Activity Report of Open Application Program 2020 vol.16 (Online)
Online exchange sessions with Xiamen University in China
Report from the Graduate School of Environmental Studies of Tohoku University
Tohoku University and Xiamen University in China held online exchange sessions over 4 days from January 18-21, 2021. 13 undergraduate and graduate school students and one instructor from Xiamen University and 12 undergraduate and graduate school students and 2 instructors from the Komai & Watanabe Lab. of Environmental Studies at Tohoku University participated in the online exchange sessions that were supported by the JST Sakura Science Exchange Program. The sessions were held as part of an agreement dating back to 2005 between Tohoku University and Xiamen University.
Soil pollution is referred to as stock pollution, and highly economic and effective countermeasures must be implemented for sustainable urban development. The mere fact that instructors and students of educational institutions from Japan and China, which share various soil pollution problems, interacted with each other and implemented education and research bi-directionally is important in the global perspective, and many achievements in terms of education and study resulted. In particular, starting with the distribution of videos originally created through interviews with companies, local municipalities, and educational institutions related to soil environmental problems, active interaction such as group discussions and opinion exchanges by students of both countries were realized, and the session ended up being an extremely meaningful exchange for both sides.
Although Tohoku University and Xiamen University have an agreement, the exchange experience in January encouraged us to deepen interaction further with an eye on concluding an agreement between environmental faculties and promoting exchange among students, accepting/sending students from/to each other, and holding joint educational programs. Specifically, two Xiamen University students have applied to enter the International Environmental Leadership Program deployed by Tohoku University and are scheduled to study in the master’s course in Tohoku University. Furthermore, through the online exchange sessions in question, both universities agreed to launch international joint research on sustainable remediation technology for soil pollution, which is major problem for both Japan and China, and jointly apply for the funding of a research project from the JSPS International Joint Research Program.
By taking advantage of the benefits of the online environment, the online exchange sessions were provided in an active education format that included online lessons, lecture sessions, and group discussions. On the other hand, since it is natural that joint experiment operations and the creation of international academic papers face restrictions when conducted online only, we would like to upgrade the level of education and research of both sides further by interacting in person through joint experiments and other joint work, etc. Furthermore, we plan to hold exchanges with universities in other Asian regions such as Thailand and Indonesia in the future, and we will submit an open program application to the Sakura Science Program in the next fiscal year again to promote exchange.