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Campus Now

Spring Verdure Issue (May. 2013)

SPECIAL REPORT

Waseda Vision 150 Student Competition 2012

Waseda’s future as conceived by students

Students play a leading role at our university. As such, their active participation in education and research is viewed as extremely important for achieving “Waseda Vision 150,” the mid- to long-term plan of Waseda University. At Waseda Vision 150 Student Competition 2012, students gave competition-style presentations for their own visions of “Waseda’s future.” The competition was jointly held with the Waseda University Alumni Association and sponsored by the Waseda University Digital Campus Consortium.

This inaugural competition featured participation by 39 teams, 7 of which advanced to the finals. This article follows each team’s experience during the finals held at the Ono Memorial Auditorium on March 18th, and conveys Waseda University’s expectations towards students.

*Information on “Waseda Vision 150”: http://www.waseda.jp/keiei/vision150/

Discussion with award-winning teams

Feelings toward a Waseda 20 years in the future

From among the 7 teams participating in the finals, this article introduces the presentation contents and comments of the 3 teams winning the Gold Prize, Silver Prize and Bronze Prize. Also introduced are comments from the 4 teams which won an Incentive Prize. (Academic years are listed at the time of the finals.)

Gold Prize

Team Wase-Jo

Person×Person=Infinity

From left
Yuka Saito (4th-year student at the School of International Liberal Studies)
Erika Miura (4th-year student at the School of Political Science and Economics; Team Leader)

Presentation Contents

Wase-Jo focused on questionnaire results which showed that engaging in an activity with others increases the feeling of fulfillment towards university life. The results also showed that students enjoyed life at university the more the feeling of fulfillment increased. Based on these results, Wase-Jo formed a hypothesis for a positive correlation diagram in which engaging in an activity with others is tied to enjoying life at university. However, the large number of students at Waseda University tends to dilute the connection between individuals. It is difficult to form close friendships simply by attending classes and there are few opportunities to engage in debate with friends. Therefore, Wase-Jo proposed establishing a “Study Group,” which is a small-group study activity that is voluntarily held at universities in the U.S., as well as “W-Space,” which is an opportunity for interaction between students. In this way, deep relationships between students and deep understanding of classes will lead to love of university. Furthermore, students learn to respect each other’s values through this interaction. This is essential for the cultivation of global leaders who realize their dreams by involving others. The theme “Person×Person=Infinity” contains the feeling that unique and independent Waseda students should be able to form new values through encounters with others.

Comment upon winning the Gold Prize

It’s important for students to give our opinion to the university and be aware of improving our school!

We had always wanted an opportunity for students to make proposals to the university. When we heard from university staff that the Waseda Vision 150 Student Competition 2012 would be held, we decided to participate together. We have been friends since junior high school.

We focused on a presentation which would resonate with our audience. As opposed to giving presentations at seminar classes, we were conscious of reaching out to our audience from the stage and making our proposal easy to understand. The two of us held countless discussion in order to prepare a script with a clear composition. We also recorded our rehearsal and checked it thoroughly. We even got creative with the positions in which we stood. It was our first presentation on a big stage and we struggled in some areas. We forgot some of our lines and were unable to use the PowerPoint material smoothly. Even so, after our presentation, judges and audience members told us that we were easy to understand. We felt happy that our hard work had paid off and were overjoyed that we had persisted in creating our presentation.

We don’t know if our proposal will actually be implemented. However, we hope that in 20 years from now, Waseda will be a place for mutual interaction that overcomes the borders between different undergraduate schools, nationalities and cultures. The Waseda school song contains the following verse: “Her students change from year to year / Meet and part with youth's delight / Yet all alike we seek to share / These ideals and their light.” Even when students go their separate ways after graduation, it is wonderful to share “dreams” with “friends made at Waseda.” Upon viewing the presentations by other teams, we were touched to see how other students are also devising various ideas for “improving Waseda.” We feel that students must be more proactive in giving their opinions to our university. Personally, we made our first proposal to the university in our 4th year. Through these evrnts, we felt that students, faculty and staff will collaborate to cultivate an even better university, a Waseda where students can take the initiative to act. We hope that today’s younger students and future Waseda students will bring even more energy to our school in order to realize a worldwide “Waseda” in 20 years.

Silver Prize

Research Office of Waseda University Advertising Society

Proposal for Waseda University information events held by university students for applicants taking entrance examinations

From left
Ryo Miyaki (3rd-year student at the School of Political Science and Economics)
Taiga Shimada (3rd-year student at the School of Sport Sciences; Team Leader)
Ko Fujimura (3rd-year student at the School of Culture, Media and Society)
Saki Uchida (3rd-year student at the School of Commerce) *Absent on day of the finals.

