New Gifu University Center for Collaborative Study with Community Opens
An opening ceremony for the new Gifu University Center for Collaborative Study with Community was held on October 25, 2017. The center was established in December 2013 after Gifu University was selected for the Center of Community (COC) Program by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) of Japan. It has been serving as a body to implement and support university's COC Program and Center for Community Program form Local Revitalization (COC+). Since its establishment, the center was located within the building of Organization for Research and Community Development of Gifu University, but was relocated to the new building. The new center now has "Collaborative Study with Community Satellite" space open to both the university and the local municipality officials, and "Future Center Room" where holding "Future Center (discussion session)" is always available.
The opening ceremony was attended by approximately 160 people. On behalf of the organizers, President Hisataka Moriwaki of Gifu University gave an opening speech. He said, "As a core of regional revitalization, the new Center for Collaborative Study with Community will further contribute to success of COC and COC+ programs as a valuable venue for interactions for students, teaching and administrative staff, people in local municipalities, businesses, financial institutions and job placement agencies." Next, three guests of honor delivered congratulatory addresses. They were: Mr. Yusuke Shoji of University Promotion Division, Higher Education Bureau of MEXT, Mr. Yonehiro Bito, Director of Department of the Land of Clear Waters Development, Gifu Prefectural Government and Mr. Hajime Tanaka of Gifu Employers' Association.
After the ceremony, participants were guided by Professor Koichi Masukawa, Director of the center to the new building, and they observed the satellite relay with Takayama City Office, listened to presentations by people who are studying Gifu University's educational program called, "Fostering Next-Generation Regional Leaders" and students' group work. Afterwards, "Future Center" was held at the new "Future Center Room" where 21 participants formed four groups and discussed the theme, "What local communities are expecting from Gifu University."
The theme, "What local communities are expecting from Gifu University" was discussed when the first "Gifu Future Center" was held in 2013. By discussing the same theme, participants were given an opportunity to go back the basic focus on the center. They talked about what kind of activities they got engaged in for university and community relations, and challenges for partnership between university and community such as "cultural differences," "financial matters" and "information sharing." At the end of the discussions, they proposed the following; "create a new culture by developing excellent human resources" and "the center serves as a bridge between universities, students and communities." Lastly, Dr. Hideto Fukushi, Executive Director for Academic Research and Information, Vice President in charge of COC and COC+ gave a closing address; "I hope that starting today, many "Future Center" open spontaneously, and I sincerely look forward to the day when people say, "Gifu is fortunate to have Gifu University" in the future." With this closing remark, all the opening events ended. The ceremony was a big success, and we are all placing a great hope on the future activities of the center.
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