International Educator - January/February 2013 - 53
with quality assurance and mutual credit recognition, and the Project for Promotion of Global Human Resource Development. The latter “aims to overcome the Japanese younger generation’s ‘inward tendency’ and to foster human resources who can... [become the] basis for improving Japan’ s global competitiveness,” according to the program website. For 2012 the total budget for Global 30, Global 30+ (which includes the Project for Promotion of Global Human Resource Development), and Re-Inventing Japan Project is more than 10.3 billion yen, or around 127 million (U.S. dollars). According to the Ministry of Education, the total number of international students studying at the G30 universities has increased from 16,679 in 2008 to 22,193 in 2012. This has had an impact on domestic students due to a greater international presence at Japanese universities. Furthermore, degree programs offered in English are open to Japanese students “so that they can study not English, but in English.” Officials hope that increased internationalization at home has helped Japanese students become more open to the possibility of studying abroad themselves. Since the Global 30+ program is just beginning, it is hard to say what its long-term impact might actually be.
to make its graduates more competitive in a global market. The G30 and G30+ subsidies complement what the institution is already doing in the area of international education. Ritsumeikan began developing education abroad programs in the 1980s and currently offers its students more than 2,000 slots in various education abroad programs, ranging from four-week language programs to full-year exchange and dual-degree programs. An example of one partnership is an eight-month custom program at University of British Columbia, where they have sent 100 students annually for the past 20 years. They hope to increase their overall study abroad numbers to 2,400 by 2020. One of Ritsumeikan’s areas of focus has been on the development of an extensive predeparture orientation called the Global Gateway Program (GGP), which they launched in 2009. “The ultimate goal of the GGP is to nurture students’ transnational competence, including high knowledge of specialization and sophisticated cross-cultural communication skills, and to enable them to work globally and professionally in future,” says Miki Horie. Designed to enhance students’ academic skills in English, the program includes reading and writing academic papers, participating in discussions, presenting academic topics, etc. Students also develop skills to enhance their learning in cross-cultural environments. The program also includes individual advising services, which are available to GGP students before, during, and after study abroad. The advisers help students organize their education abroad plans, deal with the reentry process, and connect education abroad experiences to their studies at Ritsumeikan and their future career plans. Aichi Prefectural University has also recently been awarded funding through the Project for Promotion of Global Human Resource Development. Under the leadership of the School of Foreign Studies, they plan to expand education abroad programs across the university.
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Taking Advantage of the Initiatives
Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto has received support through both the Global 30 and Global 30+ programs. Global 30 funding has led to the establishment of an overseas office in New Delhi in India, the launch of a BA program in international relations in English, and various staff and faculty development training for internationalization of student services and teaching. Institutional funding was allocated alongside government support, and programs will be entirely supported by the university after 2013. The Ritsumeikan University College of Information Science and Engineering has also recently been selected as one of the G30+ recipients to improve instruction in English