1. Objectives and goals of the project

The project of "Global Approaches on Education and Training of Middle-level Professionals" coordinated by Kyushu University is commissioned by MEXT1 as part of its policy initiatives "FY2013 Strategic Promotional Program for Vocational Education of Middle-level Professionals in Targeted Growth Fields". In this project, a variety of people in industry, government, and academia from various areas in Kyushu region have taken the initiative to build a global consortium with the support of people involved in the preceding consortia in specialized fields.

In particular, this project aims to facilitate discussions covering a wide range of aspects concerning the needs and abilities required for Middle-level professionals throughout education levels, sectors of institutions, and the fields of training. Kyushu University enriches the discussion and communication and is working on the following two policy issues as the foundation of this consortium. The first issue is a study of the possibility of the qualifications framework covering both vocational and academic education particularly at tertiary level that can be transparent domestically and internationally. The second is to develop programs based on module-style or credit accumulation that encourages recurrent learning of working people in growing economic fields.

On the one hand, this project remains close to the actual worksites, and encourages that people from universities, junior colleges, and specialized/professional training colleges can develop educational programs for the globalization at the field of

  1. (1) hospitality in food, culinary and tourism,
  2. (2) long-term care, health and welfare and
  3. (3) business and management.

On the other hand, this project views issues more comprehensively apart from worksite and explores the transparency of education and training system on the international dimension. Interactions through these activities are the characteristics of this project and an important goal. So it would be expected a whole range of discussions from down-to-earth practical matters to stratospheric perspectives to take place at this workshop.

2. The development of module-type programmes keeping dialogs with stakeholders

2-1 The development of general perspectives of different fields and module-type projects with the support of preceding projects

The temporary definition of global Middle-level professional is personnel who have competencies that are in demand and are useful in a wide range of specialties rather than in occupations in specific industrial fields (see MEXT(2011) "Middle-level professionals fostering project").

This project explores educational programs to respond to the levels of abilities of these people and quantitative demand targeting young people, experienced people, and working people by designing programs for different levels of abilities and qualifications. Therefore, this project would implement efforts to gain general perspectives on the levels common to different fields based on the main concept of global with the support of businesses that have already implanted efforts for a few years as projects of MEXT.

Therefore, this project focuses on people who have specialties in their own professions and professional abilities that can be used in different fields rather than simply focusing on specialties in a narrow global sense that are being developed in preceding projects.This project aims to establish clear framework by integrating general perspectives across different fields and images of human resources based on issues unique to the growing economic fields.

In particular, there is a need to support the education of working people who develop abilities using a variety of recurrent learning opportunities at small and medium businesses with Middle-level professionals in their own fields and levels. To do so, this project aims to develop models based on the credit accumulation through short-term module learning, which become a part of the curriculums for obtaining academic degrees, by actively using learning certificate programs in addition to long-term curriculums for receiving degrees that are the foundation of educational programs in educational institutions.

2-2 Knowledge, skills, competencies and experiences commonly required of global Middle-level professionals and pedagogy of the education and training

This project focuses on the following aspects as abilities required of global Middle-level professionals.

  1. Dimensions of different competencies in the specific field
  2. Learn foreign languages including English
  3. Understand cultures and societies in Japan and foreign countries and regions
  4. Knowledge and skills to cope with foreign culture and environment
  5. Knowledge and skills of intellectual properties concerning technical/knowledge transfer and international businesses
  6. Expertise in production management processes, which are strength of Japan,etc.

Another important key for educational programs of recurrent learning for working people is how their experiences and careers are recognized adequately in addition to their knowledge and skills. This means that it is necessary to control these aspects to accumulate experiences that can be used in global business opportunities to establish Japanese-style protocols.

Dimensions and Aspects of abilities are examined based on the outcomes of the preceding projects. This project examines the possibility of reflecting them in educational programs, such as hospitality that has been developed as unique features in Japan. On the other hand, intellectual properties and production process management are expected aspects that should definitely be established as programs in the business administration field by taking advantage of Japanese-style business administration.
Meanwhile, knowledge and skills are obtained by combining diversified skills for educational pedagogies that pursue practices specifically designed for vocational and practicum-based education. At the same time, they need to be acquired as competencies that can be used at the actual worksites through experience. Thus, the examination of the methods of experience-based learning, such as workshops, internships, and dispatches to overseas, is necessary.

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