The Program for Leading Graduate School was established by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) as a project to reform graduate education in Japan by creating educational programs that foster and launch the careers of highly-skilled doctoral graduates capable of playing global roles in fields spanning industry, government, and academia. Since the first selection of educational programs in the 2011 academic year, it has grown to encompass 30 universities across Japan offering a total of 62 programs. Students of these five-year programs combining master’s and doctoral studies are anticipated to follow new career paths unlike those conventionally taken by doctoral graduates, particularly in industry, national or local government, and international organizations, and to contribute to creating a new value and other such areas in the course of their careers.
The 2016 Forum of the Program for Leading Graduate Schools (“Leading Forum 2016”) will coincide with the time when the first students of the first programs to be selected are nearing the end of their studies and preparing to start their professional careers. The first day of the forum will be, therefore, focused on industry, a field for which the programs have sought to provide new sources of talented graduates. With the assistance of the Keidanren (Japan Business Federation) as the forum co-host, it will include speeches and discussions that consider the training of and roles to be played by this rising generation of doctoral graduates whose skills have been developed through collaboration between industry and academia.
The second day will offer opportunities for students and others involved in the program to share information. It will also include career path-specific sessions for each of the occupational fields in which graduates are anticipated to play roles in the future. By inviting those who have obtained their Ph.D. degrees and have successfully secured their career paths, these sessions will consider the potential career paths of many students set to graduate in the coming years. In addition to bringing together the students, faculty members, and staff involved in the programs, we would also like to welcome a broad range of participants from industry and academia, and organizations such as research institutes, government bodies, and international organizations..