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Kyushu University Asia Week 2020

Release date: 2020.10.15

 

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Opening Ceremony for Kyushu University Asia Week 2020

In the first of what may become a yearly event connecting people around Asia to discuss and overcome the issues facing the region, Kyushu University Asia Week 2020 was hosted by Kyushu University from September 1 to 12, 2020, in a webinar format under the theme of “Universities to Grow Societal Impact.”

During the period, a cumulative total of 2,570 people from Japan and overseas, including online participants and speakers, took part in the sessions, talks, and other activities organized as part of the event. Asia Week was an important opportunity to share issues with overseas universities and also to discuss and disseminate solutions regarding the establishment of an international cooperation system in the With & Post Corona eras, strategic international collaborations, and global issues such as the SDGs.

On the first day, the Opening Ceremony commenced with a keynote speech from Shigeru Aoyagi (Director of the Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education of UNESCO Bangkok). In a panel discussion under the theme of “Higher Education Institutions (HEIs’) societal responsibility and impact in the context of addressing SDGs amid COVID-19,” Director Aoyagi, Dr. Ika Dewi Ana (Vice Rector of Universitas Gadjah [UGM]), Professor Irfan Dwidya Prijambada (UGM), Professor Shunsuke Manaki (Faculty of Engineering), and Professor Shigeki Inoue (Faculty of Design) presented and actively discussed their efforts to achieve the SDGs.

Included as part of Asia Week this year, Kyushu University Institute for Asian and Oceanian Studies (Q-AOS) Symposium 2020 “Living with Infectious Diseases: What Is a Sustainable Society Learned from COVID-19?” was held September 2 and 3 to advance the vision of what a sustainable society will look like around Asia, Oceania, and the world in light of COVID-19.

SNU-Kyushu Joint Symposium

Group photo from the SNU-Kyushu Joint Symposium (Sept. 9)

On September 9, Kyushu University held a joint symposium for the first time with Seoul National University (SNU), one of the top universities in Asia and a university-level partner institution, under the theme of “Grow More Resilient: How University Inventions are Contributing to Unprecedented Global Crises.”

In the plenary session in the morning, presidents of both universities gave opening remarks, followed by keynote speeches by Professor Toshiharu Ninomiya (Faculty of Medicine) and Professor Chan-Soo Shin (Dean of College of Medicine, SNU). Discussions continued at a top-level meeting including the presidents and executive members of both universities.

Discussions at a top-level meeting with Seoul National University (Sept. 9)

From the afternoon, three parallel sessions, “Medicine,” “Environmental and Social Sustainability at Different Spatial Scales,” and “Materials Science and Engineering,” were held. In the “Medicine” session, organized by Professor Shuji Shimizu (International Medical Department, Kyushu University Hospital) and Professor Ho-Seong Han (College of Medicine Surgery, SNU), three seminars were held.

Many students participated in the session “Environmental and Social Sustainability at Different Spatial Scales” organized by Professor Shigemi Kagawa (Faculty of Economics) and Professor Euijune Kim (Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, SNU). Furthermore, the latest cases were reported from researchers at both universities in the "Materials Science and Engineering" session, organized by Professor Atsushi Takahara (Institute for Materials Chemistry and Engineering) and Professor Yongsok Seo (Department of Materials Science & Engineering, SNU).

Ties with Vietnam

To commemorate the establishment of the Kyushu University Vietnam Alumni Association, the Kyushu-Vietnam Seminar “Discover Best Practice and Opportunities of International Collaboration in Past and Future” was held on September 11. On the evening of the same day, the Kick-Off Gathering of Kyushu Japan Alumni Vietnam took place. Many alumni in Vietnam and international students enrolled in Kyushu University attended the kick-off gathering and deepened engagement in a friendly atmosphere.

(Left) Kyushu-Vietnam Seminar.

(Right) Group photo of Kick-Off Gathering of Kyushu Japan Alumni (Sept. 11)

Dialogue Session on Dr. Tetsu Nakamura

On September 12, the final day of Asia Week 2020, a Dialogue Session on Dr. Tetsu Nakamura took place. He was a graduate of the School of Medicine of Kyushu University and devoted much of his life to supporting activities such as medical activities and irrigation projects in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Lectures at the Dialogue Session on Dr. Tetsu Nakamura. Top: Masaru Murakami: Chiyoko Fujita

This session was a part of the Kyushu University project launched with the aim of passing on the late Dr. Tetsu Nakamura’s “will” and message to the next generation. Students who will be representatives in the next generation played a central role in this session from planning to management. At the event, there were the lectures by Masaru Murakami (Chairman of Peshawar-kai), Chiyoko Fujita (Director-General of PMS), and Kenji Yazu (Producer and Photographer of Nihon Denpa News). The joint forum was held by the guest speakers and student speakers. It was an opportunity for participants to think together about how to think about Dr. Nakamura’s “will” and how to pass it on to the next generation.

In the closing remarks, the establishment of a commemorative course to continue the will of Dr. Tetsu Nakamura and the establishment of Dr. Tetsu Nakamura memorial archives were announced.

Joint Forum with students (Sept.12)

Other highlights

During Asia Week 2020, in addition to such events, seven webinars on SDGs took place across the departments. Lectures and lively discussions were held among students and faculty members from Kyushu U and researchers from overseas partner universities.

Furthermore, the “Kyushu University Collections: Asian academic exchanges during foundation of the university and old atlas” exhibition was held through the collaboration of the University Library, the University Museum, and the University Archives. Through this exhibition, valuable materials and deliverables related to Asia that have been rarely seen were disseminated using the latest digital archive technology.

Asia Week 2020, which was held online for about two weeks under the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic, closed with a great success with numerous participants from Japan and overseas.

Even though the current situation has compelled the restriction of international travel, Kyushu University will utilize webinars and the like to continuously promote international exchange and collaboration toward solving social issues with related institutions and overseas universities and send them to the world.

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