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2021 Kobe University Summer Study Program was held

  • September 10, 2021
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The Program Coordination Section of Center for International Education, Institute for Promoting International Partnerships of Kobe University, organized 2021 Kobe University Summer Study Program for about one month from July 9 to August 5, 2021. This program incorporated a new format, in which several overseas universities held joint lectures. A total of over three hundred undergraduate and postgraduate students from 61 universities in 22 countries, including Zhongnan University (China), Fudan University (China), Korea University (Korea), Zhongnan University of Economics and Law (China), Dalian University of Technology (China), Dalian University of Foreign Languages (China) and Kobe University participated in the program.

As part of the university’s promotional activities originally organized by the center, Kobe University Summer Study Program aims to provide first-hand experiences of education at Kobe University to undergraduate and postgraduate students who are interested in studying in Japan. In view of COVID-19 situation, all of the six lectures were held via the livestreaming online conference system, Zoom. In order to meet the needs of both learners and non-learners of Japanese, two lectures, “Relationship between animation (Manga) and Japanese society” (Professor INOUE Noriyuki (Graduate School of Law, Kobe University) and Associate Professor YUAN Yuan (School of Foreign Studies, Zhongnan University of Economics and Law)) and “Regional and social variations in Japanese language” (Professor HAYASHI Ryoko (Graduate School of Intercultural Studies, Kobe University) and Associate Professor LUO Miliang (School of Japanese studies, Dalian University of Foreign Languages)) were conducted in Japanese, while the other four lectures, namely “Legal problems concerning Brexit from a Japanese viewpoint” (Professor INOUE Noriyuki (Graduate School of Law, Kobe University) and Research Professor DAI Gaojie (Intellectual Property Research Center, Zhongnan University of Economics and Law)), “Establishing an Asian higher education community” (Professor OGAWA Keiichi (Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies, Kobe University), Research professor ZHANG Ji (School of International Relations and Public Affairs, Fudan University) and Professor HAN Jung-Sun (Graduate School of International Studies, Korea University)), “Trend of heat transfer in refrigerating system” (Professor ASANO Hitoshi (Graduate School of Engineering, Kobe University) and Associate Professor WU Xi (School of Energy and Power Engineering, Dalian University of Technology)), and “Learning analytics and educational data mining” (Associate Professor YIN Chengjiu (Information Science and Technology Center, Kobe University) and Associate Professor LIU Yuqin (International School of Information Science and Engineering, Dalian University of Technology)) were conducted in English The faculty members from the overseas universities took the roles of moderators and facilitators, while the professors from Kobe University mainly gave lectures.

The lecture “Regional and social variations in Japanese language” was jointly held by Professor HYASHI Ryoko of Graduate School of Intercultural Studies, Kobe University, and Associate Professor LUO Miliang of the School of Japanese Studies, Dalian University of Foreign Languages. The professors introduced their respective universities and departments, followed by group presentations on the topic of dialects in Japan by the students from the Faculty of Global Human Sciences, Kobe University. Associate Professor Luo and participating students from overseas were visibly impressed by the second-year undergraduate students’ presentations based on an extensive survey and detailed analysis prepared within a short timeframe. After the two-hour lecture, a total of 40 students from both universities and general participants of the Summer Study Program were divided into groups of 6 people to exchange their views on the lecture, and ask each other questions about their studies, daily life, international programs at Kobe University and their personal research.

The lecture “Establishing an Asian higher education community” was jointly held by Professor OGAWA Keiichi from the Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies, Kobe University, Research Professor ZHANG Ji from the School of International Relations & Public Affairs, Fudan University, and Professor HAN Jung-Sun from the Graduate School of International Studies, Korea University. The professors made presentations on the implementation status and the achievements of Campus Asia Program, which the three universities have been working on as a consortium since 2012, as well as the prospects for the formation of the Asian Higher Education Community including universities in Southeast Asia. The professors also introduced their respective graduate schools and universities, and explained that students will have an opportunity to join the Campus Asia Program by studying at one of the three universities. There was also a session where students and graduates from the three universities who had participated in the Campus Asia Program in the past shared their experiences. According to the after-lecture questionnaire survey, the participants of the lecture showed an increased interest in the Campus Asia Program and overseas education at the three universities.

The lecture “Trend of heat transfer in refrigerating system” was jointly held by Professor ASANO Hitoshi from the Graduate School of Engineering, Kobe University, and Associate Professor WU Xi from the School of Energy and Power Engineering, Dalian University of Technology. As they are both senior and junior fellows in the field of refrigeration systems, Associate Professor WU had a special session introducing his own research theme in addition to being a moderator/commentator. Despite the highly technical contents of the lecture, no participants left the 90-minute session, creating an atmosphere of an international symposium.

After the program, we received noumerous feedback from the participants, such as “the program stirred my interest in Kobe University and I want to apply for the exchange program with Kobe next year” and “I became more interested in the education system in Japan”, while others requested that a dedicated SNS channel be opened so that they could interact with students of Kobe University. We would like to use these opinions and requests to improve the program in the future.

Although the pandemic has made it difficult to organize international education and exchange programs as in the past, options in the “new normal” era have been expanding, as seen in the new format of the program where joint lectures are held regardless of time and venue. We will continue to actively seek out and implement initiatives required during and after coexisting with COVID-19.

(Program Coordination Section, Center for International Education)