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Imagine middle and high schools on a university campus

  • Read in Japanese
  • 2017/05/31

Institute of International Education and Exchange

Designated Prof. Atsuko Tsuji


One day at the end of May, high school students filled the Sakata & Hirata Hall of the School of Science. Among them were about 90 high school students from India, Nepal and Bhutan who had been invited to Japan for Sakura Science, the Japan-Asia Youth Exchange Program in Science, sponsored by the Japan Science and Technology Agency. The program brings high school students to Japan on exchange programs from Asia. Also present were about 120 grade ten high school students from the Nagoya University Affiliated Upper Secondary School. The Asian students stayed in Japan for about a week, listening to lectures from Nobel laureates, touring universities, having exchanges with Japanese high school students, and experiencing Japanese culture. The goal is to boost interest in Japanese science and technology through a variety of programs.

In the Hall, with Naoshi Sugiyama (Dean, School of Science) interviewing, Toshihide Maskawa (Nobel laureate for his work in theoretical physics) recounted his childhood memories and an interest in everything he saw and heard, reflecting upon his student days in Nagoya University as a time when he always debated with colleagues. Above all, he encouraged students to start out with aspirations and fascination. The students listened intently, and the hall was sometimes punctuated by laughter. They later separated into groups and socialized over lunch, then moved on to the affiliated secondary schools on campus to experience Japanese culture in the forms of Japanese harps, art of flower arrangement, traditional tea ceremony, and so on. For the participants these were undeniably special experiences.

It was slightly unfortunate that the Asian students did not have the opportunity to visit the research labs of Nagoya University, but I certainly hope that next time, participants will be able to visit these sites that Prof. Maskawa had said were so interesting. Among them are sure to be students who will aim to study at Nagoya University.

Actually, the Affiliated Upper Secondary School has exchange programs involving mutual home stays with high schools in countries like the US and Mongolia. While in Japan students from abroad had the opportunity to visit Nagoya University, and some of them are said to be planning to study here. Under the Sakura Science program about 1,000 high school students come to Japan each year. Hearing a lecture by a Nobel laureate is just the beginning of what they could do here.

Students in group photo with Dr. Maskawa after lecture

It is indisputable that there are enormous benefits of exposing curious young minds to a variety of experiences in new environments. The Nagoya University Affiliated Upper and Lower Secondary Schools offer a unique education thanks to their location inside a university, where students are in walking distance of lectures by Nobel laureates. Let me explain some examples of this......> read more on the Meidai Watch

Atsuko Tsuji: Earned B.A. in Arts, College of Arts and Sciences, the University of Tokyo in 1976. Joined The Asahi Shimbun Company in 1979 as a journalist and wrote many articles in science and technology area for newspaper and magazines published by the company including editorial pieces. Knight Science Journalism Fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1989 and Reuters Fellow at University of Oxford in 2014. Designated Professor of Nagoya University's Institute of International Education and Exchange since October 2016.

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