A large number of Japanese students will be coming to Cebu for academic exchanges. This is an offshoot of the existing Cebu Province-Saitama Prefecture Monozukuri Project with the cooperation of some universities in both provinces.
Governor Hilario P. Davide III welcomed the newly proposed arrangement. He assured the Saitama officials, who met him last February 11 at the Capitol, of his full support to the project.
The Saitama officials also introduced the new program with the representatives of the University of Philippines, Cebu Technological University, University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R), and University of San Carlos (USC).
Yajima Yukio, executive director, Department of Public Services, Saitama Prefecture, said there is an ongoingtrend for people to go to Europe, America and Australia to study to cope with the demands of globalization.
“However, in recent years more and more people are studying in Asian countries. We are looking for opportunities to send our students from the universities in Saitama to the universities in the Philippines. So we seek cooperation from your side,” said Yajima in the meeting.
He added that the Japanese students will primarily study the English language in Cebu. Engineering students from Cebu are also accepted in Saitama.
Yukio stated that they have been doing similar inquiries in their other sister-cities in other countries. He also said thatSaitama Governor Kiyoshi Uedaplans to visit Cebu on October.
The four (4) Cebu schools are also part of the second phase of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)-funded Monozukuri Project, which wasinitially participated in by USJR and USC. The Cebu Institute of Technology also joined the second phase but was unable to send their representative.
The project is aimed at transferring Japanese Monozukuri philosophy and technology in the manufacturing industries to the would-be young Cebuano workforce.
Monozukuri is a Japanese manufacturing approach and philosophy to help maximize customer satisfaction and create excellent products. Students are equipped with this philosophy in anticipation of landing a job in Japanese companies. Most of the lectures and trainings were done in Cebu while some selected few will fly to Japan for a two-week study.
Professor Sam Tabuchi, director, Asia Public-Private Partnership Institute, Toyo University also attended the meeting. Toyo is one of the participating Japanese universities in the Monozukuri project along with Saitama University, Shibura Institute of Technology, and Nippon Institute of Technology.
However, Toyo University has separate academic exchange programs with UP and USJR. Speaking in behalf of Toyo University, Professor Tabuchi added that apart from learning English language, they are inquiring on double degree programs. “We like our students to also take courses (with our partner universities) and award them with degrees from each university,” he said.
Toyo also wants to expand their international links starting with the universities in the province.