2021 New Year's Greetings from the President
The dawn of 2021 can be marked by many difficulties triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although we still face strict regulations, we continue to pursue our goal to serve as an educational and academic hub with great accessibility and openness to the communities. I firmly believe that our constant and diligent efforts to achieve this goal will spark innovations and ignite creativity to further advance our initiatives in 2021.
Let me start my new year's greetings with Gifu University's vision for 2021 by reviewing some memorable events that took place in 2020.
On April 1, 2020, the new national university corporation, "Tokai National Higher Education and Research System (THERS)," was launched, integrating Gifu University and Nagoya University into a single framework. Gifu University is now officially called "Tokai National Higher Education and Research System, Gifu University." Under the concept "Regions for the world, and the world for the regions," Gifu University aims to become not only the core base for regional revitalization, but also an educational and research hub for Japan and the world to demonstrate our academic prowess and prove our significant advantages both at home and abroad. Since the start of THERS, we have been committed to developing the newly established "Academic Central" and the four core educational and research centers under THERS, namely the Institute for Glyco-core Research (iGCORE), Center for Healthcare Information Technology (C-HiT), Aerospace Research and Education Hub (AREH), and Education and Research Institute for Agricultural Sciences.
With respect to major projects related to THERS, rapid progress has been observed in every initiative implemented by Academic Central and the abovementioned four centers. In particular, operation of AREH will begin in April 2021 in a new, specifically designed building. Furthermore, iGCORE has been formulating joint research core accessible from all around the world.
Next, I would like to discuss the new master's program which started on April 1, 2020. In this Health Professions Education (master's program) of the Graduate School of Medicine, the selection of students up to the second year has already been completed. Students who have outstanding academic records and come from diverse backgrounds are admitted to the program (only one in every 2.3 applicants was selected in the admission screening process). Majority of the concerned people with medical education in Japan, now, focuses their eyes on this unique master's program, and further development of the program is under intensive deliberation by the program educators. The establishment of the new School of Social System Management on April 1, 2021 was prompted by strong requests from various quarters in local communities. After completing all the courses, students will be conferred a bachelor's degree in business management. With support from Nagoya University, the school will provide students with an opportunity to learn unique community-based business management models and practices. I would also like to add that Gifu University Faculty of Education Affiliated Elementary and Junior High Schools made a fresh start in April 2020 as the "Gifu University Faculty of Education Affiliated Compulsory School System (Elementary-Junior High)." Currently, consistent urban-style school curriculums are being developed to meet the real needs of children.
Amidst the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the biggest issue for any educational institution has been to find the right balance between in-person and online classes (we call the latter "e-Learning").
At the beginning of AY 2020, we had no choice but to offer only e-Learning programs to our students. We found that e-Learning programs work best for students who are studying knowledge-intensive subjects. We gradually resumed face-to-face, lecture-style classes from June, but we still need to figure out the best mix of in-person and online classes for the benefit of our students. Needless to say, only when all relevant data has been collected and every detail of classes, programs, hours, credits, etc., has been thoroughly examined can we reach a conclusion on the true merits of our best mix.
Lastly, let me announce that the "Engine 01"project, which was postponed last year, is scheduled to be held from Friday, October 8 to Sunday, October 10, 2021. The project details will be announced soon.
I would like to conclude my 2021 new year's greetings by wishing you the very best in 2021.
January 4, 2021
President of Gifu University
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