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Chiba University Chiba University uses the FT as an information source in its classes and research to nurture global perspectives

The challenge

Chiba University aims to nurture next-generation talent who can play active roles in an international society. The university is looking for unbiased primary sources that can be used in research and papers.

The solution

Students are provided with an unbiased, neutral source of information amid numerous media outlets that tend to present views from a limited perspective, due to more exposure to  Japanese media.

The benefits

Having exposure to an unbiased information source has enabled students to understand and comprehend global and neutral perspectives that transcend languages.

The FT is useful in classes because it analyzes matters from an objective standpoint, based on a neutral stance.

Jiro Mizushima Dean, Chiba University Graduate School of Humanities and Studies on Public Affairs

A global university

To further develop itself as a leading university with teaching and research functions of the highest standard, Chiba University is aiming to create research and education centers through the establishment of international networks.

Professor Mizushima specializes in European politics, especially Dutch politics, and analyzed and studied populism even before it became a global trend. As the Dean of Chiba University’s Graduate School of Humanities and Studies on Public Affairs, he deals with four departments and teaches students with a wealth of knowledge.

It has been 30 years since he started reading the FT, which he says has “trust-worthy articles on politics.” Since Chiba University began subscribing to the FT, he has gained better access to the newspaper through digital devices. Reading the FT has become a daily routine for him and it is his main source of information.

A neutral standpoint

For Japanese universities to nurture global talent, the quality of information sources that the students come into contact with becomes very important.

“I want to provide students with various perspectives. The FT is useful in classes because it analyzes matters from an objective standpoint, based on a neutral stance,” says Professor Mizushima.It is also important not only to understand international affairs, but to know how events in Japan are seen by the world.

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Professor Mizushima explains: “Although students are exposed more to Japanese media, comparing those views with the international perspective of the FT can enable them to understand world affairs from a global point of view.”

Since “the FT has few stereotyped articles about Japan,” it is also possible to cultivate an accurate analysis of domestic affairs and an objective view of Japan. Needless to say, “articles dealing with Brexit, etc. are covered and analyzed in great detail and are used for research papers,” he said.

Collect information across languages

In class, articles are chosen and presented by the professor. “In my seminar, we pick up media reports about Europe and have students present them,” says Professor Mizushima. There were some challenges in encouraging students to use English media when Japanese is the primary language for most domestic universities.

“Students aren’t motivated when you tell them that it’s for studying English. Some things can only be obtained through English media. A bigger motivation is the desire to learn, and this opens up the opportunity for students to gain insight into the global world,” the professor said.

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