Temple University, Japan Campus (TUJ), announced today that Philip Morris Japan (http://www.philipmorrisinternational.com) has made a generous ¥5 million grant to support TUJ programs and courses related to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). The funding will be divided equally between a certificate program in NGO Skills Development Training in the Continuing Education Program and a new course on NGOs in the Undergraduate Program.

TUJ began offering NGO-related courses in 1997 as part of its Corporate Education Program. In 2000, the courses were shifted to Continuing Education, which provides adult learners with a wide variety of non-degree courses and programs. In 2002, TUJ introduced a certificate in NGO Skills Development Training. Only one student chose to pursue the certification at that time. With Philip Morris Japan providing financial support since 2003, however, TUJ has been able to significantly enhance the content and marketing of the program. As a result, eight students have completed the coursework and earned the certificate, with about ten more currently working toward certification. The new grant will be used to provide financial assistance to students in the program and to expand the program curriculum, supporting a training program that will contribute greatly to Japan’s NGO capacity.

In January 2006, a new course entitled “NGOs in International Development” was added to the Undergraduate Program. The course, which helps satisfy requirements for the International Affairs major, provides students with a comparative overview of development theory, with a special focus on India, and then considers the present and potential role of NGOs in the development process.

The classroom portion of the coursework will also prepare students for doing fieldwork at an NGO in South India called the M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (http://www.mssrf.org). The students will be involved in an MSSRF project called “Mission 2007: Every Village a Knowledge Centre,” which seeks to combine cutting-edge information and communication technologies with local-level training to support poverty alleviation, sustainable development, and environmental preservation. The Philip Morris Japan grant covers all expenses related to the classroom and fieldwork modules. Enrollment in the course was limited to 10 students, with interested students required to submit essays explaining why they wanted to take the course. Nearly 30 students applied for the course, with the successful applicants chosen by a faculty committee.

“We are extremely grateful to Philip Morris Japan for their continuing, generous support of TUJ’s NGO-related education and training initiatives,” said Kirk R. Patterson, the dean of TUJ. “Philip Morris Japan recognizes that NGOs are playing an increasingly important role in social and economic development, in Japan and around the world, and that proper education and training are necessary to raise NGO effectiveness. With its support, TUJ is better able to prepare individuals for successful careers working at or with, and, more broadly, to raise public awareness and support of NGOs.”