Presentation Contents

Based on “wasPARTY” held by the Waseda University Advertising Society, this team proposed an event for conveying to applicants taking entrance examinations the positive aspects of Waseda as seen by university students. The team added an academic aspect to the theme of “advertising Waseda University.” Their proposal called for a panel discussion by representatives of all undergraduate schools and live talks by foreign students from overseas. Such activities would appeal the global flavor of “Waseda” to applicants taking entrance examinations and lead to increased competitiveness for our university.

Comment upon winning the Silver Prize

We hope that Waseda will continue to exist as a university which transmits student culture!

We had absolute confidence in the value and potential of our event, so we focused on conveying that confidence. We can’t imagine what we, Japan and the world will be like in 20 years. However, in 20 years from now, we hope that Waseda will continue to hold true to its founding spirit and transmit student culture. We agree with many parts of “Waseda Vision 150” and hope that many aspects of the vision will be realized. We would be very happy if our proposal could contribute to realization of the vision.

Bronze Prize

Team Promoting International Human Exchange

Promoting the cultivation of global professionals by implementing GPA

From left
Tomohide Mitsumori (4th-year student at the School of Culture, Media and Society; Team Leader)
Kentaro Osaki (4th-year student at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences)

Presentation Contents

Even if a student decides to study overseas, complicated administrative procedures are required both before and after foreign study. Such procedures often interfere with student’s plans for entering graduate school or searching for a job. Furthermore, there are vague standards for converting grades to recognized credits. Therefore, we propose implementing the GPA system used in America in order to increase the efficiency of administrative procedures and to enable accurate performance evaluation. The adoption of an international standard would increase the number of Japanese students who study overseas, thus accelerating the cultivation of global professionals who possess an international perspective.

Comment upon winning the Bronze Prize

Students have the responsibility of committing to internationalization of the university!

In these events, the university accepted proposals from students. We felt that this is the first step to true internationalization of Waseda. Both of us have studied abroad from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and the School of Culture, Media and Society. As students who possess an international perspective, we believe that it is our responsibility to commit to the process of internationalizing our university. Although it is necessary to attract foreign students in order to realize “Worldwide Waseda,” it is also essential to send Japanese students overseas. This will lead to increased international recognition for Waseda. We believe that Waseda can no longer be satisfied with being considered as the top school in only Japan.

Incentive Prize

High School Student Navi

We wanted to make a proposal to the university as representatives of “Kouhai Navi,” a group which is officially recognized by the university and provides support for new students each year. Our idea was for Waseda students to make an official trip to regional high school in order to hold a live talk session for conveying the appeal of Waseda. Currently, prospective students from regional high schools are unable to gather sufficient information on Waseda. Another area of concern is the decrease in new students from regional high schools, as shown by entrance examination results from the past 5 years. “Student diversity” is a tradition and quality of Waseda, and is essential for globalization focusing on the future. Even as Waseda adapts to globalization and other social changes, we hope that the university will grow while protecting its tradition and quality, even after dozens of years.

KYM Waseda

Our proposal focused on expanding Waseda’s field throughout the world and establishing a system to encourage proactive participation and competition by students in research based on the experience of studying abroad. Many of our ideas are already being considered and implemented by the university. On the other hand, we struggled to ensure that the balance between practicality at the implementation phase and financial feasibility of creative ideas was not lost. In the future, as alumni, we will make every effort to watch over the growth and performance of Waseda university. When considering the advanced projects which Waseda has implemented in the past, we firmly believe that our university and its students are capable of creating an unknown world that exists 20 years in the future.

Team Theatre Waseda

We became friends through theatre. Currently, there are few opportunities for conveying Waseda theatre outside the campus. There is also a lack of places to practice theatre. One reason is that the Waseda Drama Hall was demolished in 2011 due to the issue of earthquake resistance. The hall was filled with the history of the growth of Waseda theatre and there is no substitute facility that could be used after the demolition. In order to ensure the future of Waseda theatre, we felt the need for a new facility which can be used as an alternative to Waseda Drama Hall. In addition to helping theatre students, this facility would go beyond the confines of campus and contribute to the benefit of Waseda as a town. In 20 years, we hope that Waseda theatre will be eccentric, moody, pop and underground!

Waseda Concierge

While working as the students and alumni of “Kouhai-Navi,” we found that most of the student support services offered by the university are not known by students. Even enriched services become meaningless, unless they are used. In order to utilize existing services, we proposed a publicity campaign by students. In our presentation, we repeated one motif (cogwheel) to develop a story. We hope that our proposal will be actualized as one of new systems or services. Nowadays, it is reported that Waseda University is losing ground to other colleges, but we hope that Waseda University will remain itself and grow further.