Toward Achievement of Project
NUT’s application for the “Global Implementation of an Engineering Education Model that Begins for Students aged 15 Years: A Collaborative Program with Mexico—a NAFTA Manufacturing Base” was successfully selected by Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology as a Re-Inventing Japan Project FY2015 (“Support for the Formation of Collaborative Programs with Universities in Latin America”). This program aims to apply Japan’s KOSEN-UT engineering education model in collaboration with Mexican universities in order to deepen bilateral relations and allow students from both countries to mature through a continuous series of mutual visits in stages. In this way, the program will establish itself as a model for international cooperative engineering education. Based on this concept, we are developing the program in tandem with Universidad de Guanajuato, Universidad de Monterrey, Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon, the Universidad de Guanajuato-affiliated high school, and four KOSEN colleges (Tsuruoka, Ibaraki, Oyama, and Nagaoka). NUT’s collaborations with Latin American universities date back to 1995, when we began a student exchange program with Simón Bolívar University in Venezuela. Thereafter, we quickly focused on establishing partnerships in Mexico, which is a NAFTA manufacturing base that is hosting a growing number of Japanese corporations. In 2003 and 2004, NUT entered into academic exchange agreements with Universidad de Guanajuato, Universidad de Monterrey, and Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon. We further expanded on these relationships through the implementation of collaborative educational programs such as Twinning Programs and Double Degree Programs, and established long-term inter-university collaborations to ensure the quality of these programs. Through these efforts, NUT has achieved the internationalization of a richly diverse campus with a high representation of Latin American students when compared to other Japanese universities. Mexico has experienced a dramatic increase in the entry of numerous global corporations (such as those from the automobile industry) from Japan, the US and Europe, and has rapidly developed as a NAFTA manufacturing base. In order to develop practical and leading engineers who can excel on the global stage, an educational program that provides students with dynamic first-hand experience in global corporate activities would be beneficial to both Japan and Mexico. By implementing the KOSEN-UT educational system in Mexico and ensuring its quality, I hope that this program will foster the development of trilingual engineers from both Japan and Mexico who will bridge the gap between our countries.
What is the Re-Inventing Japan Project?
The Re-Inventing Japan Project was established by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology with the aim of fostering the development of human resources capable of playing an active role at the international level, as well as to strengthen the global developmental ability of university education. The project supports the mechanisms for international educational collaborations with universities in Asia, the US, and Europe that conduct overseas study programs for Japanese students, and undertakes the strategic acceptance of foreign students to Japanese universities while ensuring the quality of higher education. In 2014, NUT’s application to implement a quality-assured exchange program with Indian universities was selected to receive support under this project, and the application in 2015 to implement a quality-assured exchange program with Mexican universities was selected to receive Support for the Formation of Collaborative Programs with Universities in Latin America and the Caribbean. (A total of 25 programs had applied for the FY2015 project, from which only 8 universities, including NUT, were selected.)
〈Period of Project Implementation: FY2015 to FY2019〉