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Adoption of the OU program supporting MEXT's "Top Global University"

2014-9-26(Fri)

SGUOsaka University applied for the "Top Global University" Project sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)," submitting its project "Global University, World Tekijuku." Recently Osaka University learned it had been selected.
Tekijuku was a "place of learning" established by the doctor OGATA Koan in the 19th century, a school where many ambitious young people from all over Japan gathered to learn with the spirit of "responsible ethics, concern for people, for society" -- a spirit of selfless service and a sense of ethics. These young people worked hard while also learning from each other.

Tekijuku is the root from which Osaka University grew. Inheriting Tekikuku's spirit, Osaka University aims to become "World Tekijuku," a launch pad where students and researchers, willing to tackle global issues in the 21st century, will gather and learn together. World Tekijuku will pursue high-level learning for ascertaining the true essence of things. It will become a center of learning for producing personnel who will be active on the international stage. World Tekijuku will create harmonious diversity through scholarship.
In its World Tekijuku project, Osaka University has set a goal that through progress in the above-mentioned areas, Osaka University will become one of the world's top 30 in 2024 and become one of the world's top 10 research universities by its 100th anniversary in 2031. Keeping an unwavering faith that dreams come true by making the effort to reach the summit of each new mountain, one by one, Osaka University will work as one and continue onward and upward to achieve university reform and its dreams.

Comment on this project from President Toshio HIRANO

Recently Osaka University was selected as a university recipient of support from MEXT's Top Global University Project. In 2014, the first year as World Tekijuku, Osaka University determined to continue to work as one to promote university and education reform. I think that this concept was highly evaluated in the screening. Osaka University aims to make itself one of the world's top 10 research universities by its 100th anniversary in 2031. To this end, Osaka University has taken a variety of approaches. Universities in the world are engaged in fierce competition.  Even in such a setting, Osaka University will make every effort to become a globally-esteemed university by demonstrating its high quality of education and research. At the same time, in order to contribute to global society, progress in civilization, and a plentiful lifestyle, Osaka University will promote the creation of harmonious diversity through learning.

September 26, 2014
President of Osaka University, HIRANO Toshio

Approaches at Osaka University that support the idea of World Tekijuku

The concept of "World Tekijuku" also advocates reform in a variety of areas and concrete measures for achieving such reform. While making steady progress on reform since President Hirano's assumption of the office of president, as a measure for strengthening globalization, education reform, and management necessary for a research university with international competitiveness, the matters noted below have been newly added to concrete measures. They are just a part of the initiatives; the university will proceed with such advanced approaches proactively.

  1. The university, by 2017, will set up World Tekijuku graduate schools, new-generation global graduate schools based on new interdisciplinary research established by the Institute for Academic Initiatives set up under the president. These World Tekijuku graduate schools will drive graduate school system reform at the university as a whole in the future as an organization for demonstrating the strength of its cross-border education and research and characteristics of its flexible personnel system management.
  2. Osaka University will revise the school calendar and introduce a quarter system (3 semesters and a long holiday), an arrangement that is still rare at universities in Japan.
  3. Together with this approach, by reviewing and organizing the class system, Osaka University will make efforts so that students can secure time for their proactive learning, while, at the same time, Osaka University will actively increase enrollment of international students.
  4. Under the Global Admissions Office system, Osaka University will make efforts to increase the number of international students by introducing a new entrance examination system for international students while also aiming to improve their Japanese language proficiency. Osaka University will also proceed with preparations for the implementation of a comprehensive screening process with an emphasis on interviews and essay.
  5. Osaka University will increase the number of international joint labs where overseas professor-level researchers will conduct research at Osaka University from the current 22 to 100 labs. The labs will include the ones for new interdisciplinary fields where international recognition is anticipated in the future.
  6. Osaka University will double the number of outstanding international faculty members within 3 years by making full use of flexible personnel and salary systems such as an annual salary system and a cross-appointment system.
  7. Along with the systemtization of its degree programs, Osaka University will introduce a course numbering system at the university as a whole.
  8. Osaka University will provide world-class education by introducing international standard classes through Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) offered by edX.
  9. Osaka University will create its unique Teaching Fellow system by increasing development of its existing TA (Teaching Assistant) system.
  10. By adopting sustainable plans by making use of private finance initiatives, Osaka University will proceed with a global village plan to establish 2,600 units of housing where both Japanese and international individuals can live.
  11. Osaka University will invite an office of the University of California to set up an office on campus in order to promote the invitation of faculty members from UC and conduct summer programs.
  12. By proactively participating in international university collaboration framework, Osaka University will proceed strategically in cooperation with other universities. As part of these initiatives, in June 2015, Osaka University will serve as the managing university for the annual meeting of Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU) to be held in Osaka. APRU consists of 45 member universities in Japan and throughout the world.

For additional approaches, please view this. (5.8 MB file in Japanese)

What is the Top Global University Project?

Top Global University Project is a project for supporting universities working on globalization of education and education environment under the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's new cabinet in which economic recovery and rebuilding education are the most important.
The project has two categories: Type A and Type B. Type A, in which Osaka University was selected, is intended for universities in which world-class education and research are being conducted. In screening universities, in addition to globalization of education, globalization of research environment as well as strategies for being recognized as a center for education and research from international society's viewpoint have been assessed.

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