The College of Sustainability and Tourism Department Reflect on Their First Year! Implementation of ST Collaborative Institution Exchange Meeting


Feb 16, 2024

On Wednesday January 31st, the College of Sustainability and Tourism organized an exchange meeting with collaborating organizations with whom they have deepened cooperation both within and outside the curriculum, marking the milestone of the first year since the establishment of the department. Approximately 70 participants, including students, gathered at the venue of J:COM Holt Hall Oita.

This meeting aimed to establish a mechanism where various collaborating institutions can work together, spearheaded by the College of Sustainability and Tourism, towards the development of a consortium for advancing regional issue resolution.

Professor LI Yan, the Dean of the College of Sustainability and Tourism., stated, "Thanks to everyone who supported our brand new college, we are approaching the end of a successful first year. I am very pleased to see everyone gathered here."

Additionally, Professor Takayuki Kubo, the Vice Dean, reflected on the educational activities of the college for the current academic year. The College of Sustainability and Tourism emphasizes learning through the repetition of theoretical study in the classroom and practical experiences in the field as a characteristic of its educational approach. He reported on various activities including multiple field studies (in Touhou Village in the Asakura district of Fukuoka Prefecture; Iida City, Nagano Prefecture; Tsukumi City, Oita Prefecture; Aso and Kuju), local practical training conducted by Oita Bank Corporation and Kyushu Electric Power Co., Ltd., as well as guest lectures conducted by individual faculty members collaborating with professionals. (※)

In the lecture featuring two guest speakers, Naomi Zaizen, who joined as a visiting professor in April and resides in Oita Prefecture, and Yuki Ezoe, Alex Makoto Fukada, and Madinakhon Hasanova, co-representatives of the "Sato no Tabi Lodge Kiyokawa," an external training destination, each introduced their initiatives to the participants.

Ms. Zaizen harvests seasonal crops from fields and mountains to produce processed goods, promoting the circular way of living in Oita to both local and non-local audiences. In her speech, she shared her journey from becoming an actor and moving back from Tokyo to Oita after childbirth, as well as obtaining certification as an end-of-life care planner at the age of 50, creating an "Arigato File" to compile important family information and convey emotions, and introducing NHK programs focusing on life in Oita. She conveyed to the participants the joy of living carefully and affectionately in Oita while actively pursuing acting in Tokyo.

Mr. Ezoe, Mr. Fukada, and Ms. Hasanova of Lodge Kiyokawa operate accommodation facilities in Bungo-Ono City, contributing to the revitalization of the region by discovering its charm and serving as a tourist facility where people gather. In their lecture, they discussed the community-building efforts in Bungo-Ono and overcoming challenges such as the lack of hot springs despite being in the "onsen prefecture," as well as the surge in attention to Lodge Kiyokawa from both within and outside the prefecture after Bungo-Ono City declared itself as the "Sauna Town," overcoming the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the tourism industry. They reflected on how the locals realized that tourists would come even without hot springs, discovering new charms themselves, which they consider a significant achievement of their efforts.

Following the lectures, through exchanges with participants from various collaborating institutions, deeper bonds were forged for the future development of the consortium. The College of Sustainability and Tourism will continue to strengthen its network with various external organizations in its second year, aiming to realize enriching educational experiences for its students through educational research.

About the College of Sustainability and Tourism
(Department website link)

※ Regarding the field studies and specialized training of the College of Sustainability and Tourism
On the day of the exchange meeting, the practical training sites relevant to the attendees were introduced, but in addition to this, the department collaborates with various local governments, companies, and institutions to realize numerous educational programs both within and outside Oita Prefecture, domestically and internationally.

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