NAITO MASANORI, Program Coordinator and Professor of the Graduate School of Global Studies
Doshisha University’s Global Resource Management (GRM) Program has been selected as part of the 2012 Japan Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) Program for Leading Graduate Schools, under the category of interdisciplinary programs for a harmonious multicultural society. According to MEXT, the Program for Leading Graduate Schools promotes and supports profound reforms in graduate education. Graduate schools that develop and implement world-class comprehensive doctoral programs which go beyond the boundaries of an individual specialized field of study are supported by this Program. Participating graduate schools will bring in outstanding domestic and international faculty and students, and develop creative leaders who possess a broad perspective and can work across industries, education, and governments on a global scale.
The GRM program is an interdisciplinary advanced doctoral program in global resource management, where students taking Global Studies as a major will acquire Science and Engineering as a minor. The areas of studies in Engineering include, infrastructure science and resource and energy science. On the other hand, students majoring in Science and Engineering will sub-major in Global Studies. GRM is a program that fuses Humanities, Social Sciences and Engineering and Sciences.
The GRM program is a comprehensive doctoral program providing advanced education in the interdisciplinary field of global resource management through the integration of global studies and infrastructure science/resource and energy science. These fields form the foundation of human society and security. The program aims at fostering global leaders who possess tenacious spirit and high ethical standards, and are highly capable to partner and take action in the most troubled countries and developing countries. The ideal leaders GRM aspires to develop will be able to:
- work and learn alongside people facing life-threatening situations, such as disasters, conflicts, and poverty, and formulate solutions that will alleviate them from their struggles;
- integrate natural sciences and social sciences, to find solutions and alleviate the people from their struggles;
- promote religious and ethnic harmony based on fairness, equity and empowerment through the integration of engineering and sciences with social sciences and humanities, to prevent new struggles and promote recovery and development from existing ones; and
- form strategic partnerships with people and communities in developing countries who have overcome their struggles through the promotion of sustainable development and inclusive development.
Today, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, and the Middle East are experiencing economic growth. Many of the countries in these regions are growing at the same or close growth rate as the G-20 members. One unique feature of the GRM program is targeting these developing countries. Moreover, the program aims at finding suitable career paths for its graduates, highly trained PhDs, in these countries. By directly walking the road from struggle to development, GRM graduates are expected to gain knowledge and experience which will also help the development of Japan in the future. Many of the developing countries, Next Eleven countries, and the most troubled regions and countries are Islamic. The Doshisha University is well-equipped for this; as the level or standard of research and interreligious dialog conducted at the University’s Center for Interdisciplinary Study of Monotheistic Religions (CISMOR) is among the highest in Japan.
In order to bring about positive breakthroughs to the modern world where economic growth is stifled, a new kind of infrastructure that unifies the physical, social, and spiritual dimensions need to be created. To accomplish this, the GRM program provides a doctoral education that integrates the University’s well-established educational system on natural sciences and engineering sciences related to energy and resources with the educational system for humanities and social sciences related to co-existence of multiple cultures. From natural and engineering sciences, areas of electricity, energy, information, transportation, and water resource management will be included in the program. From humanities and social sciences, our world-renowned multicultural integration research program, human security assurance, conflict deterrence, peace-building, development, policy science, governance, sociology, social welfare, and other areas will be included. In particular, the program emphasizes co-existence with Islam as one of the major issues towards realizing a harmonious multicultural society, another unique characteristic of the program.
Although the development of global leaders is part of Japan’s educational policy, the image of the ideal leader developed by the GRM program is unique to our university. Our ideal leaders will not be modeled after pre-existing successful leaders, and it is certainly not the program’s intent to develop monarchs and traditional leaders. Breaking the Japanese stagnation is challenging if the focus is only within Japan where the birth rate is already significantly low. By working alongside the people in developing countries such as Indonesia, Turkey, and China with a large youth population, GRM students and graduates will directly feel the energy of these people and eventually contribute to re-energizing Japan. Ideal GRM global leaders will also gain the knowledge necessary to tackle global issues by working alongside people living in countries and regions facing extreme difficulties. Furthermore, they will also strive to formulate and implement realistic solutions. The program focuses on Afghanistan, in which the University has already been involved in peace-building activities, and in the Gaza Strip, one of the most troubled countries and region in the world.
Students will follow the guidelines of their respective graduate school to obtain a degree. In developing countries and emerging countries, those with only an educational background in humanities or social sciences, or those with only a science or engineering background are bounded with what they can contribute for development. Even if a corporation has succeeded in expanding globally through its excellence in science and engineering, it cannot promote multicultural harmony without good management and governance practices and moreover without considering its social responsibility. Similarly, a person well versed in the humanities and social sciences will not be able to contribute effectively to the society without any knowledge of energy and resources, and of infrastructures that form the basis of human society. The GRM Program for Leading Graduate Schools specializes in developing in students both the scientific knowledge of energy, resource, and infrastructure, and the humanities and social sciences knowledge of implementing good management practices and social responsibility. Through this comprehensive doctoral education, GRM students will gain strong support in establishing integrated multicultural societies around the world.
The GRM Program for Leading Graduate Schools is not intended to produce highly specialized researchers, but aims at producing PhDs who can pull together knowledge from various disciplines to promote sustainable development and multicultural harmony.