The Program for Leading Graduate Schools Forum 2016 was held on Friday, November 11 and Saturday, November 12 at the Hilton Tokyo Odaiba. Under the Program for Leading Graduate Schools, the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) first started selecting graduate programs submitted by universities throughout Japan in the 2011 academic year, and it has since grown to include 33 universities offering a total of 62 programs. This year, Keio University hosted the forum on the overall theme of the roles highly skilled doctoral graduates can play in industry. Over one thousand people participated in the event, which was largely comprised of those involved with the educational programs and those in management and human resources at corporations and research institutes.
On the first day, two talks were given by guest speakers after an opening address by Naoya Higuchi, the Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. In the afternoon, after an explanation of the Program for Leading Graduate Schools, a round-table discussion on industry-academia collaboration was held, which included Hiroshi Suzuki, the Special Advisor to the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and seven other speakers. Afterwards, six students who will graduate from one of the Programs for Leading Graduate Schools this academic year spoke at a round-table discussion from a student perspective, which was moderated by a Keio student. A poster session was organized at the end of the first day. Students were seen making poster presentations and interacting with human resources personnel from the various organizations.
Talks and student discussions were also held on the second day. Afterwards, six discussion sessions, each covering a different career path, were held. Students were seen having active discussions at these career path-specific sessions.