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Research & Others

2017/6/12

The 3rd Annual Open Dialogue between Six Universities
BREAK THE BOUNDARY


On June 6 (Sat.), 11 (Sun.), we held The 3rd Annual Open Dialogue between Six Universities at IMADEGAWA Campus and had 74 participants (46 students, 24 faculities, and 3 others).

First day, two special guests, Dr. Yoshinori FUKUBAYASHI, General Director, Community Road Empowerment (NGO) and Dr. Karun MALHOTRA, Representative Director, POGLI Corp Ltd. delivered the keynote speeches. 
Poster session was for students with posters of their activities achieved through the external network of the program or professors. They also enjoyed casual talk over a cup of tea. 
During the groupwork session, all students were devided into 8 mixed-groups and discussed either of 2 themes : (1) Are you doing “interdisciplinary study” well?  (2) Interdisciplinary eduation and career design.

2nd day, each group made 15 minutes presentation and answered the questions from students and faculties.

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More detail:
http://grm.doshisha.ac.jp/eng/information/view.php?c=news_events_1&pk=1496109499

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Students' report:


A two day Open Dialogue gave opportunity for the students of the leading graduate programs in six universities in Japan to foster relationship, share experiences, critically reflect on the programs, identify challenges and find ways to further enhance programs' efficiency.

The open dialogue had two major components, the lectures by the resource persons and the discussion among the participants from 6 graduate schools.

The first session's resource inputs delivered by two resource persons, helped the students understand the concrete example of how interdisciplinary research could be carried out and translated into practical innovations which address the empirical needs in the real world.

The second session was group discussion in which, students were divided into small groups of six members from 6 graduate schools. During the discussion, the students took turn to share about the nature, goals and courses of their respective interdisciplinary programs which served as the foundation to further identify the relevance and practical application in their academic and professional undertaking. The strength and weakness were then identified, to which the suggestions for further improvements were collectively brainstormed and proposed by the students.

The common outcomes from every group were: the interdisciplinary nature of program provided students with better opportunity in job market but at the same time can be time consuming since students need to make a fresh start of new discipline they were not familiar with which affected their primary research focus and effort. Nonetheless, the interdisciplinary knowledge and skills are recognized as crucial qualities that leaders in the contemporary world should possess so that they can serve as the catalyst in unifying interdisciplinary resources and areas of expertise in responding to complex crises facing the world.

Some of the students also expressed their concern of difficulty in securing employment which was responded by Prof. Wada that the self-empowerment towards academic excellent will overcome this fear since students will be approached and offered the place by the company.

My personal observation is having opportunity to gain high quality interdisciplinary education, graduates are in better position to go beyond fear by developing entrepreneurial ability to be self-employed.


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Annual Open Dialogue between Six Universities was held for two days. On the first day, two keynote speakers made presentations on the topic of using the interdisciplinary for the business. The presentations were very interesting, how we can combine the knowledge we learned with various perspectives.
After the presentations, we were grouped with students from different university and topic of study. We discussed about our experiences in the program (fieldwork, courses, internship). By sharing our own view, we can seek through on what we want for our future career.
On the second day, each group made presentation based on what we discussed. My group presented about using our experience to success in the leading graduate program and find jobs in the near future.

Not only does the event give me the knowledge but open my new vision by discussing and presentation we shared and also the friendship we made with other students from other schools, nationalities.

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It was positive on several levels. On one hand, the students' expectations were clearly reported to the administration of the 6 programs (clear from a student perspective), but could prove to be unclear or unrealistic from the administration perspective which may reflect the student's over-expectations from their program. On the other hand, it was clearly noted by the programs admins that students should put more effort into making the best of this program and retrieving the highest values, and lots of emphasis were put on the importance of communication and networking.

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It was an excellent opportunity for me to get to know about the aims of other leading programs.
The first day started with two presentations, first of which was about promoting the communities' involvement in road building projects. I had a chance to get to know about one of the distinguished GNO founders. The project brought me some motivation about what can we do in small communities with limited budget and time and human resources.
The second talk was about the need for having a broader view as the essential tool for future global leaders. The presenter brought us some examples of the effective managements in successful cases.
After that, we started to do a group work with the group of students from difference backgrounds and universities. It was an interesting experience for me to hear different voices about the leading programs in their schools. We were given a question regarding the advantages of multi-disciplinary experience in building our future career.
Our group decided to conduct a debate beetween two groups to make the points clearer. In the first panel, we explained the advantages.

The main points of our discussion could be summarized as follows:
- What do we mean by multi-disciplinary environment and career?
- What are the other examples of multi-disciplinary programs worldwide?
- Is there any need for change in our curriculum design?
- Are the companies for job-hunting aware of our program?
- What are our real advantages camparing our lab-mates?

In the end, we came up with some suggestions for the students in the program as well as the professors and program officers.

Our suggestion for the program is as follows:
- Promote our programs and strengthen the connection with targets;
- Design curriculums as soon as possible;
- When applying for jobs, keep your eye on companies/organizations with the broad vision.

I should thank the program officers and professors who gave us the opportunity to share our ideas and appreciate the student's active participation in dialogue.

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As the purpose of the program was to break boundaries, I can honestly say based on my observations that the program succeeded in its aim as we witnessed a number of courageous "out of the box" presentations. On the second day, we delivered our presentation but I wasn't satisfied with the quality of our work. This experience tought me that it's important ot have chemistry between group members and that sometimes, the leader of a group, as I was appointed one, should be more firm about getting members to work on a specific task for the sake of the whole group. I really benefited from this event at the personal, professional, and career level. Thank you all for the numerous opportunities you give us to grow network and learn!