Lecture inspires international collaboration

Victoria Hollo, Contributing Writer

The Office of International Education (OIE) hosted a lecture entitled “International Classroom Collaboration and Partners” on Sept. 16.  The lecture was given by Professor Noriyuki Harada from Tokyo Woman’s Christian University, who is a well known translator and has advised the Japanese Ministry of Education on occasion.

During the lecture, various topics such as the Japanese university system, the importance of globalization in education, and the possibility of a partnership between the University and Tokyo Woman’s Christian University were discussed.

Harada initiated his lecture by giving a brief overview of the university educational system in Japan. Currently, Japan has 600 private universities and around 86 national universities. National universities tend to be held in higher regard than private universities, as they must maintain a particular standard, while the level of education at private universities greatly varies.

Tokyo Woman’s Christian University was founded almost 100 years ago in order to provide a liberal arts education for women, promote internationalism, and advance Christian principles.

Surrounding his lecture on this key idea, Harada addressed the question of why globalization is needed in education at the university level. In today’s world of interconnectedness, it is necessary for universities to value global education because it offers students different perspectives in order to create educated citizens of the 21st century. Most Japanese universities have yet to adopt this global perspective of education that so many American universities have already taken on.

Japan is one of the biggest translating countries, yet Harada discussed the way in which the Japanese do not wish to step out of their comfort zone.

Thus, Harada and Stephen Appiah-Padi, director of the OIE, considered the possibility of a partnership between the University and Tokyo Woman’s Christian University. Apart from a study abroad exchange between the schools, the professors proposed the idea of setting up a digital humanities course at the University and Tokyo Woman’s Christian University, whereby students of both schools could converse through a virtual classroom via video conference.

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