society" program was officially launched two years ago in April 2012, after being selected in 2011 for the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)'s Leading Graduate Schools Program, which supports initiatives to develop talented students into future leaders. The students that entered the program in its first two years—12 in the first and 16 in the second—were selected from a range of fields across Keio's 13 graduate schools. In addition to pursuing graduate programs in their specialist fields, the students have worked together and learned from each other in the program’s innovative environment based on integration of the humanities and science and collaboration with industry and government.

At the symposium, Mr. Tsukasa Nakaoka, Deputy Director-General of the Higher Education Bureau at MEXT, delivered an address, which was followed by an introduction of this year’s projects and a discussion on the theme of effective integration of the humanities and sciences. A presentation was also delivered by former Education Minister Professor Kan Suzuki of the Graduate School of Media and Governance. The session that followed, which focused on the topic of developing highly-skilled doctoral graduates through collaboration between industry, academia, and government, was an opportunity for lively discussion among program mentors, their students, and symposium participants. Representatives of the business community were particularly impressed by the students’ confident participation in the discussions. At the poster presentation session, symposium participants keenly engaged the students in discussion about their research projects.

A forum was also held at Keio Osaka City Campus on March 15 (Sat) as another opportunity to share and discuss the activities of the program. Around 60 people attended, including program mentors, students, representatives from the business community, Keio alumni, and faculty and staff members from Keio and other universities. Professor Toshiaki Makabe, Vice-President of Keio University, opened the forum, after which Professor Atsushi Seike, President of Keio University, delivered the keynote speech and Professor Fumihiko Kannari of the Faculty of Science and Technology introduced the program and its activities. The round table discussion that followed addressed the topic of developing highly-skilled doctoral graduates, with program mentors describing their thoughts on the program and the current situation regarding doctoral graduates employed in business. Graduate students also participated, carefully responding to the many questions from participants.

Mr. Tsukasa Nakaoka delivers an address (March 10)
▲Mr. Tsukasa Nakaoka delivers an address (March 10)
Faculty members participate in the discussion (March 10)
▲Faculty members participate in the discussion (March 10)

Students, some participating by live link-up, present their research (March 10)
▲Students, some participating by live link-up, present their research (March 10)
Students deliver poster presentations (March 10)
▲Students deliver poster presentations (March 10)

Graduate students participate in the discussion (March 15)
▲Graduate students participate in the discussion (March 15)
Faculty members and students engage in discussion (March 15)
▲Faculty members and students engage in discussion (March 15)

Photos: Satoru Inoue