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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/

Interview

Realizing our Vision together with students

President Kaoru Kamata

I am overjoyed to see how our university is taking action to realize our Vision together with students. Although Waseda University has always tried to consider the thoughts and needs of our students, there is great value in such an opportunity to directly hear students’ opinions. Students have embraced our university’s proposal and given accurate, constructive opinions from their own unique perspective. Their presentation ability and composition was smooth and outstanding. Even so, this event was only the first step. “Waseda Vision 150” does not end with a presentation; instead, the next step starts from here. Our Vision will be achieved through a unified effort from our university, students, alumni and all of our supporters. Our Executive Board will give serious consideration to students’ proposals and will push forward towards the future. In closing, I would like to express my gratitude to the Alumni Association, Digital Campus Consortium, faculty, staff and countless others who worked to make the event a success.

Collaboration by our university, students and Alumni Association leads to the future

Mr. Keiji Nozaki
(graduated from the School of Letters, Arts and Sciences I in 1973)
Vice-President/Organization Chairman of the Waseda University Alumni Association
Member of the Waseda University Congregation

I thought that the results were quite good for the first-ever Waseda Vision 150 Student Competition 2012. In the future, I hope that more PR will be conducted for the contest and that we will have so many applications that it is difficult to choose. We must raise student awareness toward the contest to the point where being selected for the finals is prestigious. We need to create an extremely attractive event overflowing with audience. However, upon hearing the students’ presentations, I felt that many of the proposals focused on the relationship between the university and students—perhaps due to the competition’s theme. Still, I felt that the Alumni Association should have a stronger presence. In the case of both visions and scholarships, it is important to recognize and utilize the Alumni Association and alumni as bypasses which connect the university and its students. Alumni have a deep interest in the university and students. In addition to financial support, we can provide advice based on our experience and knowledge. The media and applicants taking entrance examinations will give greater support to a university where students transmit ideas and alumni, faculty, staff and the university respond to such ideas. I believe that Waseda can enjoy a bright future through cooperation between the university, students and alumni.

Alumni Association Website: http://www.waseda.jp/alumni/

Let’s exert the power of students and move internationally!

Mr. Yoshiki Mizuno
(graduated from the School of Social Sciences in 1986)
Waseda University Digital Campus Consortium (DCC)
Managing Corporation Sony Business Solutions Corporation

DCC is a consortium of corporations and Waseda University. The consortium was started in 1999 in order to promote academic-industrial cooperation in education and research. DCC is working with Waseda University to construct a new education system for the 21st century. One example is educational reform using ICT. When I see the activities of students, I feel that their abilities have improved dramatically. Today’s students possess a high level of presentation composition ability and courage which was unimaginable when I was a student. Also, I feel that students view themselves as members of the reforms for the vision which the university has launched through the recent competition. Students showed the desire to cooperate with Waseda to implement reforms. For this reason, Waseda University has a bright future. From the perspective of corporations, the DCC will provide support to ensure the continuation of this competition. I look forward to an even higher level of competition in the future. Also, I hope that Waseda University will give students the opportunity to be active throughout the world, thus bringing new energy to Japanese as alumni and Japanese citizens.

DCC Website: http://www.waseda.jp/dcc/5th/

Congratulating each other on their hard work, students, alumni, faculty and staff enjoy deepened exchange

Social Gathering

Following the finals, a social gathering was held at the restaurant “Seihoku-no-Kaze” on the 15th floor of Okuma Memorial Tower (Building No. 26). Students, judges, alumni and related officials deepened interaction across teams, undergraduate schools and different generations. President Kamata presented certificates to teams winning the Incentive Award and students discussed their passion toward Waseda.

Interview with Special Judge

Becoming the world’s most unique university through the power of students and the university

We spoke with Mr. Nobuyuki Idei, who served as Special Judge at the finals.

Mr. Nobuyuki Idei
Founder, President and CEO of Quantum Leaps Corporation
Chairman, Board of Trustees, Waseda University

Now is the time to take a big jump forward
Students must propose more unconventional ideas

The world is changing rapidly. Countries, corporation, universities and students must all recognize this fact and change themselves. There are two types of change: change which is continually conducted from the past and change which exceeds the existing framework. Today is a time for taking big jumps. When a rock is thrown, it first flies with great force but then suddenly falls upon reaching a certain point. In the same way, modern Japan has reached a point where it can either jump again or will fall rapidly. We must give serious thought to this point.

Formulated under the guidance of President Kamata, “Waseda Vision 150” recognizes the “need for change.” At the recent “Waseda Vision 150 Student Competition 2012,” a variety of proposals were received from students. There were many well-thought proposals from the perspective of students and I felt that such proposals should have already been implemented. However, when being a bit critical, I got the impression that many of the proposals are simply a progression of past and present activities. At future competitions, I hope to see proposals which take big jumps through the extraordinary and unconventional ideas of young people.

Radiant individuality is important during globalization

People tend to associate the term “globalization” with the process of standardization. However, it’s important to focus on individuality in a world where everything is becoming the same. In addition to conducting education for cultivating all students, I hope that Waseda University will conduct education to cultivate “geniuses” who will realize a new, innovative world. In other words, I want Waseda to elicit the “individuality” of each student. For example, when students enter society, they will be asked “What can you do?” Students must recognize that, in order to clearly answer such a question, there is an urgent need to develop individuality and expertise while at university. At the same time, the cultivation of students with such awareness is a mission that can only be fulfilled by universities. In the future, success will come to people who realize the importance of emphasizing their own individuality and differences from others. I felt that the event was an opportunity for students to achieve such a realization.

Creating value at the forefront of change

To repeat, just as social mechanisms have changed greatly due to the trends of the times, we must recognize that change is being demanded constantly. In the future, will Waseda be buried among the masses, or will Waseda burst forth with new energy? This moment is a crucial point for answering this question. For this very reason, the university, students and other parties are cooperating to enact reforms based on “Waseda Vision 150.”

Students possess the power to change into something new. Universities bring change to the world by cultivating the power of students. As such a university, I hope that Waseda will stay at the forefront of change. Instead of doing things which are possible at any university, I hope that Waseda will create new value by differentiating itself from other universities and seeking to become the world’s most unique university.

Mr. Nobuyuki Idei
Founder, President and CEO of Quantum Leaps Corporation Chairman, Board of Trustees, Waseda University

Graduated from the Waseda University School of Political Science and Economics in 1960. Entered employment at Sony Corporation where he worked in the audio, computer and home video businesses. Appointed as Director in 1989, Executive Director in 1994, and President and COO in 1995. Afterwards, he spent 10 years in various positions such as Chairman and Group CEO. Served as Top Advisor from 2005 to 2007. In September 2006, he founded Quantum Leaps Corporation, which is globally expanding activities for revitalizing industry and creating new industry/business. In June 2012, founded the NPO Asia Innovators’ Initiative and took the position of Chairman.