The Leading University of “Agricultural and Life Sciences” in Japan which Scientifically Studies the “Future” of the Earth and Life
Profile President Fumio Eguchi, Ph.D.
President Eguchi was born in Gunma Prefecture in 1965, graduated from the Department of Forest Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Tokyo NODAI in 1988, and completed the doctoral program of Forestry at the same graduate school in 1993. After working as a Research Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and an assistant professor at Takasaki University of Health and Welfare, he was appointed as a professor of the Department of Forest Science, Faculty of Regional Environment Sciences, Tokyo NODAI in 2012. At Tokyo NODAI, he served as the director of Food and Agriculture Museum and head of the Department of Forest Science. His specialized fields are forestry chemistry and mushroom studies. As a social activity, he has served as a researcher at the Academic Systems Research Center of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and a supporter of the Japan Pavilion at Expo Milano. He received the Japan Wood Research Society Award and Kisaku Mori Award.
It goes without saying the importance of food that supports human activities. Agricultural science is the most familiar discipline for us human beings. Although agricultural science can be broadly divided into two categories, natural science and social science, it is an extensive field of study that encompasses not only science on the earth but also astronomy, communication and management that value human relationship, language and more. We, Tokyo University of Agriculture (Tokyo NODAI), are developing education and research that value the idea of "comprehensive agriculture" that includes all of the aspects.
Facilities for Practical Training All Over Japan from North to South
"Ask rice about rice and ask farmers about agriculture" is the words of the first president of Tokyo NODAI, Tokiyoshi Yokoi. As the words suggest, Tokyo NODAI has a tradition of practical education with an emphasis on Field Science, which eliminates idealism and encourages to learn from reality. One of the major features of our university is that we have learning facilities all over Japan from the Abashiri Cold Region Farm (Abashiri City, Hokkaido) in the north to the Miyako Subtropical Farm (Miyakojima City, Okinawa Prefecture) in the south, in addition to our three campuses, Setagaya Campus in the city, Atsugi Campus in the countryside and the Okhotsk Campus in the wilderness. We are proud of the facilities that cover all over Japan. I would like our students to take advantage of these and learn through their five senses. Also, learning opportunities exist not only in the facilities and laboratories. In 2020, an unprecedented circumstance brought about by the COVID-19 outbreak made it difficult for students to learn in the conventional method. That is why I encouraged my students to take a walk and observe their neighborhoods. There are many things to learn and feel in the fields we are familiar with.
Our campuses, the most familiar field for students, have continued its advancement by improving the facilities. Agricultural Experiment and Practice Facilities Building was built in Atsugi Campus in September, 2019. This facility is equipped with meat, milk, and agricultural processing training rooms. In April, 2020, “Nodai Science Port”, which was expected to be the hub for research dissemination, was inaugurated in Setagaya Campus. In the future, we will aim to create a landscape of "agriculture" in the campuses. The scenery with mountains, fields and oceans are soothing. In order to foster human resources contributing to agriculture, it is indispensable for the students to come into contact with agriculture, forestry and fishery resources. We will promote the campus development that demonstrates Tokyo NODAI is a university of comprehensive agriculture. For example, just by creating a small paddy field on campus, it would give students a sense of the seasons and would allow them to learn the basics of production. In addition to that, various uses can be expected such as hands-on learning activities with the elementary and junior high school students, practices using old farm tools, media dissemination, and community contributions.
Our Initiatives to "Return Human Resources to the World"
Tokyo NODAI is focusing on promoting internationalization and entrepreneurship education in order to return the outcomes of education and research to the world. The promotion of globalization will be implemented under the theme of “Delivering Global Human Resources of Tokyo NODAI to the World,” and various efforts have been made. Language education will be greatly reinforced by encouraging students to take online language courses offered by the global partner universities with the target TOEIC score of 800. In addition, I would like to make it possible for our students to take lectures by the global partner universities online with credit transfer. On the other hand, for the global partner universities, I would like to spread understanding of Japanese culture. The major goal of promoting globalization is to disseminate and instill the expertise of our university, such as water resource management and greening of devastated areas, around the world. Human resources are the key to achieve this goal, so in addition to reinforcing international education within the university, we are planning to strengthen cooperation with research institutes and our graduates who are active overseas and enhance the functions of the Center for Global Initiatives at Tokyo NODAI.
Entrepreneurship education aims for students to acquire the foundation to start up and develop venture companies. Utilizing the comprehensive cooperation agreements that we have already concluded with many companies such as DeNA Co., Ltd., we invite collaborative entrepreneurs to conduct practical education from their perspectives. We also provide support to students who wish to work in agricultural industries. As mentioned above, Tokyo NODAI aspires to contribute to society through implementing Practical Science that emphasizes fusion of theory and practice. That spirit will continue to be passed on.
I would like young people like you to try different things, fail, and learn without being afraid of getting embarrassed. Being embarrassed is not a negative thing, it is something that leads to your own growth. Tokyo NODAI has an environment where you can learn through challenges and mistakes.