Lakeland University Japan Draws Participants from a Wide Range of Domestic and Foreign Universities to Discuss Global Higher Education
Educators from universities throughout Japan as well as from institutions in China, India, Indonesia, Taiwan and the United States participated in the 9th Annual Conference on Global Higher Education held at Lakeland University Japan (LUJ) in Ryogoku on Saturday, June 4.
“It was an excellent conference; small, but cozy and extremely informative. Everyone I talked to was very impressed by the very wide scope and unusual depth of the presentations,” commented Charles Laurier, Dean of LUJ.
Many attendees said that they greatly appreciated the compact size of the conference. “I really enjoyed each session grouped in themes,” commented Dr. Julia Christmas, a professor at the University of Niigata. “Some conferences are huge and overwhelming with too many sessions at the same time. This conference was at just the right size.” Like many attendees, Dr. Christmas had participated in previous conferences at LUJ.
“It’s the second time here for me,” said Dr. Mahboubeh Rakhshandehroo, a professor from Kwansei Gakuin University. “I remember the first time very well because it was my first presentation after getting my Ph.D.”
The conference was hybrid, allowing educators to present virtually from China, India and Indonesia as well as in person in Tokyo. The hybrid option proved fortuitous when several presenters were able to present via Zoom after being hindered from traveling to Tokyo from the southern region of Japan because of typhoon-like conditions that brought havoc to transportation from the area.
Approximately 20 Japanese universities were represented, including those located in Kyushu, Kansai and Niigata as well as Tokyo and nearby prefectures, such as Gunma, Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama. In addition, six American and two Chinese universities as well as institutions in India, Indonesia and Taiwan were represented.
The presentation topics ranged from international language pedagogical reports, such as “Improving Teacher Knowledge, Abilities, and Confidence to Implement Garden-Based, Project-Based Learning” and “Using Project-Based Learning for Community Building in the Post-Pandemic EFL Classroom” to Artificial Intelligence (AI) challenges, such as studies on “Student Reactions to a Virtual Study Abroad ESP Program for AI Engineers” and “Cyber Security in Higher Education: Lesson[s] learned from recent Cyber Attacks in Indonesia.”
Click here to see the full schedule of presenters.
Two members of the LUJ faculty made presentations at the conference. Jessica McDonald, an EAP instructor and a member of the LUJ Accommodation Committee, offered insights in providing for the special needs of students in her presentation entitled: “Teacher Preparedness in the Classroom to Provide an Inclusive Learning Environment that Caters to Mature-Aged Students Who Are Neurodivergent.” Francisco Naranjo Javier, a Spanish language professor at LUJ, offered a presentation on “Assessment in Practice.”
A third scholar with an LUJ connection also made a presentation. Dr. Paul Snowden, the former resident director of LUJM, the corporation that handles the business transactions of LUJ, spoke on the topic entitled “A Critical Look.” “It was a fantastic presentation,” commented Dr. Iskra Gencheva, an Associate Professor of History at LUJ.
The educational effects of the pandemic were discussed deeply. One presentation by a Ghanaian instructor at Beijing Normal University dealt with the specific topic of “Evaluating the Teaching Fitness of Ghanaian Teachers with Disabilities to Instruct Online in a Pandemic Era.”
Other topics ranged from the dilemmas Burmese students face in Japan to a study of Waseda University’s Writing Center.
All told, the conference provided “an amazing array of topics,” said James Lassegard, a professor at Hosei University.
“I’ll be back next year,” said Dr. Ana Sofia Hofmeyr, a professor of Foreign Language Studies at Kansai University, echoing a statement heard often in the hallways and especially at the closing session.
Next year, the 10th annual Conference on Global Higher Education will take place once again at LUJ. “I have already received some suggestions for next year’s event,” said Roger Grabowski, the organizer of the conference and a professor of speech at LUJ.
For any questions about next year’s conference, contact Mr. Grabowski at firstname.lastname@example.org