In 2014, Toyo University was selected as a “Top Global University” by Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Five years later, in AY2018, the university began making various efforts toward receiving ISAS 2.0: International Strategy Advisory Service provided by the International Association of Universities (IAU), with the aim of receiving advice from overseas education experts on activities and initiatives which the university has been carrying out as a Top Global University, in order for the university to review the promotion system and related approaches.
About ISAS 2.0
IAU (the International Association of Universities) is an organization that brings together the largest number of higher education institutions in the world. IAU periodically conducts global surveys on internationalization policies and the initiatives of higher education institutions, and therefore holds a rich intellectual base. ISAS 2.0 is a fee-based program provided to IAU members and other higher education institutions, etc. for the advancement of internationalization.
The university regarded receiving ISAS as an important pillar in its project statement for the Top Global University Project, and in May 2018, the university launched the ISAS 2.0 steering committee, comprised of a vice president in charge of international affairs serving as the chairperson as well as faculty members who are involved in the university’s internationalization efforts. With the committee serving as a central hub, each working group, comprised of faculty members in charge of various affairs at the university, conducted self-inspections on internationalization initiatives. Further, the committee hosted roundtables with faculty members and Japanese and international students to obtain input from those involved, as well as conducted a survey on internationalization targeting everyone involved, and attempted to grasp the present state of the university’s internationalization efforts from the systematic aspect of the organization in addition to both qualitative and quantitative aspects.
Interview with deans
IAU has launched an expert team for the university, which is comprised of four members: Ms. Eva Ergon-Polaks (IAU senior fellow, former Secretary General of IAU), Professor Betty Leask (professor emerita at La Trobe University), Mr. Giorgio Marinoni (manager in charge of IAU’s higher education/internationalization policy and projects), and Professor Akiyoshi Yonezawa (deputy director of the International Strategy Office, special aid to the President [in charge of global strategy] at Tohoku University). The expert team has provided advice on various initiatives of the ISAS 2.0 steering committee.
From the left: Professor Akiyoshi Yonezawa, Professor Betty Leask, Ms. Eva Ergon-Polaks, and Mr. Giorgio Marinoni
Members with the President of the university
Interview with the Chairman of the university
As the culmination of the university’s efforts toward receiving ISAS 2.0, we invited the members of IAU’s expert team from July 1 to 3, 2019. During their stay, the members confirmed the position of the university’s initiatives compared to global trends through dialogue and interviews with university officials, the president, faculty members, and Japanese and international students. During the interviews with each of the targeted groups, those from the university and members of the expert team actively exchanged opinions; and issues such as the mindset, present state, and challenges related to internationalization were shared with the expert team. On the final day, members of the expert team provided a beneficial analysis and suggestions/advice to the university. A final report is scheduled to be submitted by the expert team in August.
Interview with students
Leveraging the ISAS 2.0 initiatives as momentum for further development, the university will steadily achieve the visions of Toyo Global Diamonds in the remaining four years of the Top Global University Project. Moreover, the university will look further beyond and enhance the quality of its educational research, build a sustainable system to foster students with global capacity, and aim to become an Asia hub university aligned with global standards.