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JIGE Kick-Off Symposium recap: Day 3


The concluding day of the JIGE Kick-Off symposium provided its participants with incredible professional learning and networking opportunities as it featured various workshops, meetings, and a Student Ideathon Event. 





The day began with a meeting between Japanese Universities that have been selected for the 2023-2028 Inter-University Exchange Project. Under this project, 13 projects by 19 Japanese universities receive funding from the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) to promote international exchange with US universities through virtual exchange and COIL. The JIGE initiative will play a leading role in this project, as it will serve as an information platform for all the selected universities to support them in their endeavors. 


During the meeting, the universities met with representatives from MEXT, shared different resources and opportunities for collaboration, discussed future plans, and received more information about the role and services of JIGE. 

The second meeting was the bi-annual General Assembly Meeting of the JPN-COIL Association. During this meeting, the member universities welcomed new member universities and discussed the potential of micro-credentials in Japan. Another important focus of the meeting was on the ways the JIGE initiative can support the JPN-COIL Association members. Since its inception, the network has grown substantially and currently comprises 58 universities, 35 individual members, and 11 supporting organization members. 





In the afternoon, the participants of the JIGE Kick-Off Symposium had a chance to participate in one of the two captivating workshops. The first, titled "Unlocking the Potential of Online Educational Content: JV-Campus, MOOCs, and Micro-Credentials," delved into the realm of digital internationalization. The discussion revolved around the potential of micro-credentials and the innovative JV-Campus platform, a virtual platform in Japan created to connect education providers with learners online. Guiding the session were esteemed facilitators: Keiko Ikeda (JIGE & IIGE), Masahiro Inoue (Keio University), and Ryosuke Ohniwa (JV-Campus & University of Tsukuba), with the valuable insights of Dr. Shingo Ashizawa (Kansai University of International Studies) serving as a special commentary for the workshop.


In the second workshop, titled "Defining Blended Mobility",' participants acquired insights into strategies for creating and sustaining successful Blended Mobility (BM) programs. Following enlightening discussions, attendees collaborated in teams to formulate their own BM projects. Facilitated by Alfonso Diaz Segura (CEU Educational Group), Stephanie Doscher (Florida International Uni.), and Eva Haug (Amsterdam Uni. of Applied Sciences), participants received guidance as they developed their projects.


Student Innovator Ideathon


The day concluded with a special event called the Innovator Student Start-up Ideathon (organized by JIGE & nominally supported by the U.S. Consulate General Osaka-Kobe). During this event, 6 Kansai University students took the stage to pitch business proposals for startup companies to a panel of investors. The event was facilitated by Jim Huang, who worked with the students for over 15 weeks during a course on entrepreneurship. 


Reflecting on the three days of the JIGE Kick-Off Symposium, our gratitude extends to the exceptional facilitators, speakers,  and participants who transformed the commencement of the JIGE project into a truly magnificent event. We are looking forward to future collaboration over the next 5 years of the initative.