Tokyo Institute of Technology: Over 70 gather online for 14th Student Support Forum

Members of autonomous student bodies gathered once again to share information and promote enhanced student, university, and local community life as the Student Initiative Support Section* hosted the 14th Student Support Forum online on February 22, 2021.

This year, students, faculty, and staff from Chiba University, The University of Tokyo, Nagoya University, Mie University, Tama University, Nakamura Gakuen University, Waseda University, and the University of Tsukuba joined their Tokyo Tech counterparts. A total of 71 people participated. The online venue in 2021 enabled participation even for universities located far away geographically.

Yuki Akizawa, a 3rd-year Systems and Control Engineering student at the Institute at the time of the event, acted as moderator. After opening words from Tokyo Tech President Kazuya Masu, Institute of Innovation Research Associate Professor and Student Initiative Support Section* Head Jun Hasegawa greeted participants with a brief introduction of the forum and student initiatives at Tokyo Tech.

Each year, Tokyo Tech’s Student Support Forum invites a guest speaker or speakers to learn more about the student initiatives at other universities around Japan. This year, Professor Masashi Sugie from the College of Psychology, School of Human Science, University of Tsukuba was present online to introduce to participants the Tsukuba Action Project (T-ACT).

The T-ACT platform aims to provide a stage where students can shine while taking on various challenges and realizing their goals. It was selected by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology as a student support program to meet new emerging societal needs way back in 2008, and remains active in 2021 while corresponding to the goals in the University of Tsukuba’s medium-term plan. T-ACT projects bring students together with faculty and staff, creating a mechanism where students can take on challenges, fail in a safe environment and try again, and ultimately build their confidence.

“Each student shines if they are provided with an appropriate stage. Each student changes if we provide different perspectives and ways of getting involved. Offering a setting that is both enjoyable and interesting is important. The same goes for studies and research. Students are motivated if the faculty and staff are also involved,” Sugie explained.

Comments on Sugie’s presentation were collected after the event:

T-ACT appears to be a solid system that encourages the generation of open ideas.
Great initiative that creates a place where students can create freely, are strongly supported, and grow in confidence.
A wonderful system for students to take on challenges together with faculty and staff.
It seems that this system allows for various activities, included fairly unstructured ones, which develop student independence. This is quite unlike the activities at Tokyo Tech. Perhaps we could start planning and gathering support for a similar system here.

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