散詩語録

The door of HU reform needs to be left open for the futur

Mitsuo Ochi

 学長に就任して5年になりました。昨年度、国から各国立大学に交付される運営費交付金の「成果を中心とする実績状況に基づく配分」(総額850億円)では、残念ながら厳しい評価を受けました。
 この評価は、大学のマネジメントに加え、教育研究による共通指標が基準とされています。各領域における構成員の皆さんの大変な頑張りは、私もよく理解しており、大変感謝しております。
 私事ながら、身内が大学病院に入院していたため、仕事の後、毎晩病室を訪れ、久しぶりに患者さんのために全力を尽くしている医療スタッフの皆さんの姿に触れました。近年、国立大学の収支の中で大学病院の収入の占めるウエートは極めて大きくなっています。その状況の中で広島大学病院は医薬品および医療機器の納入価格の見直しなどにより極めて高い黒字を維持していますが、評価の対象にはなっていません。
 今年度は、より良い評価を得られるよう実績作りに取り組んでいく必要があるとはいえ、評価の「物差し」は一つではなく、多種多様であることもまた確かです。単一の物差しだけであれば、大きいか小さいかの違いはあっても「金太郎あめ」しか生まれません。大学にはそれぞれの地域における特有の文化、歴史、特徴があります。一つの評価法に縛られない、むしろそれを乗り越えるような壮大な取り組みこそが未来の教育のために不可欠だと考えています。
 今は評価の対象になっていない大学改革や投資が必須であると考えて、この5年間、広島大学が進むべき方向性を皆で探り、グローバル化へと大きくかじを切ってきました。
 広島大学では大学院改革も成し遂げ、東広島市のご支援もいただきながら、東広島キャンパスに「国際交流拠点施設」を建設いたします。2016年度から毎年、研究インターンとしてハーバード大学やシカゴ大学の学生を10人規模で受け入れており、今年度はマサチューセッツ工科大学(MIT)からも受け入れ開始の予定です。また、今年初めにエジプトからは73人の医学生が霞キャンパスで講義や実習に参加しました。
 昨年、日本経済新聞社などが実施した「企業の人事担当者から見た大学イメージ調査」で、広島大学は「対人力」全国1位、「行動力」3位の高い評価をいただきました。このような民間からの評価には勇気づけられます。
 大学改革は未来に向かって開かれたものでなければなりません。現在の足元を見つめつつも、未来の日本を見据えた針路を示せるかが問われています。10年後、大きく成長した広島大学を見るのを楽しみに、大学の総力を結集し、構成員の皆さんと力を合わせて歩みを進めていきたいと願っています。

It has been five years since I was appointed as the President of Hiroshima University (HU). Unfortunately, HU in the last academic year received a disappointing notification regarding “Management Expenses Grant” (the total budget amount of 8.5 billion yen) in which varying amounts are awarded to National University Corporations, due to a harsh evaluation of HU’s current performance.
The evaluation is based on various criteria, including management performance of each university, as well as the common indicators for research and education performance. As always, I am fully aware of the great contributions made by all members of HU and I am very grateful to them.Please allow me to relate a personal anecdote. There was a time during the past year when I was making frequent visits to the local university hospital every evening after work to see a family member who was hospitalized there. It had been a long time since I was in the situation to witness how committed hospital/medical staff are to the care of patients. Nowadays, an extremely large proportion of the total revenue of Japan’s national universities comes from university hospitals. Amid such circumstances, Hiroshima University Hospital has been able to stay in the black for a long time by reviewing the price lists of medical drugs and devices set by its suppliers. However, such pleasing performance has not been taken into account in the above-mentioned evaluation.
On the one hand, it is necessary for HU to continue making further efforts for a better track record so as to secure better evaluation scores in this academic year. On the other hand, it cannot be denied that there are different types of “indicators”, not just one, for evaluating the performance of a given university. If we were to be stuck with a single indicator for the evaluation, all the national universities in Japan would end up looking like “peas in a pod (with only differences among them to be their varying sizes)”. Each university has its own distinctive culture, history, and characteristics based on its location. In this sense, HU should not be bound by a single evaluation indicator. Rather, I think that it is essential for the future of the university’s education to ambitiously tackle this issue by attempting to go beyond the existing set criteria.
Bearing in mind the fact that reform and investment are essential aspects that are not part of the grant’s performance evaluation, we have been exploring a new direction for HU. This has led us to steer into the waters of globalization.
Reform of the Graduate Schools at HU is now complete. With financial support from Higashi-Hiroshima city, the “International Exchange Building” is to be established in the future. Since 2016, HU has received 10 students as research interns from overseas universities including Harvard University and the University of Chicago. From this academic year onwards, HU is expecting to receive some students from MIT in the U.S.A. In addition, early this year the university received 73 medical students from universities in Egypt, attending lectures and training sessions on the Kasumi campus.
Last year, Hiroshima University ranked in 1st place for “Interpersonal communication skills” and in 3rd place for an “ability to take action” in the “Brand image ranking survey of universities in Japan”, which was organized by some Japanese companies such as Nihon Keizai Shimbun Inc. The questionnaire surveyed the staff at personnel management offices from various companies in Japan. It is very encouraging for us to see HU having received such positive evaluations from private companies in Japan.
The door of university reform needs to be left open for the future. HU is being asked whether or not it is capable of steering into the right direction by anticipating the future direction of Japan. With all the members of HU united as one, I am hoping to see our university move forward step by step, with much progression over the next ten years.


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