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Asian University Presidents’ Forum (AUPF) Was Held

■October 31, 2016
Asia University, as an organizing school, held the “Asian University Presidents’ Forum 2016” as a memorial project of the Asia University’s 75th anniversary and 38 universities from 12countries participated.This was the first time the event has been held in Japan.
This forum, which was held from October 31 to November 2 at venues such as the Keio Plaza Hotel in Shinjuku as well as the University, was held with the objective of deepening discussion related to the exchange of information and expert knowledge between universities in Asian countries as well as the promotion of international academic exchanges. This year marked the forum’s 15th year.
A welcome dinner party was held on the first day which was presided over by Vice President for International Affairs Reiko Chiba. After a toast by Vice President Masakatsu Oshima, participating universities from both Japan and overseas amicably deepened their friendship throughout the night.
 

■November 1, 2016  
November 1, the second day of the forum, began with the opening ceremony. Vice President Eiko Kenjo acted as emcee and President Michiharu Kurita gave an organizer greeting.
President Kurita spoke about human resource development that can contribute to world peace and development with Asian higher learning institutions as the base. In guest greetings, Hiroshi Yoshimoto, Deputy Director-General, Higher Education Bureau of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), stated his hope to the forum that “invigorating ideas and opinions would be exchanged between researchers and students.”
In the keynote speech of the plenary session, Hideki Yonekawa, Vice President of the Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO), and Masatsugu Shimono, Senior Executive Adviser of IBM Japan, delivered addresses. Mr. Yonekawa explained Japanese student study abroad trends and the results and status of initiatives for internationalization in Japan’s higher learning institutions, while Mr. Shimono anticipated a synergic effect that would be caused by collaboration with educational institutions in the Asia region while introducing IBM’s initiatives.
In the afternoon parallel sessions, 11 universities were split into groups and made presentations. It became a scene for information exchange, with case studies of unique educational systems and industry-academia collaboration being introduced.
The official dinner party, presided over by Faculty of International Relations lecturer Yoshihiro Kobari, began with greetings by President Kurita and Dongseo University President Dr. Jekuk Chang as well as a toast by Toshiaki Koshimura, Chairman, Board of Trustees. With uniquely Japanese hospitality such as live koto and shamisen performances and kagami-wari (breaking open a ceremonial sake cask), each guest passed the time engaging in casual conversation.
 

■November 2, 2016
The AUPF, which was held over the course of three days, came to a close. At the standing committee meeting, selection of organizing schools for the next fiscal year and handover items were discussed in addition to deciding that the forum will be held at Philippine Normal University in FY2017, it was proposed that the circle of exchange be widened, such as an appeal from Guangdong University of Foreign Studies for participation in a student exchange program implemented by five universities in China, Malaysia, and Japan.
A the closing ceremony, there was a greeting and acknowledgements by the Forum’s founder, Ming Ying Zhuang, Honorary President of Chaoshan Vocational and Technical College and a recap by Mathana Santiwat, former President of Bangkok University.

Also, the AUPF flag was passed on by President Kurita to Philippine Normal University, the next organizing school, and President Ester Ogena gave her greetings and spoke of her aspirations for the next forum.
In addition to the Asian University Presidents’ Forum, which was held for the first time in Japan, participants visited the Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum in Koganei Park near Asia University’s campus after the forum’s closing and toured Japanese historical buildings. Afterwards, at a farewell dinner party held on campus, in addition to student groups from the University who greeted the participants with a tea ceremony, gamelan performance, and wind orchestra concert, the venue was greatly enlivened by a Japanese taiko drum performance by Seitoku Gakuen Junior & Senior High School.
The entire program came to an end after mutually deepening exchanges while sharing opinions and information throughout the three days.
Nov.02.2016

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