Dean, Graduate School of Engineering and School of Engineering
Japan as a nation relies on leading edge Engineering, in order to maintains this leading edge, Reform in Engineering Education is essential. To ensure Engineering Education in Japan stays ahead, MEXT's “Investigation Committee to Optimize Engineering Education in Universities (hereinafter referred to as the University Engineering Education Investigation Committee)” has compiled and prioritized specific measures designed to realize this Reform.
The following three areas are considered essential to realize this reformation in regard to engineering education, providing an integrated and systematic approach to meet the increasing demands required by the Japanese engineering industry.
*MEXT : Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology- JAPAN
Promotion and realization of a single department offering six specialized courses.
The School of Engineering introduced a one-department six-course system and a five-year doctoral course in 2011, and introduced a highly integrated curriculum with cross-disciplinary education and practical education going above and beyond traditional frameworks. This system was introduced for the first time in Japan as a precursor to engineering education innovation which has been discussed within the aforementioned Engineering Education Investigation Committee.
We believe that it is crucial to further enhance the one department and sub-course system through the introduction of an “Institute of Integrated Science and Technology" in 2019, this addition is envisaged to provide a wide variety of benefits including providing increased flexibility for the department to adapt rapidly to meet Japan’s engineering needs in specific sectors as and when required.
Engineering Education Innovation - from STEM to STEAM Education -
A new faculty "School of Information and Data Sciences" is planned for 2020, this will include an introduction of “Statistics", "Data Science” in addition to” Information Basics" in liberal arts education.
While the forefront of industry is rapidly changing due to the introduction of AI, IoT, Big Data and robotics, it is crucial to nurture basic skills that are common to all industrial sectors. For example, the acquisition of accurate raw data is core to " Data Science" or “Data Science Technology”, the development and advancement of research in the variety of engineering area to obtain data that has not previously been easily accessible is very important. Furthermore, it is expected that new deployment and innovative development will be realized by utilizing advanced data science and AI technology by collaborating with the newly established "School of Information and Data Science".
To that end, the top priority is to systematize and enhance the STEAM group subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics), which are foundational to engineering education. In addition, lectures related to Computational Thinking and so-called 21st-century skills such as critical thinking skills, problem-solving skills, and communication skills are consistent with the content of the aforementioned engineering education reform been discussed in the Engineering Education Investigation Committee.
Response to the new evaluation and resource allocation system of MEXT
The “Guidelines for strengthening joint research through industry-academia-government collaboration (Nov. 2016)” was formulated by MEXT and METI to provide specific guidelines to realize effective industry-academia-government collaboration between the participating organizations.
In the 2019 MEXT budget, a new evaluation / resource allocation system has been introduced, external fund acquisition results (cooperative research, donations, etc.) will be used as the allocation indicator. As future reductions in university management grants will be inevitable, it will be necessary to obtain public and private external funds and allocate them to fund education, research and graduate school administration. To that end, it will be necessary to establish and promote sustainable research projects based on industry-academia-government collaboration. Each project will be based around sustainable development goals (SDGs), and in creating this philosophy and solution scenario, we are considering the introduction of a system supported by external advisors such as a Nagasaki University Professors Emeritus.
Formerly at Nagasaki University graduation ceremonies, graduating students were presented a paperweight, engraved on the paperweight, was the old Dejima Island and the text "Ab Alto Ad Altum", Latin for "From high to higher".
Nagasaki which faces the East China Sea, played a key role internationally during the period of national isolation as a base for trading with overseas cultures. In addition, later in history, Nagasaki experienced devastation by an atomic bomb in World War II, as Nagasaki city has since been reconstructed, these and other unique experiences have together nurtured problem-solving competence for a wide variety of issues from physical issues through to social issues.
Along with promotion of the above-mentioned educational innovation, the graduate school of engineering aims to establish a new research promotion system to meet the needs of the next generation of engineers and maintain Japan’s leading edge in engineering.
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