I am KAWAHARA Genta, Director of the Center for Global Initiatives.
There is still no end in sight to the COVID-19 pandemic which spread throughout the world in 2020. As we head toward a new normal amid the pandemic, our challenges to promote globalization have also entered a new phase.
This center was established in April 2016 with three divisions: the Global Outreach Section, the Global Collaboration Section, and the Global Exchange Support Section. These divisions combined the functions of intramural and extramural international collaboration and exchange support that were mainly carried out by our two previous centers: the Global Collaboration Center and the Office for the Promotion of International Strategy.
In April 2017, this center was reformed as an educational research organization for the development of new projects. Other functions included continuing its previous duties, enhancing globalization at the university, creating diverse collaboration opportunities in and outside the university, and spreading the presence of Osaka University worldwide.
That iteration of the Center for Global Initiatives had four divisions: the Planning Unit, which specialized in planning and drafting global collaboration projects; the Global Strategy Unit, which focused on global PR projects and information sharing related to inter-university academic exchange agreements; the Overseas Centers Unit, which was previously the separate Supervisory Office for Overseas Centers; and the Campus Innovation Unit, which was responsible for collaboration projects involving JICA and the ASEAN Campus Project.
In April 2021, the Center for Global Initiatives was restructured as an organization consisting of one head office and three units so as to more effectively continue promoting and implementing three high-priority projects: Global Knowledge Partners, the ASEAN Campus project, and the acceptance of outstanding exchange students.
Through these developments, this center has enhanced its planning functions under the Executive Vice President of Global Engagement. Our center, together with the Global Engagement Board, will lead the integrated and organized global expansion of Osaka University by directly promoting its projects as well as strengthening the network for cooperation with relevant organizations of the university.
While the rate of globalization increases, issues and challenges on a global scale, such as COVID-19, continue to rise and grow more serious. To surmount these threats, it has become more important to seek mutual understanding between countries, and a need has arisen to establish a new way of international exchange.
Each division of the center cooperates as one unit, and uses its unique characteristics to promote global collaboration while cooperating with the other divisions of the university, creating a center whose activities are well-known in, and beyond the walls of, Osaka University. We graciously ask for your sincere support in our endeavors.