Kyushu University (KU) commemorated 100 year anniversary in 2011. In the wake of the inevitable globalization and a rapid change to “flattening of the world”, KU is facing to deal with such difficult but important tasks as “how to vitalize the new Ito campus”, “how to create innovation in research and operations” and “what kind of graduates to send out to the society”, with its wealth of knowledge accumulated in 100 years. Its new strategy to fit in the changing world is being sought. In response to this environment, the mission of the Kyushu University California Office, Inc. (KUCAO) is to assist globalization and entrepreneurship of KU from the standpoint of nurturing students, faculty and staff.

Activities of CA Office

There is no doubt that Japan needs innovation and entrepreneurship from every corner of the country. The roles of faculty, and students for the future, are far more important than anything else. From the inception of 2004, KUCAO has been concentrating in bringing students, faculty and staff out from rather closed Japan to the USA, especially to Silicon Valley, the Mecca of innovation, with facilitating the following programs.

The English + Entrepreneurship Program (QE+EP) is a four week, all home stay program for students, which includes English and innovation and entrepreneurship studies. It consists of English study programs at San Jose State University, exchange activities with US students, lectures by visionary persons and visit to innovative companies in Silicon Valley. The Robert Huang Entrepreneurship Program (QREP) is an intensive one week program for students with lectures, an exchange with US students and company visits. The Enhanced Education Program (EEP/ELITE) is a one week program for young faculty to study “English Language Instructions for Teaching in English”. Other activities include assisting incoming students through exchange programs and staff in the internship program at the KUCAO.

We observed how much impact these programs have exerted to those participants. Students have learned self-establishment, positive thinking, multi-culture practices and among all, innovative and entrepreneur spirits of Silicon Valley, in addition to improved communication skills in English. We will continue to work hard on these Silicon Valley programs.

In addition to these, we are hosting distant lecture series, “Let’s Study Businesses” from KUCAO and Tokyo Offices. Fifteen lecturers are carefully selected from the standpoint of teaching, “what is going on in the companies”, “what are needed in working in a company”, “how are startup companies in Silicon Valley and Japan funded and operated” and “what is the function and ideals of venture capitalists”.

KUCAO and other 10 Japanese university offices in the Bay Area formed a collaborating network called “Japanese University Network in the Bay Area (JUNBA)” in 2006. JUNBA has been encouraging Japanese universities in their globalization activities by connecting the universities of US and Japan through holding Symposium and Summit since 2007 on such topics as globalization of university, quality assurance of education and university management and governance, to name a few.

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