The 7th Next-Generation Global Workshop concluded (6-8 December 2014)

The seventh Next-Generation Global Workshop "Care and Gender" took place in early December at the Faculty of Letters Main Building, Kyoto University. The annual Workshop was first held in 2008 under the Kyoto University Global Center of Excellence (Global COE) program, and is now organized by the Kyoto University Asian Studies Unit (KUASU). Participants consisted of 19 students and researchers from 17 countries and regions — including South Korea, China, Taiwan, the Philippines, India, Nepal, Singapore, Qatar, Malaysia, Finland, France, Germany, UK, and the United States, — in addition to local participants from Kyoto University and Doshisha University.

During the first two days, participants presented on their research and received feedback from senior faculty from the KUASU counterpart universities and from Kyoto University, as well as attending seven special lectures to deepen their understanding of the Workshop theme.

On the third day, participants gained valuable  experience in the field through interactions with preschool-aged children in daycare, and with residents of a privately-run eldercare home. At the daycare center, Takanogawa Nursery School, one participant observed with surprise that the children were encouraged to be free and spontaneous, yet appeared to be well-organized and disciplined. Then at the retirement facility, Kitashirakawa-no-Hana-no-Ie (literally "house of flowers in Kitashirakawa"), the residents, including those with dementia, astonished and delighted the care staff by engaging the visitors in animated conversations.

Comments from some of the early-career scholars who took part in the three-day program included: "It was great to be given the opportunity to receive feedback about my presentation from other participants. The experience will surely benefit my future work. I also learned a great deal by visiting the daycare and eldercare facilities "; "The workshop was very well organized. It was clearly designed to inspire us to work on further expanding our knowledge so that we can deliver in the international arena"; "The program has helped significantly increase my self-confidence by enabling me to have completely new experiences — visiting a foreign country and presenting to an international audience. I also found that the workshop was an excellent international networking opportunity".

At the conclusion of the Workshop, participants promised to keep in touch with each other via the recently launched website of the Kyoto International Consortium for Asian Studies (KICAS), and to work on strengthening collaborations among their universities with the possible establishment of a credit transfer system and exchange programs for student, researcher, and faculty.

The 2015 Next-Generation Global Workshop will be held as part of the "Rediscovering Japan through Collaboration in the Open ASEAN+6 — International Human Resource Development Centering on the SEND Program" and the Super Global University (SGU) program.