Pre-event for 5th Japan-Mexico Rectors’ Summit

3 guest speakers presenting on topics of interest of Higher Education Institutions from both countries

On October 7 (JST) / 6th (CDT), 2021, a pre-event for the 5th Japan-Mexico Rectors’ Summit was held online, with around 300 participants, joined by the rector of universities, faculty and staff members, as well as students from Japan and Mexico. This event was hosted by Sophia University, Japan, held to build momentum for the upcoming Summit participation, which has been postponed until October 6-7, 2022, from the initially scheduled hosting in 2021, due to the pandemic. The event comprised of talk sessions inviting in total of 3 guest speakers presenting on topics of interest of Higher Education Institutions from both countries.

Japan-Mexico Rectors’ Summit has been held every two years since 2011, hosted by the universities of the two countries in turn, to bring together the rectors of Japanese and Mexican universities, strengthen the bonds of friendship, and develop new partnerships and collaborations. The fifth conference will be held in October 2022 at Sophia’s Yotsuya Campus, to discuss the societal role of the universities in dealing with various global risks with the theme of “Global Risks and Universities.”

Moderated by Professor Hiroyuki TANI, Director of Iberoamerican Institute at Sophia, the event was first opened by the address made by President Yoshiaki TERUMICHI. Expressing his welcome, he stated “I hope that the sense of unity of the university community between the two countries will be fostered through the exchange of diverse discussions and the sharing of awareness of issues in Japan and Mexico with different cultures and social backgrounds.”

Professor Kazuo WATANABE, from the School of Life and Environmental Science at University of Tsukuba, gave a presentation on ‘Triple helix (academy-government-industry) Collaboration.’ While introducing examples of joint research between University of Tsukuba and Mexican universities joined by Mexican corporations, Professor Watanabe addressed, “We are committed to increasing the interest of students and young researchers for Mexico,” with emphasis on enhancement of Spanish language education in Japan. He also claimed another challenge is how Japanese universities can meet the need of Mexican students studying here in Japan as to their employment.

Then Dr. Silvia GIORGULI, President of El Colegio de México, presented on the topic of ‘Women participation in research fields,’ introducing the insights from the observation of higher education institutions in Mexico. Explaining the current of women’s participation in Mexico, how it is more progressed compared to Japan, she claimed that in order to eliminate the gender gap in higher education institutions, it is necessary to establish an organization that promotes gender equality within universities.

Professor Takeshi HIROSE, from the SHARE Office at Kyushu University, also gave a presentation on the theme of ‘World University Rankings’ and introduced the reputation management (i.e., strategic efforts to improve reputation) of Kyushu University. He made an emphasis that “in order to improve the university world rankings, it is essential to raise the profile of the university overseas,” claiming the cruciality of the university public relation as well as hosting of international conferences empowered by university-wide support system.

In the closing remarks made by Her Excellency Ms. Melba PRÍA, Ambassador of Mexico to Japan, she reflected on each of the three presentations, and also mentioned the long-standing friendship between Japan and Mexico for over four centuries – noted on the Summit as an innovative opportunity to further develop the relationship and to bring solutions to the challenges both countries face. Lastly, she expressed her hopes for the Summit to be held next year.

For more information, visit the event website.

Sophia University

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