Public Relations Office January 24, 2017
On January 8, an open forum in English was hosted by 10 students from Kwansei Gakuin University and the Harvard College Japan Initiative (HCJI), a student-run organization at Harvard University dedicated to fostering greater interaction between students from the US and Japan. The forum was held at the Nishinomiya City Inter-University Cooperation Center (ACTA Nishinomiya East Wing, 6th Floor) under the theme “The Future Global Society That We Will Lead.” Focusing on the educational situation in Cambodia as a case study, the discussion featured topics such as how to firmly set an educational system in place.
The forum was attended by about 50 members of the general public, ranging from high school students to adults. In the second half of the program, the Harvard and KGU students and participants from the general public divided into small groups for a lively exchange of views among people of different backgrounds, ages, and nationalities.
At the Nishinomiya Uegahara Campus over the two days leading up to the forum, students from both universities attended a lecture by KGU School of Policy Studies Professor Shunichi Murata, the former Director of the United Nations Development Program’s Representative Office in Tokyo, and split up into mixed groups to give presentations and prepare for the forum. One of the participants was Masaharu Suenaga, a junior in the School of Policy Studies, who had taken part in an international social action program in the Philippines as a sophomore. He said: “I was able to raise questions about educational issues in Cambodia by putting myself in the shoes of the local people. My hands-on experience in the Philippines made me confident in expressing my views.”
Students on the KGU side were led by Konatsu Hashimoto, a senior in the School of Humanities. Reflecting on the event, she said it was “totally student-planned and student-run. With help from many different people, we were able to put our ideas into action, such as what we wanted to discuss with the Harvard students and how we wanted to get the high school students involved in thinking about the state of global society. It was a significant experience for me.”