On Tuesday, September 7, 2021, The United Graduate School of Agricultural Sciences, Ehime University (UGAS) held their annual Joint Seminar online with the participation of all 25 first-year doctoral students from Ehime, Kagawa, and Kochi universities.
The seminar is usually an intensive residential course conducted for three days and two nights in which students from the different campuses gather and conduct group work and other activities, but this year was the first time that it was held entirely online.
In addition to regular students, UGAS has working students who conduct research while employed at companies. The working students participating in the seminar were not limited to Ehime, Kagawa, and Kochi. There were also participants from Kyoto and Osaka, as well as from Indonesia (they were not able to come to Japan because of the Corona disaster) and other regions.
The seminar, in which nearly half the participants were international students, was conducted entirely in English. In the morning lecture on Getting a Scientific Paper Published by Professor Murphy Dennis, students listened intently to gain basic knowledge on how to get an academic paper published and carry out research with the goal of writing their doctoral thesis in two years’ time.
Before the seminar, Japanese and international students from the three universities were assigned to five groups and each group was given a theme to research. In the afternoon of the seminar, the five groups presented their findings related to the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) under the five assigned themes: “The Current Status and Issues of Environmental Conservation-Oriented Agriculture”, “Encourage the Export of Sixth-Order Industrialization”, “Food Culture in Japan”, “What are Effective and Efficient Ways of Recycling Plastic”, and ”Diet and Health”. During the presentations, there were some unique occurrences that can only happen online, such as the call to prayer sounding in the background through the PC of a student from Indonesia.
During the question and answer session, someone asked, “What are the goals of the SDGs and to what extent will we be able to achieve them by 2030?” This was an opportunity for the participants to express their opinions and think about their contribution to society as scientists and researchers.
The seminar concluded with an encouraging message from Professor Hiroki OUE, Dean of UGAS: “I believe that working together with members from different countries on comprehensive issues related to agricultural science and the SDGs has broadened your perspectives and provided you with hints to pursue your own specialized research.”
The United Graduate School of Agricultural Sciences will continue to provide opportunities for Japanese and international students to learn from each other during the Corona disaster, in which it is difficult to exchange opinions face-to-face, and to further develop the talents and skills of outstanding researchers.