Sophia Magazine vol.1 / SUMMER 2015

28 I appreciate the WFP’s initiative to work with us, as it was the rst UN agency to make a partnership agreement with So-phia University, followed by UNDP (United Nations Develop-ment Program), UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), and several others. The signicance of our partnership with WFP is that it furthers the global education that Sophia University has al-ways been actively pursuing. One goal of Sophia University is to serve people in need, and I would like students to be reminded that there are people in the world who live in very difcult conditions. Moreover, as globalization expands and some societies become prosperous, others stay poor or be-came even poorer, and there is a growing gap between rich and poor. I want students to be concerned about this problem and join the world’s efforts to remedy it. Even though young people in Japan today are generally said to be conservative and inward looking, many freshman at Sophia University are quite motivated to work internation-ally to solve global issues. Our challenge is to maintain their interest and motivation by providing adequate incentives and opportunities. In this regard, our collaboration with WFP is greatly successful, as students will now be able to learn about their projects and programs rst hand. Sophia University offers some 100 courses each year related to international cooperation and began offering its Global Competency Program (GCP) in 2013. The GCP pro-vides intensive courses for those interested in working glob-ally, including in the areas of humanitarian and development assistance. Having a career background as a UN ofcial in organizations such as UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientic and Cultural Organization) and UNMIK (United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo), I rmly believe it is necessary for students to understand the reality on the ground in addition to the theory they study in classrooms. Therefore, we welcome practitioners to come and tell students about their experiences. We also recognize the importance of creating experience-based classes. In one course, for exam-ple, a team of international development consultants teaches students how projects are planned, implemented, monitored and evaluated with workshop-style activities. In developing nations, it is important to be able to foresee potential difcul-ties in implementing projects, such as political unrest, and to include such risks in the project design. In addition to the GCP, I encourage students to go abroad and experience living in a multicultural environment. If they would like to work in the eld of international cooperation, such experience is critical. They need to learn to express their opinions clearly to people who have different back-grounds. They need to learn to use simple language to com-municate. Sophia University, with its highly diverse students body, offers a multicultural environment in this regard. But we have to work harder to create more interactive learning opportunities. Our collaborative relationship with the WFP provides great opportunity for students to better understand international humanitarian cooperation. Students will be able to broaden their horizons, and in the future I hope they will become global leaders working for the common good with people of diverse nationalities. Other possible areas of cooperation between Sophia Univer-sity and international organizations such as the WFP include joint research and evaluation. The international organizations that we collaborate with can use our academic expertise to conceptualize their projects, analyze lessons learnt, and de-velop theory to improve their programs and projects. The professors and graduate students from Sophia Uni-versity are trained in research methods. Practitioners know emerging issues on the ground. By working together, we can contribute to making the world a better place. With such collaborative experiences as we enjoy with the WFP, I believe that we can count on our next generations to truly realize the vision of making a world free from hunger, poverty, and conict.Sophia Responds to Need for Global EducationNurturing the Next Generationfor Global Betterment Learning the Reality of International Cooperation PROFESSOR TARO KOMATSUCooperation

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