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Introduction to Osaka University

Education and international strategies

Promoting university globalization

Osaka University aims to implement an environment where outstanding Japanese and international students understand one another's cultures and improve themselves by learning from each other. Currently, international students at Osaka University account for 14 percent of all graduate students, but only 2 percent of undergraduate students. Osaka University's Institute for Academic Initiatives (IAI) aims to increase the percentage of international undergraduate students to 10 percent.

In addition to the English curriculum and programs inaugurated in October 2010, from the autumn in 2014, Osaka University will start a new Japanese language course to assist with the recruitment of outstanding overseas students. In this course, international students will, beginning in the autumn, study Japanese for six months in a preparatory program for courses in April of the following year, at which time some of their classes will be with Japanese freshmen. Additionally, OU is considering a plan that will implement courses conducted totally in English in order to double the number of its international students.

Osaka University intends to encourage education and research organizations to increase the number of international students they take in and to support such programs aggressively. It is my hope that in six years, international students will account for some 10 percent of all students and the number of international students in long-term programs will exceed 10 percent by the 2020s.

Moreover, we will also open our all-English courses to Japanese students and increase the number of classes conducted in English. Additionally, we will improve summer language programs for students in the first and second years, promoting students' overseas study and research through the support of our overseas centers. Likewise, we will encourage education and research organizations to implement such programs and will support such programs aggressively.

In order to accept international students and encourage Japanese students to study abroad, we will improve the functioning of the Support Office for International Students and Scholars and promote avenues for financial support from Osaka University Future Funds.

Osaka University is involved in international exchange at the university, school, and individual researcher levels. We have also been involved in overseas alumni reunions. If we collect and analyze information on such exchange activities, that will be helpful when accepting international students and promoting study abroad and researcher exchange. Coordination among administration, education and research organizations, faculty and staff, as well as students is crucial to the promotion of internationalization at Osaka University.

Furthermore, we will support education and research organizations promoting globalization in various ways. In 2013, we will be revising our international strategy and constructing a strong support system for it. Additionally, we will further promote public relations targeting high schools students so that outstanding Japanese high school students will be able to enroll in Osaka University with a clear sense of purpose. In 2012, Osaka University signed agreements with ten high schools in Osaka Prefecture known for the cultivation of college-bound students. We also embarked on public relations activities at those schools. Trustees and I visited these high schools, providing classes and explanatory sessions.

This year we will continue to further facilitate these and many other such public relation and promotional activities.

Excerpt from the 2013 "New Year's Greeting" by President Toshio Hirano in Handai NOW, No.135, January 2013

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