The Role of International Student Mobility in Hybridized Stem and Interdisciplinary Programs in Japanese Higher Education


The task of producing students who are global citizens confronts Japanese higher education as a path to domestic and international success. I use the University of Tsukuba’s example to demonstrate and analyze of current trends in international student mobility in Japanese STEM research programs. The Japanese government’s “Global 30” program aims to expand internationalization at thirteen HE institutions in Japan, one being the University of Tsukuba. I show how hybrid programs of interdisciplinary studies and engineering encourage international student mobility from the faculty’s perspective, in the context of larger mobility trends. The hybrid programs at the University of Tsukuba focus on STEM, but simultaneously integrate learning from non-engineering fields with different value systems, providing greater depth and breadth of student knowledge transfer. Students apply pragmatic learning through rapid development and test cycles in their projects, helping ensure that they graduate on time. The University of Tsukuba enrolls well-qualified international students in Japanese HE to further the production of thriving leaders with global knowledge and citizenship. The University of Tsukuba’s experience demonstrates that international knowledge sharing and collaboration requires recruiting foreign students. This paper explains the role international student mobility plays in contemporary Japanese STEM research and university programs and missions, in light of a trend to create global knowledge-based societies, as well as global educators and leaders.

Author Information
Aki Yamada, University of Tsukuba, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: ACSET2016
Stream: Technology and Society: The Social and Societal Impact and Implications of Technology

This paper is part of the ACSET2016 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon