Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology; The Graduate School is Opening its Doors to the World


Photos (1, 2)

As I have mentioned to you several times here, the government of Japan is creating a new Graduate School in Okinawa that is open to the world.

The main buildings are gradually emerging, and the scientists are starting to move into their new offices from their temporary spaces that they’ve worked out of since last year. This year, the institution is commencing the procedure to obtain accreditation as a graduate school.  The recruitment of good researchers is under way, too.

As their web site shows, the content of this institution is truly global.  Of course, it is still far from perfect, and there are a number of issues to be solved (such as things related to the International School, or recruitment of students, etc.), but the bottom line is that this organization, from its inception, opens its doors to the world.  Because of this, I expect a lot.
Dr. Sydney Brenner is the first President of this Institute, and Dr. Jonathan Dorfan is the President elect of the Graduate School.  The list of board members is impressive, too, and I feel it a privilege to work with them. 

After the luncheon at the ACCJ I left Tokyo for Okinawa to attend the OIST board meeting.  We had a good discussion on many issues.  You can see the content and photos here.

It is important to create a new university or a graduate school that is open to the world at its foundation .  Although we talk about change, it is extremely difficult to take real action toward those changes.  We have too many people who come up with reasons for not doing something… I think it is the same in any university.  Japan is full of NATOs (“No Action Talk Only”s).   Universities in Japan are too far behind from the  global mainstream (in Japanese) (Ref.1 in English).  I urge people to act before complaining about the university ‘Rankings’.

To youth, I urge you to go abroad.  And I ask all of you to support such inspiring youth (Ref.1).