In the ever-expanding global education landscape, opportunities abound for students seeking knowledge beyond borders. Recently, representatives from esteemed Japanese universities embarked on a journey to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with a mission—to invite some of the UAE’s brightest high school and university graduates to continue their education in Japan. This article delves into the success story of their visit to NAJAH Abu Dhabi 2023, highlighting the institutions involved and the personal experiences that shed light on this unique academic adventure.
Nurturing Minds at NAJAH Abu Dhabi
NAJAH Abu Dhabi, held from 29th to 31st October 2023, was the perfect backdrop for this educational endeavor. This event, attracting approximately 4,000 visitors, was a testament to the thriving interest in international education opportunities among Emirati students and their families. The participating institutions from Japan found themselves immersed in a vibrant academic atmosphere.
The Japanese Universities
Seven renowned Japanese universities made their presence felt at NAJAH Abu Dhabi:
- The University of Tokyo: A beacon of academic excellence.
- Nagoya University: Known for its cutting-edge research.
- Kyushu University: Offering diverse undergraduate programs.
- Sophia University: A hub of multicultural learning.
- Nagoya University of Commerce and Business: Focused on practical knowledge.
- Kyoto University of Advanced Science: Committed to innovation.
- Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University: A global perspective.
These institutions collectively aimed to extend a warm invitation to Emirati students, encouraging them to explore the world of Japanese education.
JICE: The Driving Force
The promotional drive behind this initiative was spearheaded by JICE (Japan International Cooperation Center). JICE’s goal is not merely to facilitate academic pursuits but to nurture young minds, fostering a deeper understanding of international cultures and knowledge. The organization played a pivotal role in connecting Emirati students directly to representatives in Japan.
Insights from a Graduate: Abdulsamad Mohamed Bawazeer
Mr. Abdulsamad Mohamed Bawazeer, a graduate of Chemical Engineering from Tokai University in Japan, played a vital role in the Japan Pavilion. His journey from the UAE to Japan and his experiences served as a beacon of inspiration for prospective students and their families.
Bawazeer shared his thoughts: “I am honored to be a part of the Japan Pavilion at NAJAH 2023. It presents an incredible opportunity for me to serve as an ambassador to the next generation, recalling the time when I was once in their shoes, seeking the best path for my education among the multitude of outstanding universities worldwide.”
His fascination with Japan began during his high school years at The Institute of Applied Technology in the UAE, where he had the chance to study the Japanese language. Bawazeer continued, “As part of these courses, I was fortunate to embark on two eye-opening trips to Japan, one to Tokyo and the other to Kyoto. These experiences, coupled with my exposure to the Japanese language and culture, deeply influenced me. After careful consideration, I consulted my parents, who supported my decision to study in Japan.”
Meeting Students’ Expectations: Insights from Kyushu University
Ms. Khaoula Bensaida, Research Fellow of the Global Strategies Office at Kyushu University, had the opportunity to engage with students and their families during the event. She noted, “It was great to meet students and their families to hear their expectations and concerns in person.”
Learning the Japanese language can be perceived as a challenge. Still, Bensaida observed, “I am pleasantly surprised that many students are willing to take the challenge to acquire proficiency in 1-2 years before entering the undergraduate program.”
Furthermore, she highlighted Kyushu University’s commitment to accommodating students’ language needs: “Kyushu University offers several undergraduate engineering degree programs in English. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that many students were eager to learn Japanese. We offer Japanese lessons for those students who wish to learn the language.”
Acknowledging Success: JICE Abu Dhabi Office
Mr. Tokuya Kanamori, General Manager of JICE Abu Dhabi Office, expressed his gratitude for the success of Japan’s participation at NAJAH Abu Dhabi. He shared, “Japan’s participation at NAJAH Abu Dhabi was a great success with about 4,000 visitors to our pavilion.”
He extended his appreciation to key figures who supported the endeavor, saying, “Honored to be led by His Excellency Akio Isomata, Ambassador of Japan to UAE, I would like to convey my gratitude to His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, to visit the Japan pavilion to support our effort to strengthen the bilateral relationship between the UAE and Japan in the education field.”
The visit of Japanese universities to the UAE during NAJAH Abu Dhabi 2023 marked an important step in fostering educational and cultural connections between the two nations. It showcased the eagerness of Emirati students to explore the rich academic landscape of Japan and the commitment of Japanese institutions to welcome them with open arms. As the world becomes more interconnected, opportunities for international education continue to flourish, and the partnership between the UAE and Japan in education is poised to thrive in the years to come.