June 1, 2009

On Friday 29th May 2009, a signing ceremony was held to officially mark a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for collaborative academic programs, initiatives and exchanges between Temple University, Japan Campus (TUJ), and Tohoku University of Community Service and Science (Koeki University). The ceremony held at the Koeki University campus in Yamagata Prefecture was the culmination of extensive consultation and preparatory work between the two universities.

As the first fruit of this collaboration, TUJ will provide Koeki University with three extended English language programs at their Yamagata campus during the summer break in August-September this year. TUJ has developed the programs in response to a request from Koeki University to help advance its aims to improve the linguistic proficiency of its students, as well as promote a liberal arts education backed by critical thinking abilities. In addition to current students of the university, these programs will also accept high school students and adults.

In a break with the simple conversation practice and entrance exam preparation focus of most English language programs, these programs were specially created to serve as the first step in mastering the ability to use English in international society. Specifically, these theme-based programs will foster the ability to comprehensively apply the four basic skills of reading, writing, listening, and speaking that the students already have. This will be done through a range of activities covering input (information gathering and research), processing (information analysis and opinion formation) and output (presentation using appropriate language and expressions).

The summer program schedule at Koeki University is:

  • Monday, August 3 – Friday, August 14 – Course for high school students: “Shonai* Tourist Information Video Project” (total 45 hours)
  • Monday, August 24 – Friday, September 4 – Course for university students and adults: “Introductory International Business Studies” (total 45 hours)
  • Monday, August 10 – Friday, September 4 – Course for university students and adults: “American Studies” (total 90 hours)
  • *Shonai is the name of the region in which Koeki University is located.

Commenting on the MOU at the signing ceremony, Masahiro Kuroda, President of Koeki University said: “I believe this MOU between Temple University, Japan Campus and our university represents an extremely important milestone, enabling us to take a highly effective first step in the future of university and regional education. Since its establishment over 25 years ago, TUJ has integrated into Japanese society and culture, and has extensive experience working with Japanese universities, corporate training, continuing education, and similar fields. Starting with this MOU, we aim to enhance exchanges between the students of both schools, and to pursue new types of alliances between foreign and Japanese universities. Intensive English study through the summer programs offered by TUJ will without a doubt lead to the enhancement of practical linguistic skills, which is one element of our university’s commitment to the practical application of education.”

Dean Bruce Stronach of TUJ added: “The TUJ-Koeki University relationship serves many purposes. Its main mission is to develop the English language abilities, communication abilities, and also intellectual skills of the participating students. However, beyond that, it will be a model for innovative partnering between a foreign university in Japan and a Japanese university, as well as a model of innovative partnering between a Tokyo-based institution and a regional institution. We at TUJ believe partnering is essential to developing the high-quality academic and educational programs necessary for success, both here in Japan and around the world. On a personal note, I have known President Kuroda for more than three decades and I know that under his leadership this partnership will be an outstanding success.”

Please direct application inquiries about these summer English language programs directly to Koeki University.

About Koeki University

Tohoku University of Community Service and Science was founded in 2001 in a public/private venture, with funding by the Yamagata Prefectural Government and fourteen (at that time) municipalities in the Shonai area, and is administered as a private University. It is the only university in Japan that offers “Koeki (public interest)” studies that are designed for a new socioeconomic system. It provides finely tuned, personalized study with a very favorable student faculty ratio of 1 to 5-6 per year. This environment not only helps students to master a broad range of intellectual skills, but also to develop an approach to solving social problems based on a liberal perspective. Beginning in 2009, it is introducing four new courses that further its aim to train future leaders in Japan who take initiatives to realize a society with a public interest orientation. The new courses are: policy management; community co-creation; social welfare; and environmental science.

For more information on Tohoku University of Community Service and Science see: http://www.koeki-u.ac.jp/