Ochanomizu University and Nara Women’s University Conclude Comprehensive Agreement to Build Center to Train Female Science and Engineering Leaders and Promote Exchanges of Students and Faculty
On Tuesday, March 3, 2015, Ochanomizu University and Nara Women’s University entered into a comprehensive agreement to build a center to train female science and engineering leaders and promote exchanges of students and faculty. The two schools are combining their strengths and distinctive qualities under the agreement to promote two primary initiatives, the Collaborative Organization for Research in Women’s Education of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (CORE of STEM) and the Division of Cooperative Major in Human Centered Engineering. They also promote exchanges of students and faculty, striving for broad cooperation in the fields of education and research. Their mutual aim is to advance both universities by sharing their academic research results and other activities. They seek to contribute to society and Japan’s development through those results.
The signing ceremony was held at Nara Women’s University, where the respective presidents, Sawako Hanyu and Haruki Imaoka, signed the agreement.
Following the signing ceremony, the universities briefed news organizations on their efforts to advance the CORE of STEM and the Division of Cooperative Major in Human Centered Engineering, and held a Q&A session.
The CORE of STEM’s goals include reassessing science and math training in secondary and higher education courses, developing curricula to promote access of female high school students to higher education in science and engineering fields, and training women for global leadership roles in science.
The Division of Cooperative Major in Human Centered Engineering is a specialized curriculum that involves studies related to the new engineering field of human centered engineering. It will comprehensively cover human lifestyles with a basis in materials engineering, information sciences and environmental design engineering. This major accepts fourteen students in the master’s program and four in the doctoral program. It creates a major opening for female engineers by conferring the first engineering degree at any women’s university’s graduate school in Japan. Our goal is to train women to take leadership roles in engineering, play active roles in promoting life information and green innovation, consider things from the perspective of lifestyle requirements, and create a passage to a new era in which we align science and technology with our lifestyle modes.
We were asked about the merits of the two schools’ collaboration during the Q&A session. We noted that having the center located in a major metropolitan area and an ancient capital—with their social, cultural and historical differences—would allow us to put their geographical advantages to good use, facilitating nationwide interaction among researchers and students, as well as serving as the impetus for additional collaborations with other organizations. We anticipate that human centered engineering will be more widely popularized within Japan and additionally promoted overseas.
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