Seminar on higher education held ahead of joint research between Nagoya University and North Carolina State University

How does extra funding affect academic performance in universities? What is the impact of a merger on universities? How has the mental state of students changed during and after the COVID19 pandemic? Experts from Nagoya University and North Carolina State University met to discuss contemporary issues in higher education ahead of their upcoming collaboration in teaching and research as strategic partner universities.


This gathering occurred on Thursday, July 6th, 2023 hosted by the Graduate School of Education and Human Development at Nagoya University. This event featured three research presentations given by faculty members of both universities. Dr. Stephen Porter, Professor of Higher Education from North Carolina State University, presented research with his graduate student on the effect of funding on academic performance in the case of South Korea. Dr. Paul Umbach, who is also Professor of Higher Education from North Carolina State University, presented a coauthored piece with a faculty member of another university, examining the impacts of a university merger in the case of Finland. Finally, Mr. Matsumoto, certified psychologist and faculty consultant of Nagoya University, discussed well-being and mental health issues related to students during and after the COVID19 pandemic.


Presentation by Dr. PorterPresentation by Dr. Porter


Presentation by Dr. Umbach

Presentation by Dr. Umbach


Presentation by Mr. Matsumoto


These presentations led to discussions among audience members, including Dr. Jiro Takai, Professor of Social Psychology and Dean of the Graduate School of Education and Human Development, as well as Mr. Norihito Taniguchi, lecturer and specialist in International Education. These experts from Japanese and American universities explored ways to compare the impact of funding on academic performance in these countries, as well as discussed various types and cases of university mergers, including the case of Nagoya University, which created a Tokai National Higher Education and Research System as an umbrella organization for Nagoya and Gifu University.


From the top left: Mr. Taniguchi, Dr. Takai, Dr. Umbach, Mr. Matsumoto, and Dr. Porter.
From the bottom left: Dr. Mina Hattori and participants of the seminar.


This year Nagoya University also created an organization called the Global Multi-Campus, which houses the Center for Strategic Partnerships, the Institute of Asian Satellite Campuses, and several other global initiatives. Although Japanese universities could end up accumulating partnership agreements that remain unused or are rarely taken advantage of, Nagoya University is committed to elevating the value of some partnerships through more collaborative teaching and research activities. The flagship university in the 'Tar Heel' state is the first strategic partner university that now hosts the Nagoya University Satellite Campus in North America.


To encourage more collaboration, the 'Global Multi-Campus Seed Fund' has granted ten joint research proposals between Nagoya faculty members and strategic partner universities.One of the funded proposals was submitted by Dr. Mina Hattori, Professor of Anthropology from the Department of Education at Nagoya University, and Dr. Robert Hawkins, Professor of Social Work at North Carolina State University, who received 2,000,000 yen to investigate how to address mental health issues among international students through the development of an AI-based assessment mechanism.


Dr. Takai and Mr. Taniguchi are also visiting the campus in Raleigh, North Carolina, this August to discuss possible joint research. At the end of the event, Dr. Takai shared with all participants the plans to collaborate with North Carolina State University.


"We are really excited to have so many joint activities with NC State and we plan to expand on them further," he said. "It all started with the Summer Seminar on Higher Education in 2018, which has become an annual affair, having Steve (Porter) and Paul (Umbach) over to give us presentations on their latest research. Our newest project is joint research with the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, dealing with the use of AI in providing mental health services to international students. With the School of Education, we plan to engage in exchange between corresponding graduate lab units, in which our members will attend seminars and lab meetings together online. Finally, we hope to start faculty exchange, to have our professors teach classes on each other's campuses as Visiting Professors. We are looking forward to seeing a lot of action going on between us in the near future."


Story by Chika Yamamoto, Global Multi-campus, Nagoya University