Announcing the Forum for Graduate School Educational Reform 2021

The inaugural Graduate School Education Reform Forum will be held as an online event hosted by Osaka University on Saturday, 8 January, 2022.
The Forum will be conducted in Japanese. Please visit https://itgp.osaka-u.ac.jp/forum2021/ (in Japanese) for details.

Calls for the cultivation of advanced “knowledge professionals” to drive the society and economy of the future have been growing steadily stronger as we move closer to realization of Society 5.0 and the SDGs. It is in this context that a total of 30 programs were launched by seventeen universities across Japan under the government’s WISE Program (Doctoral Program for World-leading Innovative & Smart Education) between the 2018 and 2020 academic years. It will be crucial for the initiatives and outcomes of each university’s leading-edge programs selected for the WISE Program to be utilized widely in the future reform of graduate school education in Japan. This means there is a need for forums where those associated with the programs can share and discuss the actual conditions and challenges within their own graduate schools, the pathways of students who have completed the programs, and policies for the government to pursue going forward.

To date, Program for Leading Graduate Schools Forum has been operated as part of the government-funded initiative of the same name. This annual event has mainly been attended by program students and faculty members, providing opportunities for interaction across programs.

As the current WISE Program places emphasis on applying its initiatives and outcomes to the process of reforming graduate school education across Japan, the new Forum for Graduate School Educational Reform will be held as an opportunity to foster greater momentum for graduate school reform broadly, in addition to the activities previously conducted under the Program for Leading Graduate Schools Forum. In this inaugural year, Osaka University has been engaged by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology to act as the host institution for this new forum.

The inaugural Forum for Graduate School Educational Reform will mainly comprise discussions on the WISE Program initiatives currently underway in each university, student presentations, and exchange of information on the current status of Leading Graduate School Programs that individual universities are continuing to operate autonomously following the expiry of the government funding period. We also hope that the forum will serve as an opportunity to consider future approaches to graduate school education, bringing together doctoral students, alumni, universities, and representatives from industry and government.

Forum for Graduate School Educational Reform 2021 Organizing Committee, Osaka University