November 15, 2007

To commemorate the 25th anniversary of its establishment in Japan, Temple University, Japan Campus (TUJ), hosted a 25th Anniversary Symposium on the theme of “International Education in Japan—A Concept in Search of Substance” at Tokyo’s Roppongi Academy Hills on Saturday, November 10th. The symposium was the highlight of TUJ’s 25th anniversary celebrations, with attendees from diverse fields, including educational institutions, international corporations and organizations, the media, and the general public, enjoying a highly informative and insightful afternoon of presentations and discussions.

The symposium began with keynote presentations by Dr. Gavan McCormack, Emeritus Professor at the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University, who spoke on “Reflections on an International Education Agenda for the 21st Century,” and Sakie T. Fukushima, Regional Managing Director-Japan, Korn/Ferry International, who gave a presentation on “Developing Human Capital for the Global Era.” They were followed by two panel discussions on the topics of “Universities-Developing the Human Resources for a Global Japan” and “English for Children in Japan,” in which experts in their respective fields engaged in lively discussions.

When it was established in 1982, TUJ was the first foreign university in Japan. In the 25 years since then, while about 40 other foreign universities opened and later closed their Japanese branch campuses, TUJ has become a distinctive feature of the Japanese educational landscape. A key factor in TUJ’s success is its unique approach to and implementation of international education. At TUJ, students follow the same curriculum as at the main campus in the U.S., and all courses are taught in English. Forty percent of the student body is comprised of overseas students, while 84% of Undergraduate courses are taught by non-Japanese professors, reaching nearly 100% in the case of graduate studies. In this environment, TUJ has fostered a culture in which Japanese and overseas students come together to learn from each other.

Another key to TUJ’s growth and success is Temple University’s strong commitment to international education. A state-affiliated university in Pennsylvania, Temple University is proud of its over 120-year history. The university has been a pioneer in international education long before it became popular, with the establishment of the Rome Campus in 1966. TUJ subsequently opened its doors in Tokyo in 1982. In 1999, at the request of the Chinese government, Temple University established a law school in Beijing. In addition, Temple students can do study abroad programs in 13 countries on four continents. The rate of participation of main campus students in the study abroad program has increased rapidly over the past few years, reaching 1,000 participants in the 2006-2007 school year-an increase of 80% in just the past six years.

President Ann Weaver Hart, who assumed office in July 2007, has made transforming Temple University into a truly international university one of her major goals. A good example is the dual degree program agreement signed in October of this year with six leading Taiwanese universities(Chung Yuan Christian Univ., National Cheng Kung Univ., National Sun Yat-Sen Univ., National Taiwan Normal Univ., National Taiwan University of Science and Technology and Tunghai Univ.). This program enables students to complete three years of an undergraduate program in Taiwan, before transferring to Temple University for two years, where they can receive both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree.

Also in October, Temple University renewed its collaboration agreement with the Chinese government for its law program in Beijing. This program offers specialized legal training in American law, international law, and other areas to Chinese government officials, lawyers, and prosecutors. The Temple program helps them become members of the international legal community and to contribute to the development of the Chinese legal system.

In congratulating TUJ, President Hart said: “I am proud of the fact that, over the past 25 years, TUJ has continued to offer an American higher education to students from Japan and all over the world. As we celebrate the 25th year anniversary of TUJ’s establishment, even as we strengthen cooperative and collaborative ties with the Japanese government, as well as business and regional communities, I wish to continue in our tradition of educating the leaders of the future international community.”

Keynote Address
Keynote Address by Dr. Gavan McCormack at TUJ 25th Anniversary Symposium (PDF: 55KB)