14 September 2018

Keiko Ikeda

Kansai University in Osaka, Japan, launches Institute for Innovative Global Education (IIGE) platform as a gateway to global careers for students.

Keiko Ikeda

Professor, Division of International Affairs

Kansai University launches the Institute for Innovative Global Education (IIGE) platform to nurture students with global career mindsets to plan their own careers as active members of the global workforce of the 21st century.

The IIGE platform is funded Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and supported by the American Council of Education (ACE) and US Embassy in Tokyo. The IIGE platform is an online and project based exchange program for students in Japan to interact with counterparts in the USA. One of its main goals is to promote exchange between students in Japan and USA to strengthen relations between the two countries. The IIGE is a five year project with MEXT funding of 25,000,000 JPY per year.

"The IIGE platform evolved from the Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) teaching method that I launched at Kansai University nearly four years ago," explains Professor Keiko Ikeda, Vice-Director, Center of International Education at Kansai University and KU Coordinator for Global Network for COIL, State University of New York. "In COIL based teaching we use information and communication technology to connect students at KU with their counterparts in other countries. COIL aims is to encourage students to pursue collaborative projects that are designed to instill wide ranging skills such as management and international communication."

Their COIL Plus program includes short visits abroad for students at partner universities. Notably, one of the strengths of the COIL approach is that students interact 'virtually' via the internet thereby giving thousands of students the opportunity to take part in projects.

"COIL is a cost-efficient way for many students to work on international projects and the approach overcomes differences in term times and curricula between universities in Japan and the US," says Ikeda. "At KU approximately 1000 students have participated in the COIL program over four years. It is difficult to envisage so many students taking part in standard exchange programs without taking further actions to encourage them to go abroad. The COIL program is one of such endeavors at KU."

Universities in Japan participating the IIGE program

MEXT selected a total of nine universities in Japan for the program with Kansai University having the role of managing the IIGE platform to facilitate the activities of the program.

Kansai University (leading role as facilitator of the platform for the other Japanese universities in the project).

Chiba University
Kagoshima University
Nanzan University
Osaka City University
Sophia University
The University of Tokyo
Tokyo University of Foreign Studies
Tokyo University of the Arts
University of Ryukyus (Okinawa)

Gateway to global careers

"One of the ultimate goals of IIGE is to nurture students with 'global career mindsets'," says Ikeda. "Our experience with COIL education has shown that many students who finish the COIL projects eventually plan their own career tracks with global perspectives. The IIGE is a gateway to global careers."

Further information
Shinji Udagawa

General information

Kansai University International Education Support Team
3-3-35 Yamate-cho, Suita-shi, Osaka 564-8680 JAPAN

Kansai University COIL program
Synchronous communication in COIL class between Kansai University and International Islamic University Malaysia