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The Program for Promoting the Enhancement of Research Universities

Program Overview

The University of Electro-Communications has been selected to be one of the 22 facilities to receive support from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) as part of The Program for Promoting the Enhancement of Research Universities that the ministry started this year.

The purpose of this program is to help universities and inter-university research institutes enhance their research capabilities by implementing programs that combine intensive research environment reforms and the acquisition and utilization of research managers (including research administrators) who will be responsible for research strategy, intellectual property management, and the like.

University Approach

By further pursuing the three pillars of the management strategy laid out under the leadership of the president—namely, “borderless knowledge,” “alliances and cooperation,” and “openness and transparency”—and enhancing our graduate schools, recruitment, and internationalization on the basis of an analysis of the conditions of research activities, we will enhance our research promotion system and strive to be a small university that shines brightly.

Fig.1 Management strategy and conceptual framework (in Japanese)

An analysis of the conditions of the research activities of the university has shown that the research accomplishments of the university in the area of physics are recognized as ranking among the highest in the world and that other fields have also achieved their own distinctive accomplishments. Looking at the results of the analysis as a whole, we have decided to pursue the further enhancement of the research capabilities of the university in the following six ways. Items (2) to (6) will be carried out as part of The Program for Promoting the Enhancement of Research Universities.

(1) Graduate School Enhancement

To enhance our overall research capabilities, it is essential that we train doctoral students, who are the ones who handle the majority of research work. To motivate students through cutting-edge research activities, we will create a new graduate school with a 5-year integrated doctoral program. Also, through our current Super Collaborative Graduate School program, we will train doctoral students who will thrive in company environments. Additionally, we will strive to enhance our collaboration with foreign universities and establish joint and double degree programs with them.

(2) Recruitment Enhancement

To gather a unique and exciting group of researchers who correspond to our strengths and weaknesses, we will break away from a civil-servant style personnel system and recruit capable individuals from industry and other sources outside the university. We will establish an incentive system for young researchers, female researchers, and foreign researchers; invite outstanding researchers to join us; and enhance our priority research areas. To acquire and keep university research administrators (URAs), research support engineers, and other specialists, we will establish a personnel system with clear career paths.

(3) Enhancement of Internationalization

We will develop networks with the researchers of foreign research groups, universities, and research centers, and expand organizational coordination. We will also promote personnel exchange with partner universities and other institutes, develop overseas offices, and strongly expand overseas promotion of our research accomplishments through the dispatching and invitation of faculty and students. Additionally, we will promote the translation into English of official university documents, centralize service counters, and take other measures to make campus life more convenient for foreign researchers and exchange students.

(4) Research Area Enhancement

Fig.2 100-year anniversary campus vision

We will strive to enhance the overall research capabilities of the university by using a scientific document database to regularly analyze the research conditions and trends of the university faculty, identify the strengths and weaknesses of each research area, and plan appropriate research support measures. We will build on the strengths of our physics program, particularly in the area of optics and photonics, and work on forming an international research center. In other fields, we will build on the unique characteristics of each area; enhance our research capabilities by further promoting cooperation with other universities, industry-academia-government collaboration, and international joint research; and strive toward international-research-center status.

(5) Research Promotion System Enhancement

We will establish a new Research Promotion Organization (tentative name) to coordinate the enhancement of research capabilities. The organization will include at least seven university research administrators (URAs) who will be chosen regardless of nationality or gender. A network-style URA model will be constructed in which a variety of different types of collaboration will be efficiently promoted within and outside the university. Also, the current Office for the Promotion of the Gender Equality Program will be changed into a Diversity Promotion Center (tentative name) that will vigorously engage in educational activities and the support of the research of young researchers, female researchers, foreign researchers, and others.

(6) Enhancement of Public Relations

We will build a website for swiftly and reliably publicizing the progress of The Program for Promoting the Enhancement of Research Universities, reports, research accomplishments, and other information. Also, as aids in our efforts to promote international joint research, we will publish English and other versions of our collection of research case studies (OPAL-RING) for promoting joint research. We will also actively work to inform people in Japan and abroad of our research accomplishments by publishing research introduction booklets, brochures, and the like, in which young researchers handling cutting-edge research explain the research strengths of the university.

Implementation System

Organizational chart (in Japanese)

2013 Implementation Status

  • Unique & Exciting Research Symposium (held on October 21 [Mon.], 2013)