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Message from the President

Toward a Glocal University

IWABUCHI, Akira
President, Iwate University
   A common mission among Japanese national universities is providing opportunities for education and research unique to our history and traditions, and whose achievements benefit society. To this end, Iwate University pursues four directives: 1) creation of a “glocal” university, 2) continued involvement in post-disaster reconstruction 3) cultivation of our identity as a university, and 4) leadership in local communities.

   Iwate University’s glocal learning environment aims to develop students’ local and global perspectives. We host a range of glocal programs, such as the Center of Community (COC) to nurture intellectual creativity, and the COC+ Program which explores applications for regional development. We strive to enrich students’ global perspectives through our endorsement of international exchange programs like the Tobitate Japan Scholarship, as well as by increasing our number of partner universities so more students from abroad can study at Iwate University, and vice versa. We are also conducting research to examine birth rate, aging, and decreasing population trends in local and global contexts. These initiatives identify our clear position among universities in the world.

   Our continued involvement in post-disaster restoration stems from our mandate to pursue post-disaster reconstruction for a minimum of ten years. Though six years have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake, reconstruction is still unfinished. Disaster recovery of this scale requires community innovation. It is perhaps in this arena where Iwate University can make its most visible impact—developing strategies and technologies communities can utilize. Our study program at the newly founded Rikuzentakata Global Campus, situated in an area heavily affected by the tsunami, is but one of the features Iwate University offers for reconstruction education. The Rikuzentakata Global Campus is an ideal setting for domestic and international students to gather and engage in exchange.

   This academic year, Iwate University’s Master’s Degree Programs were integrated into the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS). Under the GSAS, the Division of Regional Development and Creativity was also established. The aim is to develop and incorporate cross-departmental projects in the Sanriku Coast and apply them in education and research.

   Possible governmental budget cuts in future could spell hardships for national universities. In spite of potential difficulties, we believe “cultivation of our identity” means that all our students and faculty will take pride in Iwate University in the spirit of inter-departmental collaboration and teamwork. Japanese and international students alike form special bonds with Iwate University and serve as a prime example of how to show support for their institution. It is our duty and privilege to respond to their cooperation in kind. Iwate University has a proud history of establishing alumni organizations for Japanese graduates, and we plan to do the same for international graduates. Encouraging graduates to contribute and settle locally as community leaders is a goal of the COC program; therefore, local community innovation and industry-academia collaborative research is at its forefront. Iwate University seeks new directions for fisheries and agriculture, starting locally in Iwate, then nationally and abroad. In addition, we aspire to be a regional leader in gender equality, fine arts, sports, and globalization.
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