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Kiyohiro Houkin, President of Hokkaido University

Hokkaido University (HU) has unique and proud features concerning its founding, background, geopolitical standing, vast and beautiful campus, harmony with the environment, diverse academic and faculty aspects, and role as a core university in the region.

Based on “HU VISION 2030”, we are currently forging ahead with institutional reforms of research, education, and various other aspects. This vision aims for the “Novel Japan University Model” as an ideal image of our university beyond the 150th anniversary of its founding in 2026. This represents the future of our institution as a leading research university that contributes to the resolution of local and global issues and has a significant social impact through its world-class education, research and co-creation with society.

To realize this vision, we need to join hands, not only with other members of the HU community, but also with external research institutions, private businesses, local governments, and various other organizations. Since its establishment in 2012, our Integrated University Research Administrator (URA) Office has brought these stakeholders and HU members together and encouraged the creation of university knowledge in a wide variety of fields like research, education, public relations, and industry-academia-community collaboration—for example, by promoting university-wide research projects, building world-class research centers, and promoting the utilization of research results—and achieved significant results in giving back to local communities and society at large. The Integrated URA Office plans and proposes initiatives across the boundaries of departments and administrative organizations based on a solid understanding of what university management means. Their roles will become increasingly important to realize our vision and university reforms.

As we move forward, I am confident that our URAs, who are equipped with in-depth knowledge in various fields, will shine in their respective fields, build networks of personal contacts, promote inter-university cooperation, enhance HU’s research capabilities and value through international collaboration, and perform assessment of research capabilities, including their social impact.