On December 25, 2018, two of Japan's national universities, Nagoya University and Gifu University, concluded a basic agreement on the establishment of the "National University Corporation, Tokai National Higher Education and Research System (THERS)."
In Japan, each national university is required to be established by a separate national university corporation organized in accordance with the law. In these circumstances, this basic agreement aims to integrate the two national university corporations of Gifu University and Nagoya University into one common national university corporation that can establish and operate both of them. To achieve this integration, it is necessary to reform the Act of the National University Corporations. The national government is moving ahead with the reform and the two corporations are preparing for the integration based on the assumption that the reform is realized.
The two universities are located in the Tokai region, a world-leading economic area with a high number of manufacturers. Amid this time of the so-called digital revolution or fourth industrialized revolution, industrial structures and society are expected to experience drastic and rapid changes. Looking at examples in other countries, we have found that the presence of leading universities or university groups in local regions is one of the keys for success in regional development. In such regions, a virtuous circle has formed whereby universities contribute to the regional development and meanwhile utilizing this development for significantly strengthening education, research and other functions at the universities. This has consequently encouraged the two universities to consider the integration of their management systems in order to further strengthen their roles and functions as future-oriented national universities with a view to the entire Tokai region.
For this reason, Gifu University, whose mission is regional contribution, and Nagoya University, whose mission is to become a world-leading research university, hope to establish THERS that will operate the two universities in an integrated manner on the premise of their different missions. Under a single corporation, the two universities will utilize each other's abilities, proceed to integrate their office work systems and enhance their management capabilities, all with the aim of contributing more to regional development and strengthening their functions to develop into world-leading research universities.
After the establishment of THERS, the two universities will continue to exist in their current forms. Meanwhile, the integration of their corporations will help contribute to the sending of promising graduates into society by means of initiatives that could not be accomplished by conventional inter-university cooperation, such as: educational collaboration by taking advantage of each other's merits; the formation of an advanced research hub utilizing their respective strengths in overlapping fields; the generation of intellectual outcomes through world-class research activities; and the development of internationally-compatible, high-quality education.
We sincerely hope that the prospective students of Nagoya University and Gifu University, their parents, the universities' students and graduates, those who assist the universities - including citizens, governments and businesses of the Tokai region - and Japanese people who support the foundation of national universities will understand the purpose of this basic agreement, and will continue to support the establishment and the operation of THERS, which aims for the further development of the two universities.
December 25, 2018
Hisataka Moriwaki, Gifu University President
Seiichi Matsuo, Nagoya University President
Video featuring the conclusion of the agreement
New university model and Next Society based on the Tokai National Higher Education and Research scheme
Tokai National Higher Education and Research System-related links (in Japanese):
1. Regarding the conclusion of the basic agreement
2. Statement of the basic agreement