What is the Top Global University Project?
The Top Global University Project is run by the Japanese government. It aims to prepare more graduates of the country's academic institutions for positions of global leadership.
It has its roots in Global 30, a 2009 initiative by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology to attract international students to Japanese universities. Thirteen participating institutions at that time - including Tohoku University - offered undergraduate programmes in English to appeal to non-Japanese students.
The Top Global Universities program, which replaced Global 30 in 2014, is part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's plans to see more of Japan's universities ranked among the world's top 100. To that end, a budget has been set aside over the next 10 years to fund the hiring of new faculty who can bring foreign expertise, as well as financial support for international student mobility.
Within the framework, Tohoku University has been selected to receive funding as a type A tier "Top Global University." The category provides support for new curricula and world-class, innovative ideas for university reforms, with the goal of achieving a more globalised environment on campuses across the country.
What is Tohoku University's "Global Initiative"?
In recognising Tohoku University's on-going globalisation efforts, Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), selected the university to be part of its "Top Global University Project" in 2014.
Under this new project, Tohoku University is able to accelerate initiatives it started in 2009 with the "Global 30 Project," to create a new, more sophisticated, global education system.
Called the "Global Initiative," Tohoku University's plan is two-fold - to consolidate the best research abilities onto its five campuses and to affect national reforms in education.
Through the International Joint Graduate Programme, the university will continue to form strong partnerships with overseas universities, with the aim of ranking among the world's top 10 in the fields of Spintronics, Materials Science, Cosmological Physics and Earth Science.
The university will also push for developments and collaborations in the new disciplines of Data Science, Life Science and Disaster Reduction/Safety Science.
Strengthen International Research Base
Research has always been one of Tohoku University's main strengths. And a cornerstone of its Global Initiative is consolidating the world's best research abilities onto its five main campuses.
Tohoku Forum for Creativity
Tohoku University established the Tohoku Forum for Creativity (TFC) in 2013, the first international visitor research institute in Japan. The central aims of the TFC are to promote pioneering interdisciplinary research, strengthen academic programmes and foster the development of young researchers. The TFC regularly hosts programmes to identify problems across all fields of research, and develop innovative ideas through intensive, focused discussions.
Tohoku University's Advanced Institute for Materials Research (AIMR) is one of nine World Premier International Research Centers, a 2007 MEXT initiative aimed at developing world-class research bases in Japan.
Since 2012, AIMR has been conducting research through connections between materials science and mathematics. Through prediction, AIMR aims to formulate new scientific principles that can enable the development of materials. In order to ensure that the advanced materials that have been developed play a useful role in society, AIMR is also engaged in the development of devices and systems that make use of these materials. AIMR has an international research environment, with extensive grants and language support for researchers from around the world.
- Tohoku University's Global Network
Tohoku University's extensive global network comprises academic exchange agreements with many top institutions around the world. The university is also developing unique study abroad programmes and expanding its research presence globally.
As of Oct 2015, Tohoku University has partnership agreements with 387 of the world's leading academic institutions.
Institute for Excellence in Higher Education
The Institute for Excellence in Higher Education (IEHE) was set up in April 2014 to plan, promote and support professional development so as to further raise the levels of education within the university.
Integrated within the IEHE are the Center for the Advancement of Higher Education, the Center for International Exchange, the Institute for International Education, the Institute of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the Innovative Leaders Platform.
Global Learning Center
Tohoku University's Global Learning Center plays a pivotal role in the university's international exchange activities. By actively recruiting bright international students, developing appropriate support programs and executing a variety of outgoing overseas programs, the center greatly contributes towards nurturing and improving global human resources.